Creating a Thank-You Video in a Day – How This Nonprofit Did It

Angela Crist

Last week Angela Crist, CEO of Findlay Hope House, reached out to me and Kivi about a thank you video they created after attending our recent webinar. It was so simple, yet so effective, we had to have her tell you the story! ~Kristina

Guest Post by Angela Crist

I’ve been keeping my eye on creative thank-you videos for a couple years, mulling over ways my organization could put one together that was:

  1. Mission-centric without being overly cheesy
  2. Time and financially inexpensive
  3. On brand

Mostly I just wanted to create a video like the Cornell Lab of Ornithology put out last year. I love that it’s super sharable and cute even if you, like I, had no idea what ornithology was.

But alas, we have no film crew. And sadly, no adorable owls.

So, inspired by Kivi’s “How to Create a Thank-You Video Before Thanksgiving” training, we thought we’d give it a shot.

We kept it simple, made a plan and put something out for Thanksgiving that met our three objectives of mission-centric, inexpensive and on brand.

Having given it a chance, here’s how we did it.

Nuts and Bolts:

We used our existing Canva templates and photos to keep it consistent with our brand.

Next we prioritized the organizational features we wanted to highlight. For our video we wanted to bring a little life to “behind-the-scenes” stuff like volunteer coordination and case management.

Then, we scratched together a storyboard and organized staff to help. There was maybe a little bribery involved.

The whole video was shot, assembled and edited in about a day’s worth of work time using Canva and i-Movie. We rolled it out on Thanksgiving and are using it in our year-end gratitude emails.

What made it easy:

Free and easily accessible technology (Canva and iMovie for us)

And someone who is really comfortable playing with the technology (though not necessary, it was super helpful for us)

Repurposing content we use in other communication (stats, quotes, photos)

What was difficult:

Prioritizing the time to get it done between donor and client meetings

Keeping all our distribution platforms in mind when building it (darn that square Instagram frame!)

Demonstrating our work without involving clients (we sometimes do, but didn’t have time to arrange it for this)

What we learned:

We can put something like this together really pretty quickly when we want to do it again. A day of work by our talented development director and now we have a fun little piece to add to our standard gift acknowledgement emails.

It doesn’t have to be super polished. For something like this, mission-focused is way more important than fancy lighting and camera angles.

There is no limit to how many ways one can repurpose good content. There is no substitute for up-to-date stats, quotes, stories and photos. Having them on hand makes your next fun little idea come to life much easier.

What we did not learn:

Where to get cute burrowing owls. Maybe next time ?

Angela Crist is the CEO Findlay Hope House. Angela fights homelessness and poverty by day through powerful storytelling and strategic fundraising. She chases her dogs and small children by night. Chocolate.



© 2007-2017, Nonprofit Marketing Guide. All Rights Reserved.

Author: Kristina Leroux, Community Engagement Manager

I am the Community Engagement Manager at Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com.

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  • websavvyrach

    This was great! After watching the Thank You Video by Thanksgiving webinar on this site, I am working on a quickie one too. No excuses this year!

  • Erin Graichen

    Loved your TY video webinar! Finally talked our group into videos – still working on making them shorter, but not too bad for our first!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEg4z9IsAO4

  • This is so great!! Well done!