How would you present your charity in a video to someone who had never heard of your organisation and the work it does? Whatever you do, it will need to be concise yet engaging. No-one will wait while you present a potted history of the charity.
Charities using YouTube are presented with this challenge, which is of course an opportunity. Each channel on YouTube can create an introductory video which is given prominence to visitors. It is the YouTube version of an ‘about us’ page on a website.
Yet very few charities that use YouTube have created one. As such, visitors to their websites are shown their latest videos and perhaps their video playlists, but for someone new to the charity there is no introductory guide.
Channel introductions don’t have to appear on the channel: you can opt to display a ‘what to watch next’ video instead.
They are not essential, of course, but do help support your charity’s branding and get the message across to new visitors in particular.
Here are some examples to give you an idea of the different approaches taken by charities.
1. Technology Trust
Technology Trust’s video is short (2 minutes 8 seconds) and uses animation to explain what it has helped charities achieve over the past 15 years, and what services it offers to charities.
2. Comic Relief
Comic Relief have published a channel introduction.
But they only published this in June 2014.
Theirs is 3 minutes 30 seconds.
3. Julia’s House
Children’s hospice Julia’s House in Dorset published their introductory video in July 2014. It is longer, at 3 minutes 24 seconds, but strong stories can carry a longer video. However, current average view (using VidIQ) is 1 minute 28 seconds, based on the first 61 views.
4. Charities Aid Foundation
Charities Aid Foundation’s introduction, published in July 2014, is 1.12 minutes.
5. Barnardo’s Ireland
Barnardo’s Ireland’s introduction, published in August 2014, is 1.49 minutes. Unfortunately, on publication, it featured very little accompanying text – just ‘About Barnardos, the work we do with children, and how you can help’ and its web address. In addition, it used just one tag ‘Barnardos’.
SolarAid’s intro video is very upbeat, arguing that ‘The solution already exists!’ It is working to eradicate the kerosene lamp in Africa and replace it with solar lamps. It’s in a hurry too: it wants to achieve this by 2020. That’s (a) 2020 vision, and here’s how they introduce people to the idea.
7. Blind Veterans UK
Blind Veterans UK’s intro video is 4 mins 33 seconds. It was published in August 2014. It is long, but it is packed with interviews with people who have been supported by the charity, which is always a powerful introduction to an organisation.
The Showcase of Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration (SOFII), the charity that is building an archive of the best fundraising campaigns from around the world, uses humour in its intro advert, created in September 2014.
In fact, this is a reworking of an existing advert.
The RSPCA’s intro video explicitly welcomes people to the charity’s YouTube channel and invites them to subscribe to it. It was filmed at the RSPCA Leybourne Animal Centre.
The online fundraising platform helps small and local charities fundraise. As such, it has a very clear service to offer, summed up in this intro video.
And to show that charity sector businesses can and should develop introductory videos, here’s one example.
11. Access Group and thankQ
Charity technology specialists Access Group have created a channel introduction for their thankQ fundraising database.
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