How YMCAs Use Video to Build Relationships

by Delaney Strittmatter on Aug 11, 2021 3:15:26 PM

It’s no secret that video needs to be an integral part of any nonprofit organization’s communication calendar, but what is less talked about is the purpose of video in your donor communication calendar.

Your goal when creating a video for donors is not about lighting, fancy cameras, or impressive graphics. All of those can be great tools, but they don't matter if you're missing out on the mission.

Video is key because it is often the best medium to connect donors (and members!) to your organization’s mission.

While sharing your organization's stories can look different for each campaign, there will always be someone in front of the camera.

We've heard that's how video works.

This person in front of the camera can be your leadership, your staff, or even other members and donors. Let’s take a look at what each of these categories looks like in action at YMCAs across the US and Canada.


Feature Your Leadership

Featuring your leadership team in a video is a great first step if you want to increase the amount of video communication being sent to members and donors.

A message from leadership carries weight especially for important communications like an impact report. For YMCA Calgary, the impact report video was recorded by their CEO.



She shares her thanks for each donor’s support and a few ways in which their donations are contributing to a healthier, happier community. 

You may have noticed something. The video keeps reminding donors to click the link below for the full impact report.

Pro tip: keep the video short (about 1 minute in length) and push to a Call to Action button. 

Your campaign could feature an appeal video where the call to action is to "Continue support" or a request for supporters to "Share this video" to their communities on important days like #GivingTuesday. The Call to Action might even be an RSVP link for an upcoming event. 

Whatever your next step for donors may be, make sure it’s clear and concise. 


Highlight your staff

Your team is incredible. You know it. But do your supporters?

It might be high time for your organization to feature them. The team at YMCA of the Triangle put together this incredible compilation of staff thanking their members during their Membership Appreciation Week.



This video highlights as many staff members as possible and ranges from those who work directly with members to those behind the scenes. 

They offer thanks in English, Spanish, and ASL making sure this video includes a thank you that reaches all of their members. Incredible! 

You may be asking, how do I collect all of these videos from staff and leadership?

A good first step? Check out our webinar called Amplify Your Outreach where we focus on different strategies you can use to collect more video from your staff, members, and even donors themselves! And most importantly how to automate that process!


Share your member’s stories

Last, but certainly not least. Your videos should feature the people your organization serves. Don’t forget to show rather than tell your donors what their donation makes possible. 

You can delight your donors on days they may not be expecting to hear from you. A great example of this is the YMCA of Greater Houston’s Valentine’s Day video.



This Valentine’s Day message is short and sweet at 50 seconds long. And it features the kids who take part in YMCA’s programs. 

Wait. This video has music and fun animations. 

Correct! Kim Lagunus, Director of Donor Relations, used Animoto to level up YMCA's of Greater Houston's video game for this campaign. 

But it's important to note: while graphics may enhance a video, they are certainly not the focus of this campaign.

The video was all about featuring YMCA’s programs and thanking the people who helped make it all possible.


Ace Your Next Video Campaign

Recording, editing, and sending videos can seem like a daunting task. But if you're focusing on how each video strengthens a relationship to your organization, then you are heading in the right direction. Next step? Personalized video with the ability to track results. That's where we come in-- book a demo with our team to find out how it all works.