One new site that’s launched this week and is already generating a fair bit of interest is the Glass Workshop. It was built by the charity agency Whitewater, who are working with the charity SolarAid to try and “prove the power of inspirational donor feedback”.
Showing donors where their money goes has been a hot topic for a while now and, with the lower costs of creating video content and the ease of spreading it using sites like YouTube or Vimeo, video is an obvious way of closing the ‘feedback loop’. See the difference, launching this Spring, is just one site looking to capitalise on this, by creating a portal for charity videos.
But back to the Glass Workshop. The thing that makes this especially interesting is that it’s effectively a real time case study, with Whitewater promising to share results. Whilst there are some fabulous charity made videos out there showing where money will be going (my personal favourites are from the Childs i foundation and charity:water), results-based case studies are pretty thin on the ground.
In the words of Steve Andrews, Whitewater’s MD, here are their goals for the project:
- "To prove that we can greatly increase the passion and value of their donors with some very specific strategies. We’re going to make SolarAid’s donors feel wonderful. Proud. Inspired. Excited. Committed.
- To turn SolarAid’s donors into advocates that find us more donors.
- To take you on a journey with us to test our ideas. To look into our Glass Workshop – to watch us at work – and see our big experiment unfold.
- To (hopefully!) convince you to try the same.”
Obviously if it’s a great success, this is going to be a great boon for the agency, but the fact that they are being open about what they’re doing and how successful it is should provide valuable insight for other charities wanting to make better use of video.
Oh, and if you need a great example of using video for thanking, not just for showing what a donation will do, have a look at MSF’s recent Sunday Times Children of Iraq Appeal. At the end of the donation process, donors are invited to watch a video from some of the surgeons and staff who work for MSF in Amman saying, quite simply, thank you.
It's not in high-definition, doesn’t have a slick script or a fancy soundtrack. It’s just the people who are being helped by the donation saying thanks. Simple, and very effective – as the site stats suggest that the vast majority of people watched the video in full.
If you’ve seen any other great charity videos recently, please share them in the comments.