Top 5 Tips for creating a charity video on your Smartphone
By Jessica Purvis, Client Services Coordinator
Everyone has heard the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Well, apparently, a video is worth 1.8 million!*
Can you even imagine 1.8 million words? Well, with video, you don’t need to. We absorb so much more information from watching a 1 minute video than reading a wall of text. It’s easy, it’s engaging, it’s informative, and it’s FAST.
And the best part is, it’s so easy to take advantage of this new, cost-effective way of communicating with your supporters. It all starts with that little necessity that has come to be such an essential part of our lives – the smartphone.
1) Know your topic
Plan. Planning is key to creating a great video with engaging content. Ask yourself; what is the message? Who will be seeing this video? How do we want our viewers to feel?
Make it relevant. Try to relate your video to something that is happening with your cause. Do you have an awareness week happening? A fundraising event? A raffle to hold? This will help to increase engagement if your video ties in with something that your supporters are already aware of. Random videos can sometimes be lost in translation!
Practice! Choose a person who is a confident speaker, and who is comfortable in front of the camera. Speak clearly, and listen back to your recordings before going for the final shot – practice makes perfect!
Call to action. What do you want your supporters to do as a result of watching your video? Is it to have a greater awareness? To join a fundraising channel? To attend an event? Make this clear to ensure that your video has an impact on conversion.
Don’t worry about making it look professional. While it’s so tempting to try to perfect every detail, remember that the message is the important bit! I talked to Christine Mellor, Water Industry Partnerships Manager, Wateraid, who discussed her views on why she thinks Smartphone videos are the way to go.
“Filming on a Smartphone is a great way to share messages with supporters. Films can be produced easily and without a great deal of expense; reinforcing the message that big budget isn’t being spent on them instead of going on the cause!”
2) Choose your space
Light – Choosing a room with a lot of natural light as well as being a well-lit room will help enormously. Place your subject in front of a window for the best light – but avoid bright sunny days lest you blind your subject!
Sound – Small rooms are the best for capturing sound from your smartphone as they produce the least echoes. Choose a room that is as quiet as possible, with few external sounds.
Background – Take a look at what’s in the space, and make sure it’s clean and tidy. And beyond this, make use of it! If you have them available, feature your company logo, promotional banners and posters to help reinforce your brand.
3) The actual filming bit
Landscape, not portrait. Tilt your smartphone on its side, rather than filming in portrait. When you’re viewing your video, this is the format that it will appear in, so if you’ve filmed in landscape, you’ll avoid those “black lines” on either side of your video that you get when filming in portrait.
Keep it steady. Place your smartphone somewhere where you can keep it steady and level. It you have a tripod available, even better!
Get up close and personal. As audio capture on smartphones can be poor, the closer you are to the subject, the better. Remember to speak clearly too!
Size matters. If your video is too long, it will decrease its likeliness of being watched all the way to the end. 1-2 minutes is an ideal length.
This bit isn’t essential – if you prefer, you can always create your video with no editing at all. But, editing does give you a bit more control over how your video looks, making sure that only the best bits are used, and takes a bit of pressure off the person speaking!
Don’t spend a penny. There are lots of free, easy to use options for editing software; from iMovie for iPhone and iPad, or Windows Movie Maker for PC.
Reinforce your branding. Open with your logo, and have it prominent on your video throughout.
Add text. You can do this by way of subject headers, or even subtitles; this can be useful if your audio isn’t great!
Now comes the most important bit of all – sharing!
Hosting. I advise uploading your video to a video sharing website such as YouTube or Vimeo. This makes it easy for you to embed your video elsewhere. Did you know that YouTube is the second most used search engine, after Google? Now THAT’S impressive.
Email. When videos are included in an email, click-through rates improve by up to 200-300%. Amazing, right?? This always works better if the video is embedded rather than put in as a link.
Website. Make sure you post your video on a relevant section of your website to increase visibility. Videos work nicely as an extra element to a website and break up text.
Social Media. Send your video to the world! If you have a Facebook or Twitter page, videos work particularly well on these platforms. You can also use your video to link back to your website to increase traffic. And ask your supporters what they think! Social media is interactive, and you video content should be no different. Asking for feedback will help improve your videos for the future!
So, what are you waiting for? An easy, cost-effective and engaging way to connect with your supporters is ready for the taking.
If you need any support, advice, or just want to talk about putting a video together, I’m at the end of the phone. Please feel free to contact me with any queries you may have.
Unexpected birthday present for one lucky lottery player!
This week, one lucky supporter in the Bobath Children's Therapy Centre lottery received an unexpected birthday present - in the form of a £1000 win!
Player Rhys Griffiths had extra cause to celebrate his birthday this year when he discovered that he was a winner of £1000.
Rhys is a supporter of the Bobath Children's Therapy Centre, Wales, which provides specialist therapy to children in Wales who have cerebral palsy. Unity helps Bobath Children's Therapy Centre raise funds for their essential work to provide physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy for those children that need it.
Name: Rhys Griffiths
Charity: Bobath Children's Therapy Centre
How long have you been playing the Bobath Children's Therapy Centre lottery?
I have been doing the lottery for approximately ten years, although I'm not sure exactly how long. I have won the odd £5 before, but nothing like this.
Why do you support the Bobath Children's Therapy Centre lottery?
I would support the charity regardless of the cause because of the family connection (Rhys' mother is the key Fundraiser for Bobath!), but I have realised over the last twelve years what an amazing charity Bobath is and the difference it can make to children with cerebral palsy in Wales.
Over a decade ago I spent a day shadowing therapists and seeing the work that they do. It was a moving and humbling experience, and I can still remember the names of each of the children I was lucky enough to spend time with that day.
We hear you won on your birthday - that must have been a great present! How did you celebrate?
I bought my son Francis William a present. There's no way I can win £1000 without getting him a little something and seeing him smile.
Do you have any plans for how to spend your winnings?
I feel great about the win as I am planning a trip to New York for September, where I am best man at a wedding. Taking a family of four across the Atlantic is not cheap, so this will be a big help.
Inverlotto launches with face-to-face
It's exciting times for the Inverclyde Community Fund as they launch their brand new Inverlotto!
The new community lottery, InverLotto, will boost registered charity, the Inverclyde Community Fund, set up in 2012 to award grants of up to £500 to a wide variety of good causes and help people get their great ideas off the ground.
“InverLotto is Inverclyde’s community fundraising lottery, so we are calling on people to sign up with the new weekly lottery and support the Inverclyde Community Fund,” said Fund Trustee, Eleanor Robertson. “By playing, not only do people get the chance to win up to £25,000 every week but also, with 50p in every £1 InverLotto ticket going directly to the Fund, they are helping raise money. This will benefit the many local charities, voluntary organisations and community groups, which make up our vibrant third sector here in Inverclyde.
“And what better day to officially launch our new initiative than #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving? We are in the Oak Mall all day to tell people more about InverLotto, how they can take part and get winning for Inverclyde.”
Eleanor Robertson, a Trustee of Inverclyde Community Fund, pictured with a line-up of people signing up to InverLotto
(from left) Katy Mulholland, Ian Bruce, Chris Shearer, Susan Robinson, Bill Clements and Elaine Nicol.
Royal Marines Association celebrates a £1,000 Unity winner!
One lucky supporter of The Royal Marines Association is celebrating after winning £1,000 in Saturday's draw. Currently, Unity helps RMA raise £4,000 per year for their cause, and they are looking forward to increasing this as their lottery gets busier.
Mike Ellis, chief executive of the RMA, said "This lottery is really exciting news and not only stands to raise significant sums for the Royal Marines Association but also to give participants the chance to have some fun and win too. It is great to hear of this early win. I am sure that the lucky player will enjoy spending these winnings on something special."
Richard Dixon, managing director of Sterling Lotteries, said: “It makes us really happy to know that our work with Unity is helping great charities like the RMA do valuable work for former servicemen.
“It is really satisfying to know we are doing our bit to help those who have served the country and I hope Unity keeps on raising funds for the RMA for years to come.
“A win for somebody on Unity is good news for us and good news for the charity involved. I wish the lucky player all the best and I hope they enjoy their winnings.”
Unity is a great lottery platform for launching a lottery or refreshing your existing lottery. To discuss your options for either joining or converting to Unity get in touch with us to speak to a lottery advisor.
It's a match... £25,000 Jackpot Winner!
There were lots of smiles and celebrations taking place earlier this week when a lady from Middlesbrough scooped our £25,000 jackpot!
The lucky winner plays the local Zoe's Place Baby Hospice lottery, pledging her support to the work that they do caring for seriously ill children. Her numbers came up as a 6-number match - the ultimate reward for her generous support!
With the winner choosing to remain anonymous, Sue Fox, fundraiser at Zoe’s Place, said: “We were thrilled to hear that one of our supporters had scooped the top prize of £25,000 and I certainly enjoyed making the telephone call to give her the wonderful news. She was absolutely delighted, and told me she had had a few smaller wins with our lottery but never thought she would win 'the big one'! We wish her the very best and would like to thank her for her continued support."
All of us here at Unity hope that the winnings will bring our winner lots of fun and happiness. And we're only a tad green with envy!
We welcome Ronald McDonald House at Alder Hey!
Ronald McDonald House at Alder Hey Children's Hospital has been providing accommodation totally free of charge for 21 years for the parents and carers of the most critically sick children who are in patients in Alder Hey.
With 84 rooms the house is the largest Ronald McDonald House in Europe. Annual running costs are £600,000, all of which has to be raised from voluntary donations.
To help the charity raise the funds it needs to do its valuable work, it has become part of our Unity lottery scheme.
Jan Thomas from Ronald McDonald House at Alder Hey said: “Imagine having a seriously sick child, you would want the best possible treatment and that might mean travelling from another part of the country to somewhere where you wouldneed to sleep, cook, wash and look after their brothers and sisters. Ronald McDonald House can provide all of this for as long as it takes, keeping families together at the most traumatic time of their lives.
''We are proud and privileged to work closely with the busiest children's hospital in Europe and by supporting our lottery you will be helping us develop still further.''
Richard Dixon managing director of Sterling said: “We are really pleased to be working with Ronald McDonald House at Alder Hey to help them raise much needed funds to continue their work. I hope people get behind the charity by signing up to Unity and giving themselves the chance of winning at the same time.”
Connect - Our exciting new product
Sterling Lotteries, the External Lottery Manager which runs Unity lottery, has now launched its new Connect service. Connect is designed to not only help charities administer and raise money from their lotteries, but also help them with the marketing and promotional aspects.
Sterling also runs a variety of bespoke raffles and lotteries designed to fit individual clients' needs. Its products help raise £45m a year for its clients while paying out £7.5m in prizes.This year Sterling's hard work was recognised when it won the award for Best Lottery Provider at the Institute of Fundraising Partners in Fundraising Awards.
Richard Dixon, managing director of Sterling, said Connect would add a number of new facets to its already successful lottery and raffle schemes. Mr Dixon said: "These days it seems everybody is being asked to do more with fewer resources and less time to do it. A lottery is a great way of raising money for good causes and to make the most of that potential organisations need to be able to shout about them and promote them as far and wide as possible.
"With Connect we are offering a service that is flexible and adapts to the individual needs of each client when it comes to promoting and marketing their lottery. This can include managing telesales and direct mail on their behalf, or working with consultants on promotional work on social media or via press releases and PR. "All the time our focus is on working with our clients at every stage to make sure they are increasing their lottery income and getting the maximum return on investment for marketing.
"We know that, ultimately, the work we do benefits not only our clients but all the people who feel the worth of the good work they do in the community. That is why we are so passionate about doing our very, very best to help them at every stage."
Sterling has worked closely with charity the Pituitary Foundation to help it promote and run its lottery. Jay Sheppard, fundraising and marketing officer for the foundation, said: "It was an absolute pleasure to work with Sterling on this campaign, the results speak for themselves with a 375% increase in players.
The mailing was absolutely first class, we even had supporters calling us up as a result complimenting us on the quality of the packs and apologetic that they were unable to register for one reason or another. "The subsequent telesales campaign was also excellent – we were a little apprehensive about this aspect of the marketing campaign, as this was unchartered territory for The Pituitary Foundation, but the calls made and any queries arising were handled in a first class manner.
Click here for further information
A Cumbrian (Dalton) woman is celebrating winning £1000 in a lottery that helps raise money for two local churches.
The winner, who asked not to be named, won the money in last week's draw for the lottery that helps raise money for St Mary's Church, in Dalton, and St Peter's, in Ireleth, both in South Cumbria.
Rev Mitchell said being part of Unity helped the churches raise nearly £400 a month.
He said: "We set up an individual lottery scheme with Sterling just after the millennium but then Sterling suggested it might be a better strategy for us to join Unity.
"Each month we can raise just under £400. The move to Unity was one of the best moves we have made because we are guaranteed that amount each month to help run the churches.
"The funding we get from the lottery goes into paying for general costs like our insurance and paying United Utility bills and gas and fuel. If we have any spare we can put into any special projects."
For a full copy of the news article visit http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/dalton-woman-celebrating-winning-1000-in-a-lottery-that-helps-raise-money-for-two-local-churches-1.1123451
Winner - Best Lottery Provider Award
We are delighted to have won the Best Lottery Provider Award at the Partners in Fundraising Awards held by the Institute of Fundraising.
The awards were created two years ago to recognise the best performing companies and service providers in the fundraising sector.
The award caps of a successful 12 months for Sterling, which saw it hold its inaugural Lottery Forum in October.
Great news for London Irish Rugby Club as a member of their Clubdraw lottery wins £25,000.
Matched by Sterling a further 25,000 goes to the club.
Christmas smiles all round for the club and their members.
Congratulations from the Sterling team.
Best Lottery Provider Award
Please Vote for Sterling
We are pleased to announce Sterling have been nominated for the IoF - Partners in Fundraising Awards for Best Lottery Provider 2014
If you are a member of the IoF we would be extremely grateful if you could vote for us at the web address below.
The closing date for voting is 31st December 2013 - please vote now.
Thank you for taking the time to vote for us.
540 winning members in this week's Unity lottery draw.
Congratulations to all the organisations that had winning members this week.
As a lottery membership scheme Unity allows you to give your supporters the chance to receive something back for their valued support.
Sterling held their first Lottery Forum and it was lovely to meet and greet all the delegates who attended. We hope you had an enjoyable day as well as gathering lots of useful ideas to increase your lottery membership.
Keynote speakers included Joe Saxton - founder of nfpynergy
Caroline Hampson – author of Tick Over or Take Off
The image shows an interactive session by Helen Coldicott entitled - How to promote your lottery through Social Media.
Magnum Direct – Face to Face Donor Recruitment – www.magnumdirect.co.uk
Listen -Telesales -The Listening People – www.connectfundraising.co.uk
NRG – Direct Mailing – www.nrgdirectmail.co.uk
Cybertill – Electronic Point of Sale System – www.cybertill.co.uk
DLG – Data Locator Group – www.dig.co.uk
Edgley Social Media – www.edgleysocialmedia.co.uk
Thank you to everyone who supported this event and we hope this is only the start!
How to Make Your Charity a Lottery Winner
Please click below to view the article that was featured in the Guardian newspaper:
We all like to share and tell our friends when we do something positive to help a good cause - se we have created a Facebook sharing facility. Everyone who joins Unity Lottery online can share their good deed with all of their Facebook friends. Friends often have common interests and experiences and will therefore be highly likely to want to support a good cause via a friend's recommendation.
This facility is being piloted at the moment and should be up and running in the next few weeks.
Increased Customer Service
We welcome Denise to the Sterling team as Business Development Manager; to help us provide an even better service to you.
Denise is looking forward to meeting and working with our clients using her wealth of customer service experience; starting with the Hospice Lotteries Association Conference this week.
Also attending are our colleagues Sam (Clients Account Manager) and Shirley (Lottery Administration Manager) so please go along and say 'hello'.
It is pleasing that an organisation that works with young people has made steady development in the last 12 months.
To increase their funding, Key started their Unity lottery on October 2012, to help with increasing costs towards unlocking vulnerable peoples futures.
Key works with young people to:
- Prevent homelessness
- To find and keep a home
- Develop self confidence and wellbeing
- Learn new skills
We wish them continues success and to support their valuable work visit
In this week's draw, 75 different Unity organisations have had winning members.
516 winning cheques have been posted today to the lucky members; all supporting a good cause of their choice.
Making both organisations and members winners!
National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society
The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) has joined Unity to set up a lottery to help boost their funds to help:
support, inform and educate the estimated 690,000 people living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) across the UK; as well as their families, carers and the healthcare professionals who treat them.
Sterling's team look forward to working with them to help build a successful lottery.
495 winning members in this week's Unity lottery who are supporting a total of 70 different good causes.
As Unity is a lottery membership scheme it gives your supporters the chance to receive something back for their valued support.
Our latest organisation to join the Unity lottery is:
The Hub Radio is community radio for the central South Cornwall area. Our aim is to deliver local information and programming to local people made by the people themselves.
We wish them a very successful lottery.
Welcome to Unity:
The Army of Angels:
a UK Military Charity that provides direct and indirect support to members of the UK's armed forces who have been injured, physically or mentally, while serving their country in conflicts around the world.
We wish you lots of success in your fundraising.
Lorraine, Sterling's Project Co-ordinator, enjoyed meeting everyone at the Institute of Fundraisers Conference last week.
Thank you to everyone who came to speak to us and we hope you enjoyed your yummy cup cake supplied by Miriam's Munchies.
£1000 winning members supporting the following organisations in this week's Unity Draw:
- Bluebell Railway - restoration and maintenance of steam hauled services betwenn East Grinstead and Sheffield park.
- SPUC - protection of unborn children;
- Helen and Douglas House - caring for children and young adults with life - shortening conditions and support to their families.
A record 535 winning members in this week's Unity lottery draw.
All supporting a good cause of their choice.
National Volunteers Week 2013
If you don’t already know it’s National Volunteers Week 1st-7th June 2013. Here at Sterling we are pleased to support our colleagues when they are undertaking voluntary work.
Carol our Marketing Assistant is a Brown Owl, leading a pack of brownies on a weekly basis. She plans lots of fun activities for the girls and teaches them valuable life skills. She has donated her time for a number of years and is now happy to welcome her former brownies back to her pack as leaders.
Karl Wild our Business Managers is chairman of his local Village Green Association and spends his free time ensuring the village green is mowed and maintained on a regular basis in the summer months.
In addition to being our expert raffle administrator Helen Beddoes is a Parent Governor at her sons Primary School. She plays an important role in maintaining standards throughout the school.
We are very proud of our colleagues volunteering to support our local community.
A Thank You for Playing Unity Lottery
Over 500 players were lucky enough to win a small prize in Saturday's Unity Lottery draw. As well as knowing their lottery entry is helping their chosen worthy cause they will receive a little “thank you” winners cheque in the post this week.
This is why a lottery is an excellent fundraising tool – supporters have the chance of winning a prize, an extra thank you for their kindness.
We are really pleased Epsom & Ewell Citizens Advice Bureau have a £1000 winning member in this week's Unity Draw.
-giving free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to over 3000 local residents.
£1000 Winner for NKF Member
A triple kidney transplant recipient is a delighted £1000 winner in the National Kidney Federation’s Unity lottery.
Understanding the good work the NKF does firsthand Mr Philp said “when I opened it and I had got £1000 I couldn’t believe it.”
Peter Revell, head of fundraising at the NKF, said he was very happy to hear Mr Philp’s good news and he hoped it would encourage more people to sign up to the lottery, which has been helping contribute to the charity’s work for the last four years.
Richard Dixon, managing director of Sterling Lotteries, said: “I am very happy to hear Ken’s good news; it gives us a lot of pleasure at Sterling when we learn our lotteries are making people happy and helping good causes at the same time.”
are busy promoting their new Unity lottery
-to raise funds to give disadvantaged children life-changing help.
We wish them fantastic success.
We are pleased with the response so far for Sterling's
Lottery Forum 2013
To find out more and book a place visit:
Out of the 471 winning members in this week's Unity draw, some of the £1000 winners are supporting:
Open Image Films
who have set up a Unity lottery to help with:
offering practical hands on experience in the art of film making.
This is regardless of academic qualifications or financial circumstances.
We wish them every success.
Winning Unity £1000 members this week are supporting:
Brendoncare - providing care for older people in care centres and well-being in the community
Leicester Animal Aid Association - providing a second chance for abandoned, neglected or unwanted dogs and cats.
Claire house - supporting babies, infants, children and young people who have multiple special needs or life threatening illnesses.
County air Ambulance HELP Appeal - increasing the provision of helicopter landing pads.
There are a further 481 winners supporting 70 different good causes.
We are delighted in helping to raise funds to provide specially adapted housing for severely injured and disabled Service and ex-Service people.
Our best wishes for a successful lottery.
There are over 500 winning members this week in the Unity Lottery.
Want to Double Your Lottery?
Sterling are inviting you to attend our:
Lottery Forum 2013
"Do you want to double your lottery in the next 12 months"
Venue: The Stratford Manor Hotel Date: 10th October 2013
To find out more visit http://lotteryforum2013.eventbrite.co.uk
Winners Support 71 Good Causes
In this week's Unity draw there are 460 winning members supporting 71 different good causes.
Fantastic Four £1000 Winners
Lucky Unity members who have each won £1000 this week are supporting:
Brendoncare - providing care for older people in care centres and well-being clubs in the community
County Air Ambulance HELP Appeal - providing helipads for hospitals
Helen and Douglas House - giving time and expertise to care for chldren and young adults with life-shortening conditions and support their families
Tenovus - help and prevent, treat and find a cure for cancer.
In this week's Unity draw there are £1000 winners for members supporting:
- Claire House Children's Hospice
- County Air Ambulance HELP Appeal
- Julia's House
We are very pleased that the Bluebell Railway, who have only recently joined Unity, had their first winning member.
We are delighted out rebranded website is now complete with a more vibrant look.
The comments from our Unity clients have been very positive and I hope the easy 'to join' facilities makes it successful for everyone.
The organisations shown below have recently joined Unity and we are looking forward to working with them towards building successful lotteries.
In this week's Unity draw there were 450 winning members supporting 60 different good causes.
We would like to welcome to Unity:
who provide search and rescue services 24/7, 365 days of the year and we wish Severn Area Rescue Association every success with their new lottery.