The Best Charitable Video Examples for Making Your Donors Cry

I’m reasonably sure that it’s not typically one of your objectives to make your donors cry. But engaging them emotionally is the key to involving them in your cause as a supporter, volunteer, and donor.

We’ve written about this in our post “Why Donors Give.” We find two broad categories of giving: acting from the heart and acting from the head. Giving is a deeply personal act. It takes both thought and emotion to support giving to an organization. But it’s the emotional impact that makes the decision.

Capturing Hearts and Minds

So, how best do we capture the hearts and minds of potential donors? By telling our very best stories of how we have made a difference in people’s lives and demonstrating the benefits of our work. There’s no better way to tell those stories than through video.

We’ve done some research to find the best examples of videos that reach prospective donors on an emotional level. We hope these provide lessons into how you can make a big difference in your fundraising.

Hope for Paws

This is an extremely powerful video of a dog rescue. The captions and music pull you right into the message. There’s a real story at the heart of this video, and it asks for you to make a difference through your donation.

Kindred Image

Titled the “Drop Box Movie Campaign,” you need to watch this to see what’s being placed in the dropbox. The music, the images, and the extremely powerful message will make you cry. It will also make you reach in your pocket to support their efforts.

charity: water

Rachel Beckwith’s wish was to raise $300 through her own fundraising page to supply water to those in need around the world. After she was killed in a car accident, people picked up her mission and raised $1.2 million in one month. This video tells the story and makes you want to chip in as well.

World Help

An overview of Operation Baby Rescue is told in this trailer. The video focuses on rescuing babies from malnutrition. Then you are able to follow the story that the impact donations had in another video. Both of these videos have compelling messages and world class video, coupled with a call to action.

Right to Try

A story of a medication needed for a young boy and a medication that’s available, but not FDA approved. This personal story urges you to action in support to him and his family as well as many, many others. 

Emotions Make It Work

Children and animals will always pull on our heart strings. But if your organization has a different mission, and most do, you can still tell emotional, stirring videos to raise donations.

The common elements in all these videos are: 

  • Storytelling. You can’t just provide a list of facts. It needs to be a story. That’s how we learn, remember, and take action.
  • Power of One. Complexity in storytelling is not your friend. Pick a single emotional story that tells what you’re all about.
  • Images. Photos say so much more than words. They connect deep within our brains and drive our emotions. 
  • Authenticity. Videos help us view the truth in every story. If it’s not authentic, we can tell, usually right away.

For further thoughts on using emotions in your fundraising pitches try “Cry Me a River: Why and How Emotions Can Save Fundraising and the Non Profit World.” I also like The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s “Making Videos That Meet a Charity’s Goals: Advice from the Experts.”

Raise More Funds in 2017

Of course, it’s all about raising more funds to support your organization’s mission and programs. We recognize that can be challenging as we’re in the trenches every day working with a wide variety of nonprofits on all their fundraising efforts. 

Given that background, we have the services, the experience, and the expertise to help with whatever fundraising challenge you’re currently facing.

You can contact us at (855) 329-4327 or

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John Connors

John Connors

John is a passionate patriot and business owner. He launched Campaign Now in 2008 to help free-market oriented, American organizations increase their reach and achieve important results. When he’s not strategizing growth plans with clients, you can find him sharpening his history chops, playing tennis in the Texas heat, or spending time with family.


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