8 min read

The Complete Guide to Thank You Videos for Nonprofits

The humble expression of gratitude- it is simple, yet one of the most important. It keeps us going throughout the day. Personal or professional, a thank-you can make or break relationships. Do not underestimate a thank you message designed to express gratitude.

Social psychologists define gratitude as an emotion that directly targets building and sustaining social bonding. That is why humans feel the need to feel grateful and to be appreciated. Expressing thanks can be done in several ways- a letter, a handwritten note, an email, a gift, a greeting card, an e-card, and a video.

Among the above ways of expressing gratitude, video is, today, a far more powerful and impactful medium. The reasons for its popularity are based on science, not just trends. Research by Usurv reveals that the brain consumes videos 60000 times faster than text or still photographs. The reason: reading requires heavier cognitive involvement and humans are wired to avoid hard work and difficult tasks. Watching a video is a passive and automatic activity, which demands less energy and effort. Videos immerse viewers easily and arouse an empathetic connection with the screen.

Hence, thank you videos for nonprofits - a key component of video content calendars for nonprofits.


Among the various types of videos, the key reason for organizations to create and share thank you videos? Organizations want to appreciate and express gratitude toward supporters and contributors. They (supporters/contributors), too, desire acknowledgement and information about how the contributions made by them helped a cause.

Fundraising author, speaker, and trainer, Amy Eisenstein, share cues, “A key component of raising money is tapping into your donor's emotions. You can personalize a Thank You video by including clients thanking specific donors. Ask them to finish a sentence like: Thanks to you, I am able to… (have your clients fill in the blank). For example, thanks to you, I am able to access world class medical care. Thanks to you, I have a safe place to go after school. Thanks to you, I have enough to eat every day.”

Year-end thank you video

Marketers often look for new ideas for thank you videos for nonprofits. The end of a year or financial year is a good opportunity to thank donors and stakeholders. Year-end thank you videos could talk about the milestones reached, the impact created, the number of beneficiaries supported and more. These videos could be used as New Year greetings or shared with donors along with the New Year email greeting -  often an overlooked opportunity. Most nonprofit organizations end up sharing a visual greeting card alone. What if organizations attach a thank you video with the greeting email?

Here’s how IDRI rounded up their key achievements in their year end thank you video: Lively music, short video bytes of the team members holding placards that list the achievements of the organization in that year.

Before a campaign

Organizations often look for ideas for videos before campaigns. Donors want to see the impact of their donations. Sharing a thank you video before a new campaign is a good way of telling them how their money will be used. Donors may not be able to see the impact of the organization’s work on the field. That’s where a video can be immensely effective. Footage from the field, interviews and testimonials of the beneficiaries can be combined to create an emotional connection and help them get closer with the real work on field. Punctuate the video with thank you messages aligned with the footage and visuals.

After a campaign

Your organization ran a campaign. It could be for raising funds, for generating awareness, for a cause or marketing. There’s a lot that goes into campaigns – time, money, efforts, resources and more. A good way to keep the impact of the campaign going even after it is over, is by sharing information about it. A thank you video for people who contributed to the campaign could be one way of doing so. Just like what Greater Good did - a thank you video dedicated to one of the foundation’s projects - Madrean Discovery Expedition. The video shares key information about the program. At the end, volunteers and the team thank sponsors.

Thank you video post donations

Donor retention is a key challenge for nonprofit organizations. On average, only around 50% donors continue supporting the same organization year after year. Could thank you videos post donations help retain donors? A thank you video shared just after a donation is made could be more impactful than just a thank you letter.

Ensure these three things:

  • Thank the donor genuinely
  • Let them know how their donation would be used
  • Make sure the video is shared immediately after the donation is made

According to experts, donors’ decisions to stay loyal and extend continuous support to organizations may be based on three reasons:

  • A timely and immediate acknowledgement, which should be more than just a receipt.
  • They must know the impact of their donation and how it helped someone.
  • They must have the opportunity to support a specific aspect/program rather than a general cause.

Tip: Do not make donor thank you videos about asking for more. Let them be genuine thank you messages and just that. The purpose of these videos should be to foster deeper relationships with the donor. It may increase their loyalty and affinity for your organization.

Thank you video for volunteers

Volunteers are the backbone of nonprofit organizations. Cash-strapped organizations often rely on volunteer service. Most large nonprofit organizations have volunteer programs - an important resource that helps nonprofits grow faster, good volunteers are often hard to come by. A part of keeping good volunteers supporting your organization would be to sincerely thank them and make them feel special.

Here’s a video that Rosies Place created to thank its volunteers. Starting the video with simple text messages, the video shows footage of team members telling them how the volunteers work helped the organization, ending the video with text. Short, snappy and simple, yet, touching.

For different types of videos, the reason or purpose to create the video often guides the content of the video. However, it is essential to consider certain key aspects in a thank you video.


Nonprofit fundraising and marketing blogger Allison Gauss talks about three key aspects of a thank you email, which we think, can be applied to videos, too.

  • Know the donor: Whereas a video meant to be for a larger audience cannot be personalized like an email can be, it still makes a difference if you know your circle of donors. Perhaps you want to create a thank you video for donors of a specific program or donors of a particular category of donations. Acknowledging details, the history and impact of the donations could help. Here’s a touching video by the Leukemia Foundation.

By simply sharing photographs of the beneficiaries with thank you messages from them, the foundation created a deeper connection between the donors and the beneficiaries.  Behavioural scientists have found that people are more responsive when they are aware of identifiable beneficiaries as opposed to statistical numbers.

  • Be specific about what you’re thanking donors for: By knowing details about the program that donors supported, you can share updates of the program in the video and remind the donors of its purpose, why they gave and strengthen their connection with your organization’s work.

A tip to remember: do not make another ask in this message. Let it be about celebrating what the donor has done and how it will make a difference.

  • Know how you will turn their donation into impact: A thank you message should leave a donor feeling like they’ve accomplished something. Explaining how their donation will be used for a good cause will make them feel good about their contribution.

But this doesn’t mean only large nonprofit organizations can create thank you videos. Even small and cash-strapped organizations can make impressive thank you videos. Here’s how:


Like any marketing video, you have a minute or two to capture the attention of the viewers of your thank you video. Here’s how you go! Follow these steps so that you make sure you include all the key elements and follow the best process of video-making.

Define the purpose of the video

Of course, the main purpose of your video is to say thank you. But you could say it in different ways. Think about any other goal you may have, which you could incorporate into your thank you video - sharing milestones achieved, impact created, or sharing about new and upcoming programs and projects.

Create a narrative

Work out a rough narrative or topic for the video. Will the video be narrative with just visuals and text? Will it have footage of people or places? Is it going to be a simple speech/message or a story?. Pet Community Centre created a short thank you video around a simple yet impactful theme: you were there. The video makes donors' contributions meaningful at every stage and in every activity of the foundation, creating an instant emotional connection.

Gather the content/media needs

Gather written content, visuals, brand compliance essentials such as the logo, video footage, audio and more. Tip: Remember to use kind words. Here are a few phrases you could use:

  • “We could not have done this work without you.”
  • “Thank you for your partnership.”
  • Thank you for being you.”
  • “Thank you for your investment.”
  • “We are building something big together.”
  • “We have accomplished a lot, together with you.”

Audio, text, brand compliance material

Since this is a thank you video, you might want to choose a soothing, happy and inspiring background music. For voiceovers, ensure the voice sounds happy and enthusiastic.

Create a storyboard

The storyboard could have three key sections: text, visuals and intent. Once the storyboard is ready, start designing the video. It’s best to format your storyboard in a format where visuals and text/dialogues can be seen together, not separately, as explained in this guide. Here’s an example.

Design the video

Designing a video is easier than newbies and amateurs think. At Typito, one of our key endeavours is to inspire marketers at nonprofit organizations to design various kinds of videos with ease. They can do so by simply choosing one of the many templates for thank you videos.

Typito provides a range of templates for thank you videos. Users of Typito thank you templates have described the templates as: intuitive, value for money, carefully designed, no training needed, and easy. Features such as drag-drop, choice for video formats, one-click resizing, mix and match lower thirds, intro animations, and easy customization to meet brand guidelines, make the process fast and efficient. Follow this checklist to ensure you include key elements in videos.


A video can live out for months and years. It is the most shareable form of content. One that provides the most human and personal connection to viewers. And there are several ways to share it. Here are the best spaces to share them:

Upload it on a video platform

If the video is for public viewing, upload it on a video sharing platform such as Vimeo or Youtube. That will make it easier to embed the link into various communication materials, such as emails, blogs, websites, and more.

On the donation confirmation page

As soon as donors make donations online, the immediate next page that they are automatically taken to, is the donation confirmation page. Why waste this opportunity to offer immediate appreciation for their contribution and in the process, maybe, secure future donations, too. Donation confirmation pages are otherwise pretty blank and a boring thank you message may not do justice to your donors’ efforts.

In the donation confirmation email

Next, share a thank you video in the donation confirmation email. This is your chance to make the message personal. Personalized messages to donors make connections stronger and improve donor loyalty.


Does your organization have a periodic newsletter? Share the video in the newsletter. It will have a much wider reach.

Personalized emails

Whoever the thank you video is for, whether it is for volunteers, for donors, for partner organizations, employees or others, there is nothing more special than a personalized message.

Social media

Perhaps the first place where you’d share the thank you video. But what if you waited and kept the best for the last? Share the video with the individual stakeholders in personalized emails before sharing it with the world. It will make the stakeholder feel special.

To sum it up, take a look at our thank you video playlist. Get ideas, feel inspired, create your own thank you videos using any of Typito templates. Are you a registered nonprofit? Do you have videos to create for your video content calendar? We offer a 50% discount to your subscription. But before that, you can get started for free.