Can videos raise dollars in higher ed? Frank, Carly, and I have spent enough time debating this question internally, so we put it to Chris Enochs, Creative Services Director for Georgetown University’s Advancement Division on a fundraising focused episode of the Video for Colleges podcast. In his nearly 20 years as a Hoya, Chris has helped make visual storytelling an essential ingredient in the cultivation process. Though he isn’t getting sole credit for a multi-million dollar gift anytime soon, he thinks that fundraisers who recognize the power of our medium have an advantage:
“Video can create the sense of momentum that you need to successfully fundraise. I think that’s the most crucial thing. People get engaged when they feel like something is happening.”
If there is such a thing as an advancement auteur, Chris Enochs is one of them. He has crafted multimedia content for a pair of successful fundraising campaigns. When Chris first arrived on campus, production on Georgetown Forever was already underway. The format was 16mm film. The video we discussed on podcast episode 9, One Day at Georgetown, features selfie-style footage from at least a dozen iPhones, which students recorded over the course of one day – October 16, 2014. Two decades ago, his department put out 1-2 videos per year. Now he’s capable of delivering up to 50 annually.
Between Forever and One Day, Chris has come to realize that asking people to give because they love Georgetown isn’t always enough, especially for high level prospects. He works closely with major gift officers to create customized content that shows potential donors how their philanthropic goals can be achieved through the university. On this episode, we get to hear how Chris plans to transform the way giving proposals are constructed and presented. “There could be a huge ROI if a video is something that really helps clarify a concept for a potential donor. Maybe that’s just for an audience of one.”
For tailored content or event videos (annual events drive his production calendar), Chris doesn’t get hung up on online view counts. But for videos produced specifically for the web, the most obvious measure of success is reach. One Day at Georgetown might be the most popular “crafted message” he has ever produced (he doesn’t count sports highlights or videos that feature bulldogs or Bono). Learn why this message of gratitude resonated with its target audience and beyond.