Seven Video Thank-Yous From Private School Development Offices
Vol. 12 No. 10
Saying thank you is one of the simplest ways to show your appreciation when a donor gives to your school—and one of the best ways to encourage repeated generosity. Most schools opt to do so in a letter, note, or phone call. This year, why not buck tradition and make a thank-you video?
To get you started, we’ve collected some of the best private-independent school video thank-yous from around the web. Ranging from technically masterful and scripted to the spontaneous and genuine, all epitomize the sincere and heartfelt appreciation your own end-of-year thanks should embody.
1. The Baylor School
This thank-you video by the Baylor School to annual fund donors is a creative treat. Many administrators and students lip-sync to Sly & The Family Stone’s “Thank You.” This video—and others created by this school’s creative Development Office—prove that you don’t need to have a fancy script or state-of-the-art equipment to create fun, meaningful video thank-yous to your donors!
2. Mansfield Christian School
Mansfield Christian School met their 2013 annual fund goal and released this video thank-you to donors who helped make this achievement possible. What’s nice about this video is that it makes a point of listing all the things the money raised goes toward: paying down mortgages, educational resources, and tuition assistance. Plus, it restates the mission of the school, reminding donors why they gave in the first place.
3. All Saints Episcopal Day School
All Saints Episcopal Day School created a digital slide featuring all the different projects funded by their annual fund. It’s a visual representation of what those dollars managed to achieve for the students, which every donor loves to see. (The choice of music was very apt, too!)
4. Episcopal School of Dallas
Episcopal School of Dallas created an interesting word-cloud introduction that led into different students and groups individually thanking the donors for their generosity. From administrators to younger children to the Mandarin club—we think they’re saying “thank you”!—it certainly encapsulates the enormity of the annual fund: It’s a program that touches all parts of the school rather than a single grade or classroom.
5. St. Michael's School
St. Michael’s School takes elements from both All Saints Episcopal Day School and the Episcopal School of Dallas. This presentation includes snippets of video and clips demonstrating the tangible results provided by the annual fund with students and faculty offering their thanks to donors. John Williams’s “Superman” theme in the background certainly sends St. Michael’s School’s final message loud and clear: “You’re Our Superheroes!”
6. St. Thomas' Episcopal School
St. Thomas’s Episcopal School decided to take its thanks around the globe by having students and faculty say thanks in a variety of languages—including Romanian, French, and Vietnamese. A classic technique with a global citizen flair, an adaptation of this video might be good for a capital campaign with a focus on international education or study abroad programs.
7. St. Thomas' Episcopal School (Again!)
We know, we know—we already have St. Thomas on our list! But its “Before and After” video was so good, we had to include it. By showing how the school was before the donors’ generosity and how those gifts impacted the school afterward, it creates a powerful testament to the transformative influence of such gifts, as well as encouraging more donations with its discussion of “on-deck” projects. (Plus, the simple slide-show format is one even a novice videographer can master!)
We hope that after viewing these electronic thank-yous, you feel inspired to do something similar at your own school. It doesn’t take a lot of money or expertise to create something simple—just a smartphone with video capture, your school, and a little imagination.
Additional ISM resources:
ISM Monthly Update for Development Directors Vol. 12 No. 3 Donor Recognition: Appealing and Gratifying to the Donor
ISM Monthly Update for Development Directors Vol. 9 No. 9 The Donor Bill of Rights
ISM Monthly Update for School Heads Vol. 9 No. 3 The Head's Role in Landing—and Keeping—Major Donors
ISM Monthly Update for Development Directors Vol. 9 No. 5 All Kinds of Thank Yous
Additional ISM resources for Gold Consortium members:
I&P Vol. 32 No. 10 Seven Gift Planning Tips for a Small Development Office
I&P Vol. 31 No. 16 The Development Quartet: The Core Leadership Team of the Comprehensive Development Model
I&P Vol. 35 No. 6 Influencing Upward: Skills for the Development Director