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5 favourite fundraising videos – picked by the professionals


GOSH Charity’s Liz Tait and National Zakat Foundation’s Nazia Hassan are among the charity professionals sharing with us the fundraising video that has caught their eye, and why.

Age UK – Love Later Life  

Chosen by Nazia Hassan, Head of Marketing at National Zakat Foundation

“This is a beautiful example of how you can promote your brand purpose: ‘valuing the ageing nation’, and deliver your tactical objectives such as ‘raise funds’, in one execution.


“Their new approach was governed by research that raised the need to challenge perceptions of old people. This advert does just that in a number of clever ways. Its unconventional and simple cinematic style spoils the viewer, and causes a feeling of surprise that it’s ‘just a charity advert’. Seldom do we see charity fundraising adverts that have this level of sophistication and avoid guilt-led messaging to provoke sympathetic emotions.


“Here is an example where we are encouraged to demonstrate prosocial behaviour towards a group who are otherwise left behind and unsupported. The diversity of subjects, growing from a young age to old right in front on your eyes, provokes me to think how might I look when I age, or will I see someone that looks like me.


“Sadly on this occasion, no one quite represents a 30 something Muslim women, with South Asian roots. In 2021 and the rising culture of wokeness, it’s ever more important to represent intra-community differences too, whether it be faith or other. That said, this advert does attempt to deliver a message of inclusivity, but perhaps they could launch a new one representing even more of us!


“Most striking part of this advert is the poem overlaid with the film – Ageing is not a disease to be cured. This statement instantly brings me into the fold, indeed I will age just the same, no matter how hard we search for the elixir of life. All these components win me over to their brand purpose. Age UK will celebrate me when I am old, so I should celebrate them now. In other words, I should advocate, I should find out more, I should give funds.”

Age UK & Cadbury: Donate your words

Chosen by Liz Tait, Director of Fundraising, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity)

“This collaboration between Age UK and Cadbury is a brilliant example of an effective corporate partnership. While the video raises awareness of loneliness, it also had a fundraising campaign alongside it. Cadbury donated 30p from the sale of each chocolate bar, and the campaign helped to sell a million bars of chocolate and also galvanised 460,000 people to ‘donate their words’ during its run.


“I chose this video as it is a great example of a corporate partner being really engaged with the charity’s cause through shining a spotlight on what the charity wants to help fix (in this case loneliness in older people) while the wider partnership also raises funds to support the services the charity delivers.  Partnerships and creative content like this are an essential part of diversifying a charity’s audience and reaching people who may not have a connection to the organisation. We’re very lucky at GOSH Charity that our corporate partners are behind everything we do, and are always thinking of new and innovative ways to help tell our charity story to their audiences.


“This video works so well because it’s a great illustration of emotive storytelling. ‘Donate Your Words’ was released about six months before the UK went into lockdown, and watching it a year after we were all told to stay at home, it feels more relevant than ever. 30 hours of isolation doesn’t seem like much, but when you take away all the coping mechanisms you may have used over the past year – Netflix, video calls with family, messaging friends, or even stepping out in the garden if you have one – it dawns on you how difficult this must be. This has been the reality for so many people who have been living alone and shielding to protect themselves and others from Covid-19.


“Sue Perkins is a great choice for this film. She’s such a well-known face in TV and comedy across generations, and really gets across how the novelty of the ‘experiment’ wears off. Boredom becomes frustration, and eventually anxiety. You get a sense of why people become withdrawn and, at the end, why a visit from another person can bring so much light into your world. At GOSH Charity we always use real GOSH families in our films as this helps bring a sense of authenticity to the message. Although it’s not confirmed whether the woman who Sue greets at the end uses Age UK services, the storytelling and message is so strong, you assume she has been supported by Age UK, which rounds off the whole film really well.”

Amnesty Netherlands

Chosen by Ian Carr, Head of Fundraising (Coventry), Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice

“I’ve chosen a 5-minute charity video that has stayed with me for a few years after first seeing it in 2018. It is a Dutch film for Amnesty International where volunteer members of the public are hypnotised to go through the experiences of a refugee and why they are seeking refuge in the Netherlands. I can safely say it’s the most powerful charity video I’ve ever seen.


“The mechanism of using hypnotism to put people through the real life events of someone from a war torn country really puts the viewer into the world and is very effective. An already moving and fascinating story, the film’s ending is even more emotive as the volunteers watch what they went through under hypnosis and are introduced to the lady whose real-life experiences they replicated. The originality of this concept and the stark and insightful look at the cause puts the volunteers and the viewer in the shoes of the refugee and immediately raises questions about what it would be like to go through this horrific time. Personally, although it’s a cause nothing like the cause we work for here at Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice, it had a huge impact on me and I am sure would with anyone watching it.”

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home & FCB Inferno: Rescue is Our Favourite Breed

Chosen by Victoria Laing, Individual Giving Manager, WaterAid

“I love the attitude of the Battersea ads. A great proposition with a different way to hero their story – loud and proud about rescue animals.


“Upbeat and showing the animals in such a sassy way no matter what their story. Great to see an ad with a positive note throughout without having to rely on the more typical ‘need’ to create emotion.


“Simple messages with impact throughout the ad and great use of music all work together to enhance the mood and feisty attitude.”

Cancer Research UK & Anomaly: A very 2020 Race for Life

Chosen by Belinda Dreyer, RNIB Challenge Events Manager

“The reason I like this video promoting Race for Life is because they made it real and relatable. I like that the video itself is called ‘A very 2020 Race for Life’ and they’ve made light of the fact that 2020 didn’t quite go as we’d all planned.


“They’ve used real participants instead of actors which I think is important because it helps you imagine yourself doing the event, and even though the event was virtual they’ve managed to convey a real sense of community and most importantly made it look fun!”

Main image: by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

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