Rally 101: Using Video on Your Rally Page

In this post on how to choose the best images for your Rally’s page, we look at video Covers. Just as with a photo Cover, the video introduces your Rally to potential supporters.

Your Rally video needs to clearly communicate your message and your Rally’s story, allowing a potential supporter to watch it and, right off the bat, understand your cause and your passion for it—what you’re fundraising for and why.

As smartphone videocameras improve and such videography apps as Vine and Instagram get easier and faster to download, people are producing and posting more online videos than ever. We’re hungry for video: for entertainment, for news, and for communicating ideas and messages that are important to us.


Video-Storytelling Basics

We’ve included a variety of videos in this post for storytelling inspiration. But—and this is very important—you don’t have to create a highly produced video for your Rally. No matter how slick or low-budget your video Cover, there are some fundamentals to consider when you’re planning and filming it.

1) The main element that all video Covers should have is that they answer the 5 W’s and H questions about your Rally: Who, what, where, when, why, and how.

2) You can use your smartphone’s camera to shoot a video or film yourself in front of your computer. You do not need professional-level equipment to create a Rally video, and you don’t have to choreograph and coordinate your Cover in an elaborate way to share you story. Just talk directly into the camera to explain your cause in an open, heartfelt manner.

3) If you have video footage, or even still photos, of the people affected by your Rally, use those to add an effective visual contrast to a simple video of you, the Rally leader, sharing your Rally’s story.

4) Aim for a video that is about 2 minutes long if you’re filming your Cover with your computer’s camera or a smartphone camera. Covers that run longer, such as the above video for Raise the River, use a movie trailer to tell the Rally’s story. These Covers are professionally photographed, with very high image quality and audio quality, which capture and hold a viewer’s attention for a longer period of time.


Creating Videos with YouTube (It’s Not Just for Watching SNL!)

Let’s say you don’t own a video camera and your don’t have a great camera on your phone. You can record a Cover video using YouTube.


YouTube’s video-creation site, youtube.com/upload, has easy-to-use tools to upload a Cover to your Rally page.

As you can see from the above graphic, you can upload videos you have already recorded. If you want to use YouTube to film your Cover, here are some of the functions that will let you do so.

youtube_webcam_captureThe easiest way to film a video with YouTube is with Webcam capture. After you click on the Record button, you will get a new screen prompt requesting access to your computer’s webcam and microphone. Once you allow that access, you can start recording.


You can also use Photo slideshow to take photos related to your Rally and assemble them into a video narrative. YouTube gives you the option to choose from photos and photo albums already tied to your YouTube/Google account, or you can upload photos from your computer or another device.

youtube_video_editor_functionVideo editor lets you work with videos you’ve uploaded to YouTube, allowing you to do everything from creating transitions in between scenes and adding text and music to your video, to adding filtering and other effects and adjusting the brightness and contrast of the images.

youtube_CC_licenseYou can grab videos under the Creative Commons license to incorporate into your Rally Cover.

youtube_add_photos_buttonOr you can add still photos to your video with the Add photos to project button.

Rally.org has partnered with YouTube on other functionalities, and you can learn more about those features in this blog post.


Shooting Tips

A few final notes before you begin shooting your video Cover.

1) Find a quiet room in which to film, without music, outside noise, or other audio distractions. Rooms with carpet, upholstery, or other fabric work best, since the fabric reduces echoes.

2) Make sure your filming area is lit well. Lots of indoor light works for a simple Cover video. (Natural light can also look great, but too much sun and you or the person your filming may end up squinting into the camera.)

3) Film in a horizontal layout. As with photo Covers, a landscape format (the image is wider than it is tall) looks best.

We’ll be back soon with more Rally 101 pointers for creating a great fundraising page.

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