The 2018 #MyGivingStory contest offers the chance to win a grant up to $10,000 for your favorite nonprofit organization by responding to the prompt, “Every act of giving has a story. What’s yours?” Entries can be submitted in essay or video format throughout the month of November.

Video can be a fun way to spread the word about why you give and are great for sharing over social media. Below are a couple of sample videos to get you thinking, but you don’t need fancy equipment to create a compelling video! Here are some tips and tricks for making a compelling #MyGivingStory video:

  • The camera on your phone is just fine!
  • Turn your phone on airplane mode while you're filming so you don't get any notification sounds in your recording.
  • Brace yourself. Finding ways to brace yourself while you shoot video is the key to making your footage look smooth.Tuck your elbows into your sides as you film, rest your camera up against something for support, or invest in a mini-tripod or gimbal.
  • Make sure that you and anyone else you are filming are well lit. Natural lighting is best, but keep in mind that you don't want to be backlit. Face the windows when you're filming instead of having them behind you. 
  • Write down the 3 key points of the video on a Post-it note and place the note above the camera lens on your phone. This will help you to remember what you are going to say while also helping you to look in the right place while filming.
  • You can start and stop - so no need to get through your whole pitch at once. (You may need to edit the clips together though. Try iMovie or the Adobe Premiere Clip app.)
  • Speak from the heart. The more personal your story, the more compelling it will be. Think about what or who inspires you to give back. Have you given time, donated money or goods, or shared skills that made a meaningful impact? What is the first time you remember giving? Is there a moment or event that changed your understanding of generosity?
  • Wear bright colors. 

By sharing our stories, we can inspire others to give. Share your giving story from now through November 30, 2018.