In our modern, visual world, video is king.
It has the unique ability to combine images, dialogue, and movement into one powerful format that captures the minds and hearts of viewers. It’s not surprising, then, that video content has emerged as a leading marketing strategy in the mission-driven sector.
We’ll let the research speak for itself: 80% of global internet traffic in 2023 will come from video.
People appreciate the authenticity that nonprofit video content has to offer. Not only do videos tell a story, but they also go a long way towards humanizing your brand. If your organization isn’t already prioritizing video, then you’re missing out on important engagement opportunities.
Professional videos can elevate your brand, build credibility, and drive meaningful support for your nonprofit.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about nonprofit videos and list some of our favorites:
- What Goes Into Nonprofit Video Production?
- What Are The Different Types of Nonprofit Videos?
- 5 Best Nonprofit Videos That Make an Impact and Inspire
Ready to start sharing your nonprofit’s stories of impact? Let’s get started!
FAQs About Nonprofit Videos
What is a nonprofit video?
A nonprofit video refers to immersive content that is used to inspire viewers to take action in support of your cause, whether that be through making a donation or volunteering their time. These videos can take many forms, including explainer videos, fundraising videos, and storytelling videos, and can be used across various platforms, such as social media, fundraising events, and websites.
What makes a good nonprofit video?
A good nonprofit video conveys the impact of your work and helps to advance your mission. To accomplish this, ensure that your video features a narrative arc, a compelling main character, and a clear call-to-action.
How long should a nonprofit video be?
Nonprofit videos can vary in length depending on their purpose and the platform they will be featured on. However, the ideal length of a nonprofit video is around two to three minutes, as engagement can drop off if the video is any longer.
What Goes Into Nonprofit Video Production?
Mobile devices make creating video content easier than ever. Anyone can pull out their phone and press record, capturing a memorable moment in seconds. However, this kind of spontaneous video production won’t help your organization stand out.
Your nonprofit needs a more polished, professional approach.
With professional nonprofit video production, every detail from the creative concept to the execution is strategically mapped out.
Here are the main phases of production that go into creating a successful video:
- Pre-Production: The first phase of video production is the longest because a successful video requires a solid plan. It involves making your strategy, selecting a story, narrowing down a timeline, creating scripts, scouting locations, and conducting audience research.
- Production: The production phase is where the magic happens. You’ll need to set up sound, lighting, and video equipment, conduct interviews, capture b-rolls, and create any necessary animations or graphics.
- Post-Production: After you’ve captured your story on film, it’s time for the producer and editor to get to work. It’s their job to log interviews, select music, and put together the final product for delivery.
There’s a laundry list of other factors that go into video production. Depending on the size of the project, the entire process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
If that seems like a lot to handle on your own, consider hiring a nonprofit video production company to do the heavy lifting. An experienced team can support your organization’s larger marketing strategy by writing scripts, shooting videos, and delivering a valuable final product.
Plus, outsourcing video production has been proven to provide a healthy return on investment!
A survey by Statista showed that 60% of content marketers already making videos in the United plan to increase their video budget for 2022, showing the rising popularity of video. By working with a video production company, you can be sure your budget is put to good use making the best nonprofit videos possible.
What Are The Different Types of Nonprofit Videos?
From educating prospective donors to evoking emotion for your cause, videos have the power to meet your nonprofit’s every need. But, in order to get the right message across, you need to understand the role that video content will play in your communication strategy.
Consider the core videos that every nonprofit needs to get the word out:
- Story Video: A story video demonstrates the impact of your mission, taking viewers on an emotional journey through your organization. This type of film is generally longer (2-6+ minutes), because it takes time to demonstrate to your supporters how your organization is doing life-changing work.
- Explainer Video: Explainer films provide a deep dive into the specifics of your work, such as a particular process or service. These films, which often feature motion graphics or animations, are meant to be short and easy to share.
- Campaign Video: Whether your nonprofit is launching a fundraising campaign to drive donations or an advocacy campaign to advance your mission, you need a video that compels people to take action. A campaign video shares the importance of a specific campaign and explains how supporters can get involved. It can be embedded into your website’s donation page, shared with your email list, or posted on social media.
- Testimonial Video: Allow your members, donors, and volunteers to affirm your nonprofit’s impact using their own voices through a testimonial video. These videos offer first-hand perspectives of what it’s like to work alongside your organization, making them a powerful recruitment tool.
- Organizational Video: Every nonprofit needs an organizational video (sometimes called a brand film) that describes who you are, what your mission is, and why you deserve support. This is your core video asset that you can share with a variety of audiences across multiple campaigns.
While these types of video messages differ in their purpose, they share common goals such as attracting attention, boosting credibility, and encouraging participation from your supporters. Consider your audience and goals when deciding which video to make, so you can effectively communicate your vision and purpose for each campaign and initiative.
5 Examples of the Best Nonprofit Videos
Inspiration is what motivates your supporters to make a difference by joining your cause. It’s a powerful feeling and an even more powerful marketing tool that can bring your mission to life.
When inspirational content is backed by useful information, viewers have everything they need to connect with your mission. Plus, a video with heart and detail will inspire your current supporters to take charge.
To show how your nonprofit can make an impact through video, here are five of the best nonprofit videos:
Best Nonprofit Storytelling Video: “One Million Lives” by Tectonic Video
Tectonic Video is a full-service video production company that works exclusively with nonprofits. They created the video “One Million Lives” on behalf of Village Enterprises, a nonprofit dedicated to ending extreme poverty in rural Africa through entrepreneurship and innovation.
When people come across a new nonprofit, they often wonder, “what’s your impact?” and “why should I care?” This film goes above and beyond answering those questions by showcasing a story of perseverance and hope from a first-hand perspective.
If there’s one thing Tectonic Video excels at, it’s the art of video storytelling. They understand that people have short attention spans and use compelling visuals and sound to arouse emotions and keep viewers hooked from beginning to end.
Through firsthand footage and interviews from Uganda, the film shows the full arc of one beneficiary’s journey from poverty to becoming a small business owner. Plus, the angles, colors, audio, and graphics work together to create an emotional, immersive experience for viewers.
For example, the video ends with the narrator looking to the future by discussing how she is going to school the next day and wants to be just like her grandmother. As the narration ends, text explaining Village Enterprise’s accomplishments appears. This use of video storytelling works to emphasize the emotional importance of a nonprofit’s mission, while gracefully inserting facts and statistics about their mission, creating little doubt in a viewer’s mind about whether they should act on the final call to action.
Best Nonprofit Explainer Video: “Why Water” by BUCK Animation
BUCK Animation has studios around the world that specialize in motion graphics and live action. Their explainer video for charity: water allows viewers to take a closer look at the importance of clean drinking water.
Like any great nonprofit explainer video, “Why Water” makes the most of its time by connecting with the audience and capturing their attention quickly. It’s concise and to the point. Even if the viewer doesn’t know anything about charity: water, they will understand their mission after watching just the first 10 or 15 seconds.
Even better, the film takes a sensitive topic and transforms it into an upbeat and engaging experience for viewers. Whether it be the animated families or cartoon piggy banks, these images breathe new life into the fight for clean water.
And don’t forget about the call-to-action at the end. It places the viewer at the center of their cause, encouraging them to help solve the water crisis.
Best Campaign Video: “High Jump Chicago” by Delack Media Group
Delack Media Group is a video production agency that strives to humanize brands and evoke their audience’s emotions. This video was made as part of a fundraising campaign for High Jump, a Chicago nonprofit that offers academic enrichment programs to youth in the area.
If a campaign video is too abstract, viewers will likely disconnect from the mission at hand. This video, however, uses b-roll footage of the city of Chicago and interviews with local residents to clearly define its target audience as Chicagoans.
Creating films for a specific audience helps create more personal and specific messages that target viewers are more likely to connect with.
Best Nonprofit Testimonial Video: “Flatwater Foundation” by Arts and Labor
Arts and Labor, a creative agency based in Austin, Texas, made this video for an organization located right in their own backyard. The Austin-based nonprofit Flatwater Foundation provides access to mental health support for families touched by cancer.
The key to a great video testimonial is authenticity. You want to share a supporter’s story in their own words to spark an emotional reaction in viewers and maximize your nonprofit’s credibility.
This video provides viewers with an opportunity to see, hear, and trust the impact of Flatwater, making their mission feel incredibly real and relatable.
Best Nonprofit Organizational Video – “The Breakthrough Effect” by Demo Duck
When Tectonic Video heard that their client, Breakthrough, needed a fully animated organizational video, they referred them to the team of animators at Demo Duck. Since the video production company specializes in 2D and 3D animation as well as motion graphics, they seemed like the right fit.
Through their partnership with Breakthrough, a nonprofit serving Chicago’s East Garfield Park Neighborhood, Demo Duck created this animated video to convey the organization’s impact.
The tone is authoritative and compelling as it visualizes Breakthrough’s mission statement. Plus, the graphics provide viewers with a behind-the-scenes look at their operations, making them feel like they’re already a part of the organization.
From explainers to testimonials, there are endless directions to take a nonprofit video. If you’re looking to create a best-in-class nonprofit video, you should consider hiring a video production company to turn your visions into a reality. They will treat your stories with dedication and care at every step of the process, helping you to create content that affects change.
Check out these additional resources for more information on nonprofit videos:
- Nonprofit Video Index. Follow this comprehensive resource to learn how nonprofits use video on social media and how the pandemic changed nonprofit video forever.
- What Nonprofits Can Learn from Political Advertising. These four key takeaways from political advertising will make your nonprofit videos more engaging and effective.
- Keema And Her Pack is Nominated for a Webby Award. Read this case study to see how Tectonic Video makes award-winning nonprofit videos.