It’s not surprising, then, that video has emerged as a leading fundraising, marketing, and communication strategy in the mission-driven sector. People appreciate the authenticity that nonprofit video content has to offer. Not only do nonprofit videos tell a story, but they also go a long way toward humanizing your brand.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about nonprofit videos and list some of our favorites:
- FAQs About Nonprofit Videos
- How to Create a Nonprofit Video
- The Different Types of Nonprofit Videos
- 5 Best Nonprofit Videos That Make an Impact and Inspire
Ready to learn more about the power of nonprofit videos? 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.
Why are nonprofit videos important?
Videos combine imagery, dialogue, and music into one powerful format that captures the minds and hearts of viewers. As a result, they can elevate your brand, build credibility, and drive meaningful support toward your nonprofit.
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.
How to Create a Nonprofit Video
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. Their experienced teams will treat your stories with dedication and care at every step of the process, helping to turn your visions into reality.
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, 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 to 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
Here are five of the best nonprofit videos to inspire your content creation :
Best Nonprofit Storytelling Video: “One Million Lives” by Tectonic Video
Tectonic Video is a full-service video production company that works exclusively with nonprofits. We 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.
If there’s one thing Tectonic Video excels at, it’s the art of video storytelling. Our team knows that when people come across a nonprofit for the first time, they often wonder, “What’s your impact?” and “Why should I care?”
To answer these questions, the film narrows in on one beneficiary’s journey out of poverty, using firsthand testimonials to showcase how Village Enterprises provides economic relief.
The video also uses compelling techniques to keep viewers hooked from beginning to end. Pay close attention to how the angles, colors, audio, and graphics work together to create an emotional and immersive experience.
For example, the video ends with the narrator looking to the future by discussing how she is going to school the next day in the hopes of becoming 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 work, creating little doubt in a viewer’s mind about whether they should act on the final call-to-action.
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.
Next Steps: Dive Deeper Into Nonprofit Videos
There’s always more to explore in the world of nonprofit video. So if you’re interested in creating impactful and engaging videos that drive meaningful change, we encourage you to continue your journey of learning and discovery.
Check out these additional resources for more information about nonprofit videos:
- How to Move Hearts & Minds With Nonprofit Video Storytelling. Explore the basics of nonprofit video storytelling and tips for creating your own compelling content.
- Video Marketing for Nonprofits: 6 Tips to Drive Conversions. Learn how to promote your nonprofit videos across various channels and inspire viewers to take action.
- Educational Video Production for Nonprofits and Foundations. Discover the power of educational video content in spreading important information and inspiring audiences.