January 17, 2023

5 Tips to Improve Your Next Nonprofit Video

A videographer films the subject of a nonprofit video in an outdoor setting.

Nonprofit video storytelling has enormous impact. You are able to emotionally connect with your audience in ways that are not achievable through text alone. And since 57% of people who watch nonprofit videos go on to make a donation, the value of producing a nonprofit organizational video is long-lasting.

Here are five tips to make sure your investment in video marketing is worthwhile. 

1. Allow Enough Time

Trying to produce a video on a rush schedule will affect your project in many ways. The people you want to feature on-camera and the locations where you want to shoot may not be available. Your videography team could already be booked. You’ll be tempted to take shortcuts during creative planning which could significantly reduce the impact of your video. Be sure to allow sufficient time to plan and produce your video

2. Identify a Desired Outcome

There are many reasons to produce a video including creating awareness and understanding of your organization; highlighting specific programs or people; and increasing donations. Identify the primary objective this video is expected to achieve. What are one or two secondary outcomes? Trying to accomplish too much through one video will confuse your audience.

3. Define Your Audience 

Who is the audience for the nonprofit video? Are they already familiar with your organization? Have they recently donated? Do they attend your events? Are they potential volunteers? Be specific and be sure this is the audience who will help you achieve your desired outcome. 

4. Focus on Key Messages

Just as you need to be specific about your objective and audience for the nonprofit video, you also need to focus on your key messages. Including too many ideas in the video will reduce the impact of your messaging. Identify two or three messages. Of those, what is the single most persuasive statement or compelling visual that will achieve the objective? Keep it simple. Avoid generalities. Be sure the messaging aligns with the desired outcome. 

5. Brainstorm B-Roll

Professional videographers will create captivating nonprofit organizational videos if you are able to help identify compelling visuals that are specific to your organization. Consider involving your staff, volunteers, and board to brainstorm images that show, rather than tell, the purpose and mission of your organization. Are there locations, special events or opportunities happening that showcase a particular program or feature people interacting? To connect with your audience, go beyond people speaking to the camera from behind a desk. The wider the variety of b-roll available, the more dynamic your video will become. Your visuals need to support and prove your key messages. Develop a long list of possible locations to film. Having too many options is a great problem to have. Even if a shot isn’t in the final cut of your video, it is useful and valuable for future video projects.

With the right combination of planning, creativity, and teamwork, your video storytelling project will be a great success.

Originally posted Feb. 2020. Updated Jan. 2023.