The Cause Agency
The Cause Agency

How Nonprofits Can Master Video Storytelling


Videos are becoming the most effective way a nonprofit marketing campaign can connect with potential donors and volunteers to build a loyal online community. Regardless of the organization’s mission or size, videos are a fast-growing social media trend helping nonprofits attract much needed attention. Quality equipment and proper techniques are essential, but the success of the mission depends on storytelling. We’ve outlined these do’s and don’ts you should consider when making a nonprofit video:


1. Videos aren’t just for big organizations anymore; however, consider how much time and money you can realistically devote to production. You don’t want to invest too much in a video that will go unnoticed or neglect an opportunity to invest a little more for a video that has potential to be shown to a bigger audience. Careful planning will help you make the most of your resources.


2. Keep videos informative, professional and short. Don’t overwhelm your audience with more information than they can digest. Be specific about the facts and purpose of your mission and how people can help. Attention spans are limited. The ideal video length is between 30 seconds and 3 minutes, or 7 minutes for a long video. Other factors like content, server and bandwidth should be considered when determining length.


3. Promotional videos will help shape your organization’s identity and define the value of videos in the nonprofit community. Use your imagination and creativity. Videos can be serious, funny, entertaining and relatable at the same time. Take a look at the 10 best examples for nonprofits in 2012  or those chosen by Nonprofit Video Awards on YouTube in 2013 and you’ll understand why.


4. Emotions, emotions, emotions! Videos should be powerful enough to drive action. Use these techniques to tell viewers why they should choose your mission; show the emotional relationships between storytellers, emotional connections created by the specific campaign, and the emotional reward that donors experience through volunteering their time and money.


Here are more resources on how you can keep your audience engaged through video storytelling:

Internet Video Campaigns for Nonprofits by Catie Foertsch

• How to Make a Video for Non-Profits: 34 Tips and Examples to Help You Create Better Films by Joe Marine

How to Make an Award Winning Video for your Nonprofit by Jessica Aceto