Five Video Ideas for Nonprofits
An introduction on how video can help tell your not-for-profit story.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that video is becoming more used in the third sector. If you’re a communications officer or in charge of marketing for a charity or nonprofit, you’re likely aware that nonprofits of all shapes and sizes are now utilizing video formats more regularly than ever before and receiving great results. So what are some concrete ways you can benefit from using video in nonprofit communications?
Recently I met Emily Kay Stoker: ex-digital marketer and current founder of a video production company with 10+ years of experience. Emily has been helping to tell stories through video for nonprofits and brands promoting social good alongside her team of female filmmakers since 2018.
Emily has kindly written the following article. It will to help give you video ideas for your nonprofit to improve their communication efforts. Whether you have limited experience with video and tapping into the format seems overwhelming, or you’re looking for ways to spice up your nonprofit communication efforts, this article has you covered.
How can video help your nonprofit’s communications?
Video is a powerful storytelling tool that connects the viewer in a way other content types struggle with. Unlike written content, visuals and audio immerse and engage your desired audience. The internet agrees - according to digital marketing industry leader Sprout Social, video is shared twice as much as any other content. It’s no wonder algorithms on social media platforms and search engines are favouring video.
Additionally, consider video’s ability to communicate the story that you are trying to tell. Research shows that our brains are made to retain stories rather than facts and figures, as outlined in this article from the Guardian about the science of storytelling in digital marketing. Whether it’s a personal profile that shows the impact of your charity’s work, or a fun animation that explains the significance of some of the numbers behind your work. Video’s power to engage you in a narrative that adds meaning to a stream of facts or numbers is undeniable.
1 Nonprofit Social Media Video Content
Film based on our research on how working conditions and cultures are affecting junior doctors’ mental health. Follow participant Charlotte’s experience with depression as a junior doctor.
A simple starting point for your nonprofit video ideas is social media content. Open up your social media platform of choice and start to scroll. How long did it take you to come across a video? That’s no accident. Most platforms are pushing their creators to publish more video content, because it’s more likely to keep users on their platform.
This is useful to know for nonprofit communication officers to know in order to better engage your audience and compete with other organisations for your audience’s attention. Perhaps you’re communicating an important campaign or maintaining trust with your audience as an authority on your subject. Whatever the occasion, video is currently the best way to increase your reach and engagement on most social media platforms.
The tweet above shows social media video content commissioned by a research team at the University of Birmingham. This short film about the mental health of junior doctors used Twitter to gain shares and mentions on social media. It organically gained dedicated press coverage, and thousands of views within 24 hours of publication. The link on the tweet drove viewers to a longer version of the video on the university website. Video production courtesy of Emily Kay Stoker.
2 Fundraising Campaign Video for your nonprofit
Algorithms aside, charity fundraising video campaigns can have some very real benefits. What better way to connect with a potential donor and actually show them the problem you’re solving through your nonprofit’s video? Video can be an elegant tool to demonstrate what an incredible impact your solution has had so far by showing it to them in action. It leaves less up to the imagination and can help people connect on a very human level.
Plus, let’s not forget the research linking storytelling to an audience’s improved memory of important facts and figures as stated earlier. When you keep this in mind, the video ideas for your nonprofit really are endless.
Godmanchester Baptist Church and Community Centre commissioned this short documentary from Emily Kay Stoker to highlight stories of those benefiting from their services. It accompanied their fundraising applications for renovations including fixing their roof. The fundraising campaign film successfully helped to raise nearly six figures.
3 Nonprofit Video Case Studies
You don’t need me to tell you the power of sharing case studies for end of project reports, new fundraising campaigns, and sustained donor or audience engagement. So imagine how their impact could improve if your intended audience can hear the emotion in the voice of someone your project has helped, or see the stark before and after of a construction your nonprofit facilitated. Arguably it’s the next best thing to showing it to them in person and letting your audience speak to the people who benefit from your nonprofit’s work directly.
4 Introduction Video for Nonprofits
Let’s go back to basics. Is it already clear what your charity or nonprofit does for a new person who comes across it? Are you sure? Whether it’s a member of the public, a potential high ticket donor, or even an industry stakeholder - you need your main activities and purpose to be clear from the start. A nonprofit introduction video is a clear, efficient solution to communicate the core mission and activities of your organisation.
Sometimes simple messages like this are the most challenging to communicate. We can become so entrenched in the work of our nonprofit that it’s easy to lose sight of what newcomers might understand if they stumble across our work. While many actors in the third sector choose to communicate this through copy, it could be a smart investment to explain your nonprofit’s story so far through a short film that can be embedded on all of your important platforms and used at events.
The above example from the Esmee Fairburn Foundation successfully encapsulates so much of the work the foundation does and holds a prominent position on their website’s homepage. Six minutes is quite long for online attention spans, but questions like video length can also depend on your association’s objectives.
5 Nonprofit Annual Report Video
Nonprofit annual report videos could help the age-old challenge of making end of year results as engaging as possible. Rather than needing to read through pages of numbers and facts, complex concepts and lists of numbers can be made visual and easier to digest and remember. Storytelling aside, seeing visual representations of statistics is an innovative way to turn them into something an audience can comprehend.
The above Emily Kay Stoker annual highlight charity video commissioned by Little Angel Theatre is a sneak peek into the potential of this format.
As you can see, tapping into the power of video for your nonprofit is about more than viral cat memes. Here are some of the key things covered in this article:
- It’s proven that humans are better at remembering key facts when delivered through stories. Video can be an elegant solution for this.
- If you’re utilising social media, you should be using video when appropriate to optimise your reach and engagement.
- Video can gaze right into the eyes of your potential donors. If you can touch their hearts, they’re more likely to reach into their pocket and contribute.
- Consider using video to help your audience conceptualise numbers and complex ideas on your reports.
- Case studies can be elevated with video because of the format’s power to communicate emotion and impact.
- Simple, efficient messaging can be achieved through video, particularly for fundamental communications like what your nonprofit does.
Now you have a wealth of video ideas for your nonprofit, you might be asking yourself how you can get started. My video production website blog might address some of your questions, or visit the contact page via that link to say hello. I’m happy to see what questions you have directly.