Do’s and Don’ts for Nonprofit Video Fundraising

Meredith Janke
Meredith Janke

Video Storytelling Nonprofit

Video speaks to us in a way that other medias can’t – they can draw you in and make you feel connected like you are really there, and really a part of the story. And so they are powerful tools for nonprofit fundraising. And in our current internet age, distribution and access are better than ever, and the cost of production is much less prohibitive. These days, video is an expectation – not an exception.

Many nonprofits, however, are behind the times. They’re not used to working with video, and make some common mistakes when putting theirs together. So we’ve pulled some of our favorite articles to bring you Do’s and Don’ts on how to make your nonprofit fundraising video.

3 Don’ts

1. Focusing on yourself, not your cause
Keep the spotlight on the mission and the impact, not your organization. Nonprofits often fall into this mistake because they’re not making enough videos each year, and trying to cram everything into one.

2. Aiming for Viral, not influence
If it’s not translating into more donors, volunteers, or followers, 1 million views is not worth it. Focus on real impact, not snazzy viral shine.

3. Not asking for the right things
If you’re not making a clear request for funds or other action items, you might actually be getting in the way of making that happen by being a distraction.

3 Do’s

1. Keep it short and sweet
Your video should probably fall between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. Any longer and you risk losing your audience’s attention.

2. Aim true
Your video should have specific goals. Are you trying to raise awareness? Change an attitude? Influence behavior? Then use the appropriate strategy for each of these objectives. In all aspects of video storytelling, every element
has to directly contribute to the larger goal.

3. Budget for it
While “do it yourself” works for some videos – like an update from the field – for the important stuff, you need to hire a professional. Invest in a few flawless videos and feature them prominently. Pro-tip: when you have professionals produce video for you, you should own all the original footage yourself so you can use it later. Repurposing older/leftover shots is a great money-saver too.

So guys – how do you use video at your nonprofit? Have you ever made any of those mistakes? How are you implementing the tips?

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