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Creating NonProfit Videos that Increase Donations

There’s no doubt that video marketing is crucial in today’s digital landscape, with over 50% of consumers stating that they’d like to see more video content from the brands and organizations that they support.

However, in the non-profit world, videos tend to hold much more weight. Why? Non-profit marketing raises awareness, it raises funds, and it helps drive donor memberships.

Whether you’re creating a fundraising video or are trying to show donors just how much their time and effort has made an impact, your message is going to come across louder and clearer if you’re able to tell it visually through video.

And, we get it. Video marketing strategies can seem a bit daunting, especially as a non-profit marketer with fewer resources than larger for-profit businesses. So, we’re here to help guide you along the process with our guide on how to create a video strategy to increase donations.

Why You Should Care About Non-Profit Video Marketing

Before we dive into the specifics of non-profit video storytelling, it’s important to understand why you should even care about this kind of marketing in the first place. Sure, you’ve likely heard the statistics regarding how the human brain loves videos and images more than text.

But, what about the other factors and benefits of video marketing as it relates to non-profit organizations?

Seeing as non-profit organizations have to rely on donations to push specific campaigns and causes, it’s crucial to consider how video factors into your email marketing strategy. 

According to Campaign Monitor, including video in your emails to donors can improve the click-through-rate by 65% and decrease the number of unsubscribes 25%. Non-profit videos, therefore, can be a crucial component of retaining email subscribers and engaging them.

As well, videos shared online get 1,200% more engagement than text posts. Think about the last time you were truly engaged in a deep, emotional story told by a non-profit. Chances are, you were enthralled by the visual storytelling of a video, not a mere text post alone.

Finding a way to tell your organization’s unique story, or the stories of those within the organization is a tough task. Being able to combine moving images, voices, and the faces of those involved makes the task much easier to accomplish.

Find the Story That Needs to Be Told

Now, how do you even go about creating a fundraising video? Do you know much about non profit video production? We do, from branding videos to documentaries and even social media.

And, we can tell you that the first thing you need to do when crafting a video marketing strategy for a non-profit is to find the story that needs to be told. Storytelling strengthens your brand as it serves to connect you with your audience on an emotional and personal level.

In order to identify this narrative, you need to think about what helped inspire the creation of your brand or organization in the first place. What was the founding mission and why is it important and relevant to your audience?

If you’re not sure where to start, we suggest:nonprofit-video-production

  • Looking at previous marketing videos and materials to identify past stories and what hasn’t been touched upon yet.
  • Identify areas within your industry that need attention. Dare to be bold here. You’re not going to inspire anybody by being safe.
  • Where in your industry is there pain, anger, excitement, and work to be done? You can tap into this.
  • Ask the people affected by your cause, what they need, and what kinds of stories they feel are important to tell.

Now, once you’re able to identify a few of those points, it’s time to start thinking about the story itself. 

What is the objective of the story you’re trying to tell? As is the case with any other form of marketing, non-profit videos also need to have an objective, overall goal. Is the goal to connect donors with the recipients of their donations, or to tell the story of one person?

Define Your Target Audience

The questions laid out above might be easier to answer if you know your target audience. As a marketing director, you’ll understand that you can’t form any sort of solid marketing message without first understanding the audience you’re crafting it for.

Now, you’ll have to start thinking like your audience. In general marketing terms, it helps to think about their:

  • Age, Location & Occupation
  • Online Behavior
  • Needs & Wants

If it helps, speak to people who aren’t donors and ask them why they don’t donate. Really work to understand why they aren’t currently a part of your audience and what you could do to change that.

Then, take those pointers and apply them to your existing audience. If you’re comfortable, ask them what’s missing from your message so that you can be sure to include that in the next non-profit video you create.

The great thing about video production for charities is that there are many ways to connect with various sub-audiences as well. If your cause is important to the people who engage with the organization, you can tweak the messaging to suit the specific sub-audience.

Brainstorm Ideas for Non-Profit Videos

Now, this is the fun part! Using all of the research you’ve gathered during the pre-planning phase and from identifying your target audience, it’s now time to start brainstorming.

To begin, the best way to go about this is to start jotting down as many ideas as possible. Don’t be afraid; there are no “wrong” ideas here.

As part of this brainstorming process, keep in mind the needs to:

  • Brand the video. Non-profit organizations are still brands, and that should be clear from the video!
  • Connect with the audience. Be revolutionary, be personable, and ensure that you’re speaking to the audience in a way that they’ll understand.

Then, if you’ve come up with a few solid concepts that you’re jiving with, try to see if the story might fit into some form of story template. One example could be the “The Hero’s Journey” – which is an often used, great story template.Circle-Theory-of-Story

Why? Because everybody uses it! Nearly every modern movie follows the Hero’s Journey, and so do most great marketing videos that really tell a story. Check out Dan Harmon’s Circle Theory of Story to see if your story can be adapted to fit the story points.

If you’re able to identify points in your organization’s story that fit into each of the eight states of the Circle Theory of Story, you’ll be in good shape. It ensures that your video will tell an emotional, compelling story that any human should be able to relate to.

Finalize the Idea & Film It

Whew, that’s a lot of planning. You’re doing great. Now, it’s time to finalize the idea for your marketing video.

Assuming you’ve identified a compelling story, have identified your target audience, and have planned out the specifics of the story (or a series of non-profit videos), it’s time to finalize it all. To be sure, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the story and the plan for the video fit our brand and messaging?
  • Will this story and video resonate with your target audience?
  • What’s the best way to incite an emotional reaction?

The answer to the last question will help you begin to think about the more creative aspects of the project. Does the tone need to be somber and serious or will you incite more of a reaction out of your audience by being happy or humorous?

Remember that the answer doesn’t have to be the same for every video. If your organization supports a variety of different causes, it’s likely that this answer will change from time to time.

However, it is important that you have an answer as it will directly affect the visual outcome of the video itself, as well as the music, tone, and even cinematography respectfully. 

Getting Help with Non-Profit Video Production

Identifying these core components to produce an engaging non-profit video experience is a time-consuming task for a marketing team. It pays off in the end, but we understand that sometimes everybody needs a little extra help and guidance.

You shouldn’t have to film a non-profit video alone, and luckily, you don’t have to. We work with brands and organizations like yours from beginning to end to create impactful video campaigns that create results. From branding to fundraising videos and even social media marketing, we’re here to help.

Get in touch and brief us on your needs. We’re excited to work with you.

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We've worked with large corporations to small businesses all with the same goal of creating unique and innovative videos—you deserve the same.

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