Fundraising is a core function within nonprofits. The hard part is getting your organization noticed. Nonprofit video content can be one of the most impactful ways to share your message, spread your mission, and get more people involved. And it doesn’t have to be as labor-intensive or expensive as you think — even if you have limited time, budget, and video experience.

Here’s how video content can help boost your fundraising efforts and how you can get started creating compelling videos.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Why you should create fundraising videos
  • Types of nonprofit fundraising videos
  • How to create nonprofit video content
  • What video platform is best for nonprofits
  • Tips for promoting your videos
  • Best nonprofit videos

Keep your organization growing with expert advice and all the tools you need, all in one place.

Why should you create fundraising videos?

Video is an easy method of connecting your audience to your organization. Short videos can help you frame your story and allow potential donors to understand your mission. Introduce your nonprofit, share your struggles, goals, and overall philosophy. A simple but powerful video can resonate with your audience and compel them to feel as passionately about your cause as you.

Effective videos can stick with a viewer and serve as quick, easy calls to action. 

Types of nonprofit fundraising videos

There are many different types of videos that can be used to communicate your message, including:

  • Brand Story: This type of video introduces your organization and its mission to the audience. You can make more than one brand story video to communicate your story from various angles. This is a good video to have on your website’s “About” section or in introductory emails.
  • Event Promotion: These videos are common among performing arts organizations and other nonprofits that rely on revenue driven by ticket sales. They’re a fun and compelling way to generate buzz about stage performances and other events. Short event promotion videos are great for social media since they are visually interesting and create hype around your event — if they’re creative enough, they may even go viral.
  • Building Awareness: Videos designed to build awareness about your organization’s mission can be most impactful in fundraising. See this example from generosity.org, in which the narrator celebrates the organization’s past successes while informing the viewer that there’s still far more to be done to get people to access to clean drinking water.
In this awareness video, generosity.org does a great job of letting people know what they’re doing and what they want to do next.

How to create nonprofit video content

Video production can seem daunting and expensive, but it can be quite easy and affordable these days. Many smartphone models have cameras that are of equal quality to professional equipment. You can purchase add-ons for your smartphone for a few hundred dollars, including microphones, lighting, and lenses. You can effectively turn your small phone into a portable film crew. 

Here are some fundraising video tips and best practices:

  • Videos should be short. You should quickly introduce your topic and be able to wrap it up in about 5-10 minutes. Remember, there’s a seemingly endless supply of online content that can distract your audience. People don’t usually spend a lot of time watching videos, so the shorter and more concise, the better.
  • Create a compelling story. If the primary reason for your video is to draw in more donations, then it should communicate to people why they should care about your cause and why they should donate. This video from Speak Your Silence is especially effective in telling the story behind the organization’s founding while informing viewers about a product they can buy to support the charity.
  • Don’t spend too much time or money. The good news is you don’t need a professional production team to create a successful video. Most phones have video editing software that allows you to film easily, edit, and add voice-overs, music, and other effects. Depending on your time and budget, you can also use software like Adobe’s Premiere Pro, Lightworks, or iMovie to produce professional, high-quality video. If you’re not tech-savvy, there are many free online tutorials and resources that can help you learn video-editing basics.

What video platform is best for nonprofits?

There are a few main video platforms for nonprofit video content. The most popular are YouTube and Vimeo:

YouTube

The most common video hosting platform is YouTube. Signing up for an account is free, and the back end is easy to use. It’s also one of the most well-known video platforms globally and performs well in search engines. If you’re looking to drive traffic to your video, consider creating a YouTube account for your business. 

YouTube also lets you monetize videos, but you have to build a large following and generate consistent traffic before monetizing options become available. The guidelines and requirements for monetization change often, so be sure to stay updated on YouTube’s policies. If you hope to make money from your videos, it’s best to start with a video production strategy, including a video publishing schedule and a list of ways that will help spread the word to drive more subscribers to your channel.

Vimeo

You can also use Vimeo, which offers better technical support than YouTube. If you’re not experienced with posting videos, you may want to consider starting with Vimeo. This platform is community-driven with staff-curated pages. If your nonprofit operates in a niche market, this could be the better platform to bring more of your target audience to your video content. Additionally, Vimeo offers privacy options, including password protection, which allows you to have your videos available only for certain audiences.

Tips for promoting your videos

Nonprofit video content is only successful if people can find it. You’ll need to promote your videos to establish a following and generate page views. If you already have an email list, start with a newsletter that features a video to reach out to those familiar with your nonprofit.

One of the easiest ways to share your videos beyond your current donors is to use social media. All of the popular video hosting sites offer options that let you embed video. You can embed any video into your website and on any form of social media. When posting a video on platforms like Instagram or Facebook, create a clever caption with multiple hashtags so that more people can find it.

If you have a YouTube or Vimeo channel with more than one video, include a call to action at the end of each video asking people to like, subscribe, and share your channel. Publishing on a regular schedule and creating compelling videos that people want to watch will lead to a successful channel.

Best nonprofit videos

The best nonprofit video content creates a sense of urgency. Many of these videos rely on haunting images, moving stories, and deeply personal experiences to help show the importance of the nonprofit. 

Others take a more optimistic approach. While they shine a light on the problem at hand, some of them include success stories to motivate people to help. Here’s a few great nonprofit fundraising videos:

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation tells an inspiring story of how the organization helped a girl who survived childhood cancer.

The Adventure Project focuses on a Ugandan woman named Diana, who fixes wells in the country to bring clean water to the people. Diana’s personality and passion for the project pop off the screen. It’s hard not to feel for her and the Ugandan people she’s helping.

The Colorado Conservatory of Dance uses performance video and still images layered over an instrumental soundtrack to communicate the benefits of its Summer Intensive program. The video is short and simple yet effective, as it highlights the program via stunning visuals.

Getting started is easy — and affordable

Regularly posting interesting video content with effective storytelling is a good way to build subscribers and keep your organization at the top of people’s minds when they’re looking to donate. 

Creating videos is a cost-effective way to inspire people to donate to your organization, and you don’t even need a professional video-making team behind you — heck, you don’t even need a camera. Just grab your smartphone, brainstorm some ideas, and get filming!

Learn more about nonprofit online marketing with The Download.