Nonprofits need a way to send their message to potential donors, and video production is an excellent way to tell your organization’s story and demonstrate why your cause is important. By keeping your mission concise and making a call to action while you have the viewer’s attention, you can make an extremely effective appeal for your cause. With the right combination of storytelling, visual cues, immersive audio, and real-life examples of your organization helping people, a video can be the perfect medium for raising awareness of your cause and getting donations.
Viewers may already be familiar with what you do, but they want to see how you do it. What is your process for carrying out your mission? What kind of resources do you use and how do you use them? Who are you helping?
Testimonies from real people that tell stories about the organization are a must-have in nonprofit videos. Have volunteers and beneficiaries speak on camera about why they support your organization's work and how it helped them. A live example of what you have accomplished makes a powerful appeal for donations.
Keep the video to less than one minute. For nonprofit videos in particular, 3-4 minutes is acceptable in certain circumstances but viewer retention starts dropping off after the 2-minute mark. Shorter videos with a concise message are more effective for making an emotional appeal that people will recall easily.
Visual cues are obviously a major part of making a nonprofit video, but don't forget about the powerful effects that music can have on people. Think about how many people end up in tears because of that ASPCA commercial that uses Sarah McLachlan's "Angel", and it's made an enormous impression on viewers. If you're unable to afford the rights to songs by major artists, see about licensing other songs or having original music composed.
Is this video specifically meant for getting donations, recruiting volunteers, or just to be shared? You can have a fantastic example of what the nonprofit does, but a muddled call to action and reasoning for why viewers would take that action. Show why it's a cause people would want to volunteer for, what the viewer's donation would go towards, and the impact that sharing the content will have (such as that people were not as aware of a disease or social issue until people shared videos.) Then clearly define the call to action at the end of the video, including links for where people can donate or sign up to volunteer.
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