Video content is in its heyday as brands small and large test their production chops online. With YouTube attracting up to 1 billion unique visits each month and smart devices now streaming in HD, it’s pretty clear why so many organizations are flocking to the medium.

But how does video content align with your nonprofit’s marketing and communications strategies? The beauty is that, when it’s done properly, video can actually enhance many of your core efforts! Here are 8 ways to put video content to work in the endeavor to make change.


1. Tell Your Story

Every organization has a story to tell. Interesting characters, challenges and unexpected events are built-in with most nonprofits. Telling these stories through video is one of the most popular and powerful ways to convey the spirit of your organization and attract like-minded people.

Charity:water demonstrates this with just about all of their video content. Perhaps the best example of all is this amazing story of an extraordinary young donor and her family.


2. Share Your Insight

A super informative video can be as simple as a well-edited interview or as intricate as an animated explainer. The most important thing is to choose a format that suits what you have to say.

This video by SU2C is somewhere in between. It contextualizes a string of statistics in a fun way to make a strong point about the odds of getting cancer. (Celebrities are a plus but not mandatory).


3. Explain Your Initiatives

A video overview of your main activities is a welcoming introduction to your organization. In the following example, the Inspirit Foundation discusses their pilot program with images, video clips and direct copy.


4. Inspire Your Audience

An inspirational video gets people thinking differently, motivates them to take action and connects with them on an emotional level. With a captivating story, Speak Your Silence simultaneously sheds light on the issue of childhood abuse while inspiring victims to open up about their experiences.


5. Showcase Your Progress

The Nature Conservancy highlighted its biggest achievements of 2013 with a direct narrative and simple edit of photos mixed with short video clips. This piece shows that it doesn’t have to be an oscar-winner to cover important material and still engage.


6. Build Your Brand

The Rainforest Alliance combines an incredible understanding of their target audience and trendy, fast-paced storytelling to promote their “Rainforest Certified” stamp. The video builds a connection with their most likely audience, promotes their stamp initiative and increased their brand reach and awareness by attracting millions of views. It really is a branding trifecta.


7. Thank Your Supporters

We all want to thank donors in a way that shows how they have helped and how appreciated their contributions are. This video by Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation accomplishes both with a heart warming thank you directly from those who need the support most.


8. Share Holiday Greetings

Holidays often align with the values that nonprofits and charities want to evoke, like compassion and consideration, providing an opportunity to share your message and engage donors. As Save The Children demonstrates here, it doesn’t have to be a big budget production. Honest, heartfelt and in tune with the time of year is enough.



+ Deepen Your Relationships

Consider a personalized “special thanks” video for your most committed long-term partners and donors. Show them how important and appreciated they really are by speaking directly to the recipient for their specific efforts and contributions. Send it directly to them for their eyes only!

Video can fit into any part of your marketing, communications or fundraising strategy. Once you’ve selected how it might work best for your organization, and what story you can tell, you can start considering some production challenges and tips.


Has your nonprofit used video in a neat way or do you have any bright ideas? Feel free to share them  in the comments below!


Nicholas Buccheri

Nicholas Buccheri

Marketing Manager at Green Standards
Nicholas Buccheri is the marketing manager at Green Standards and a freelance communications consultant. He has worked on a variety of branding and marketing projects for businesses and nonprofits including Marketers Without Borders, The Exchange Lab and Epik Networks.
Nicholas Buccheri
Nicholas Buccheri