Nonprofit Storytelling with Video: 4 Finest Practices


Most nonprofits perceive the significance of storytelling. In any case, utilizing written tales to encourage help via unsolicited mail appeals and weblog posts is the norm. However let’s take into account a “present, don’t inform” method. 

Research reveal that individuals retain 95% of a video message, however solely 10% of a written message. In case your nonprofit depends solely on written content material, you then’re lacking out a invaluable alternative to interact and mobilize donors. 

Video storytelling permits you to increase consciousness in your trigger and join together with your supporters on a deeper degree and in a manner they’ll make sure you bear in mind. So, how do you successfully inform your nonprofit’s story via video?

On this information, we’ll stroll via video storytelling greatest practices that can assist you create efficient movies that construct belief, empathy, and help. These embody: 

  1. Decide your targets 
  2. Movie for a target market
  3. Preserve the fundamentals of storytelling in thoughts
  4. Take note of visuals 

With compelling movies available and a course of to create extra, you may make a deeper impression over emails, social media, and different outreach. 

1. Decide your targets

Step one of video storytelling is strategically planning how your content material will align together with your bigger targets. As an example, are you trying to introduce your nonprofit to the world, ask for donations, or clarify an necessary challenge? Slim down your focus in order that your viewers understands the aim of every video and feels drawn to take the suitable subsequent steps. 

Think about how all these nonprofit movies may also help you attain your targets:

  • Organizational movies: An organizational video helps to advertise model consciousness because it supplies an summary of your nonprofit’s mission, values, and historical past. 
  • Fundraising movies: Fundraising movies encourage present and potential donors to offer to a particular marketing campaign, permitting you to construct your case for help and drive donations. 
  • Testimonial movies: Testimonial movies evoke an emotional response in viewers by offering your supporters with a chance to affirm your nonprofit’s impression in their very own phrases. 
  • Explainer movies: Explainer movies set up your nonprofit as an skilled within the discipline by explaining advanced points, similar to how the most cancers remedies that your nonprofit helped uncover saves lives.

Needless to say your group isn’t tied to only one kind of video story. As a substitute, you must develop varied kinds of content material to maintain viewers engaged. As an example, you can movie an explainer video that takes a deep dive into a specific service that your group provides. Then, roll out a collection of testimonial movies to point out how that service helps actual folks.

2. Movie for a target market 

For the simplest video storytelling, you must know who your meant viewers is and tailor your content material to their preferences and pursuits.

To make sure your video tales are related, sift via your donor database for info like: 

  • Donor demographics: The overall age vary, geographical location, and employment standing of your viewers may also help you make knowledgeable selections about their most well-liked video content material. As an example, in case you have numerous Millennial and Gen Z donors, you may make a case for creating shorter movies which are optimized for social media, since short-form content material is standard amongst these generations.
  • Engagement historical past: Think about how supporters have interacted together with your trigger up to now, together with how current, frequent, and enormous their items have been. Do you have got a rising variety of first-time donors? Introduce them to your mission with an organizational video, then ask for help with a fundraising video. 
  • Advertising and marketing preferences: Assessment your advertising information to find out how greatest to ship your nonprofit video tales. NXUnite’s advertising information suggests embedding your video in your web site, sharing it together with your e-mail checklist, and posting a teaser to it on social media to make sure it’s seen and regarded by the most individuals. 

You can too ship out a survey to higher perceive your supporters. Be clear about your intentions by asking questions like, “What kinds of video tales do you need to see from our group?” Then, script and movie your movies with these responses in thoughts. It can present your viewers that you simply worth their opinions and enhance your possibilities of profitable their help. 

3. Preserve the fundamentals of storytelling in thoughts

Written tales take readers on a journey from starting, center, to finish, offering pleasure and intrigue alongside the best way. Video tales aren’t any completely different. 

For partaking content material, embody these narrative storytelling strategies in your nonprofit movies:

  • Discover a compelling hero. Nonprofit video tales ought to concentrate on an actual particular person or group of individuals impacted by your group. As an example, if you happen to present scholarships to assist ship low-income kids to highschool, your hero is likely to be a father or mother who depends in your companies. 
  • Introduce the issue: Now that you’ve got a essential hero, introduce a problem that they’re dealing with, similar to meals insecurity, then present how your nonprofit is working to resolve the issue. As an example, you can present volunteers collaborating in a meals drive or beneficiaries being served a heat meal. 
  • Suggest an answer: Because the video attracts to an in depth, place viewers as the answer and encourage them to take motion on behalf of your mission, whether or not that be donating, volunteering, or sharing the video with their very own private networks. As an example, you would possibly embody a donation button after a fundraising video or embody a hyperlink to your petition in an organizational video.

These parts, together with compelling visuals, will assist you to reveal your nonprofit’s impression and make a compelling case for help.

4. Take note of the visuals 

In keeping with Tectonic Video’s information to nonprofit movies, the most effective video tales depend on visuals to convey their message. This level is made clear when you think about that practically all video content material on social media is watched with the hold forth. 

As our consideration spans proceed to say no and the quantity of knowledge we obtain grows, it’s necessary to compose movies in order that viewers know precisely the place to focus, even with out sound. 

To begin, movie utilizing the rule of thirds. This composition guideline locations your topic within the left or proper third of the body, leaving the opposite two-thirds with extra clean area. Whereas there are different types of composition, the rule of thirds typically results in a compelling shot that attracts the viewer’s consideration into the video. 

You must also maintain the ideas of visible design in thoughts as you shoot your scenes and edit your ultimate product. This consists of utilizing a cohesive colour scheme, sustaining visible hierarchy, and creating seamless transitions between your scenes. In the long run, these parts ought to come collectively to create a phenomenal, inspiring story. 

Whereas anybody can take out their cellphone and file a video story, partnering with skilled video professionals will offer you high-quality content material that’s assured to spark change and encourage significant motion. A nonprofit video manufacturing firm handles every thing from scripting to modifying to be able to concentrate on what issues most: driving your mission ahead. 

In regards to the Creator

Doug Scott, Founder & CEO of Tectonic Video

Doug has greater than 20 years of nonprofit communications expertise as a filmmaker, communications director, chief advertising officer and chief of two inventive businesses for nonprofits. Doug is a world citizen having traveled to greater than 50 international locations. He earned his B.A. in Strategic Communications from DePaul College, and he’s a frequent visitor lecturer at Stanford College on subjects associated to nonprofit storytelling and storytelling ethics.

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