How to Create a Compelling Video to Connect With Nonprofit Supporters

Kevin D. Hendricks
How to Create a Compelling Video to Connect With Nonprofit Supporters

Video can be an effective and personal way to connect. That’s perfect for nonprofits. Let’s explore how your nonprofit can make video work for you (even without Hollywood budgets).

Video Trends and Impacts

We all know video is big. YouTube has had explosive growth and changed the way we get video. Tik Tok has upended the social media landscape. The on-demand movement, from Netflix to Disney+, shifted viewing habits from a schedule to immediacy. 

In the U.S., adults spend 100 minutes a day watching online videos. And it’s not just entertainment: Nearly 90% of people say they want more video from brands.

That’s an opportunity for your nonprofit organization. 

Why Video?

Video can work so well for your nonprofit because it’s a powerful medium for storytelling, it creates empathy and connection, and it can better focus on people.

  1. Video is a widely adopted and preferred method for stories. How many books are turned into movies or a TV series? It’s the storytelling method of modern society. 
  2. Video creates empathy and connection more naturally. With swelling music and eye-catching movements, video naturally connects emotionally (which means people can also be manipulated).
  3. Video makes it easier to connect with people. When you see a real person on the screen, there’s more trust. This is a big point for nonprofits: People need to see you, not just a faceless organization.

In many ways today it’s video or nothing, and that’s true across generations.

What About Big Budgets?

Wait a minute—isn’t quality video expensive and time consuming? How can a nonprofit organization afford that kind of expense? 

Video can be expensive. It can also be a drain on time and resources. 

But you can also make compelling, personal videos quickly and easily. You don’t need fancy equipment, complex setups, or Hollywood skills. All you need to do to connect with donors is tell your story. 

There are ways to approach video that can be economical and still effective. Tik Tok is a perfect example of all kinds of users creating cheap and inexpensive videos that get a tremendous reaction. It’s all in how you approach it.

Your video content still needs to nail the basics. Nothing undermines a compelling story like lousy production values. So make sure you have good lighting and stellar audio quality. Test the volume level. You can shoot a beautiful video on a cell phone if you do the basics right. 

Don’t worry about perfection and know quality video is going to take some practice. 

Framework for Good Nonprofit Videos

But more than the technical specifics, real success for your nonprofit video strategy is all about telling a compelling story.

Remember to keep your audience in mind. Who is your audience? What do you want them to think, feel, and do? That should be central to the video you create. The ultimate goal is to tell a story they want to be a part of. 

Your message should be clear, compelling, concise, and consistent.

Here’s a simple framework to help your nonprofit create compelling videos. We recently shared a webinar covering how to create video with special guest Rod Arnold of Leading Good. He offered the framework and examples below.

Nonprofit Video Framework

Here’s the framework to create compelling video:

  1. Establish trust: Why should people trust you with their donations?
  2. The problem: What problem do you solve? 
  3. Your belief: What’s the universal human truth that drives you?
  4. The solution: How do you solve the problem?
  5. The impact: How are lives, communities, and situations transformed?
  6. Their opportunity: How can people be part of the solution? 
  7. What’s at stake: What happens if viewers don’t take action?
  8. Call to action: What do we do now? 

Examples of Nonprofit Video Framework

Here’s how it looks in action:

  1. Establish Trust

I’m Rod Arnold, chief marketing officer at Soles4Souls. Over the last 15 years, we’ve distributed millions of pairs of shoes to people in need around the world.

  1. The Problem

But there is still so much more to do. Right here in the U.S., there are over 1.5 million school-age kids who experience homelessness. Being homeless is hard enough. Life is full of challenges for these kids and their families. And without a good pair of shoes, kids feel embarrassed, discouraged, or left out—simply because they lack something most of us take for granted. In short, they feel limited today, which can limit their tomorrow.

  1. Your Belief

At Soles4Souls, we believe every child deserves to experience the joy and confidence that comes with a new pair of shoes.

  1. The Solution

That’s why we’re working to make sure every one of those kids, kids in your town and mine, get a new pair of name brand sneakers every year.

  1. The Impact

Because something as simple as a pair of shoes can give a child a new identity. It gives them dignity. It can help them feel like they belong with the other kids. School officials tell us shoes are essential for students to succeed in school. Kids who receive new shoes have more confidence, attend school more regularly, and are more physically active.

  1. Their Opportunity

I’m sending you this video because I want to give you an opportunity to be part of this and make a tangible difference. For just $20, we can get a new pair of sneakers to a child experiencing homelessness.

  1. What’s at Stake

No child deserves to suffer the humiliation and bullying that often comes from going to school with shoes that have holes in them or don’t fit. Together we can put shoes on the feet of a person with potential—and hope in the heart of a kid who needs it. You can be someone who makes a difference.

  1. Call to Action

So please consider making a donation today. Simply click on the link I’ve sent. Every $20 you give makes a big impact for a child in need. Thank you!

That eight-step framework will walk viewers through your entire story and move them from knowing nothing about you to being ready to take action.

Of course not every video you create needs to follow that framework. Some will only do parts of it. Different videos may hit different points of the framework. A fundraising video might emphasize the call to action while a testimonial video might focus on the solution and impact. The point is to think about how you’re connecting with your audience and moving them through each point of that framework. 

Two Ways to Create Compelling Video for Your Nonprofit

Here are two simple types of videos you might make to connect with donors and supporters:

  1. Tell Your Story: Simply tell your story. You can use the framework above or just use part of it, but share who you are and what you do. Be yourself. Tell a simple story. Invite your audience to participate. It doesn’t have to be long—in fact, shorter and simpler is often better.
  1. Share or Capture Stories: Have supporters or donors record a video and upload it for you to share. These definitely won’t follow the framework—in fact, you’re ceding quite a bit of control to your audience. But testimonial videos can be powerful. The benefit of having other people share their passion and excitement for your cause can’t be underestimated. 

How to Share Video

Finally, once you create that video, you need to get it out there. You should use all your channels to share video:

  • Social media: Videos posted to Facebook often get a better response.
  • Email: More than 60% of emails are opened on mobile devices, and people are primed to watch video on mobile. 
  • Embed: Videos embedded on your website increase the chances of it being shown on Google by a whopping 53 times, according to Moovly.
  • Texting: And of course, texting. Rally now supports multimedia messaging service (MMS), which means you can text video directly to your supporters. No clicking away to another app. That means it’s more immediate and easier to solicit a response.

Another place to share video is with Rally’s Wall of Love. Learn more about how it works and how to add your video.

More Questions? 

Compelling video can help your nonprofit get results. Paired with texting, it’s a powerful way to break through the noise and connect. 

Rally can help you make the most of texting and video, especially with MMS. Book a demo now and we can show you how easy it is to send video via text. We’ll help you get results.

Book a Demo