Video Production 101: How To Create a Fundraising Video for Your Non-Profit

Video Production
Non-Profit Video

How Can a Fundraising Video Help Your Non-Profit Succeed? 

It’s essential for nonprofits to raise funds to fulfill their mission, but fundraising isn’t easy. Fortunately, incorporating video production into your strategy can make a huge difference. In fact, 57% of those who watch a fundraising video end up donating, and 75% of donors use video to estimate the impact of their donation — all because the video gave them insight into what their money would be used for.

The reason video content works so well in nonprofit marketing strategies is that video is effective at communicating your nonprofit’s vision and goals in an inspiring way, while also allowing you to connect with your audience. For instance, social media video marketing lets you get your cause in front of potential supporters. Moreover, it provides your potential supporters with a platform through which they can interact with your organization.  

Fundraising videos have great ROI, as they can be used across many platforms and even recycled after you move on to new campaigns, either by showcasing past successes or by reiterating your messages and mission. You can reshare content after the fact to remind your supporters that their donations mattered and encourage them to contribute to future campaigns.

If you haven’t already started using video marketing as part of your marketing strategy, it’s time to start. You don’t want to miss out on the many benefits of video marketing for nonprofits that range from attracting new donors to building stronger relationships with your existing support network. 

Film production crew laughs while talking on set

How Does a Fundraising Video Fit Within Other Types of Video Content? 

While a fundraising video should only be one part of your content marketing (meaning you shouldn’t toss away your current tactics), video needs to play a prominent role in your marketing to maximize your results in the digital era.

If you aren’t sure where video production fits into your strategy, it’s important to remember that video marketing consists of a wide variety of types of video content. Regardless of your mission, audience, or goals, video will benefit you in one way or another. In the case of nonprofit marketing, video can be used for many purposes, such as:

  • Creating awareness 
  • Celebrating successes
  • Promoting events or other initiatives
  • Offering testimonials
  • Establishing credibility 

Making video a routine part of your nonprofit brand can bring your community closer together. To achieve this, you do need an overarching strategy in place before you begin producing a fundraising video — just as you would with other types of marketing.

A strategy helps you understand which types of videos to make and where your fundraising video fits within your content. For example, will your videos work best on TikTok, or should you focus your efforts on Facebook video marketing? Establishing a strategy will also help you keep your content consistent with your overarching brand identity and your organization’s mission. This is essential because without a consistent message, it will be harder for viewers to remember which videos were yours, making them less likely to remember to return to your page once they are ready to donate.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure your video marketing gives you the highest return on investment possible, allowing you to focus on your mission.

Videographer record woman walking outside

How to Make the Most Effective Fundraising Video Possible 

It can be easy to jump into video production head first without establishing a plan. As previously mentioned, however, it’s essential to share cohesive, well-produced video in order to maximize your fundraising effectiveness. Here are a few of our top suggestions for creating effective fundraising videos.

Approach Your Fundraising Video Like a For-Profit Business 

Just because you aren’t running a for-profit business doesn’t mean you shouldn’t market like you are. In fact, utilizing video production and marketing as a for-profit firm does is one of the best ways to help you hit your goals as a nonprofit organization. To do this, the quality of production is critical, as is having a thorough strategic plan in place for using video to gain donations. 

A thorough plan can help you identify all marketing video content needs, not just your fundraising video, as it offers a more holistic view of your overarching marketing needs. For example, sharing videos of events or your successes may not be considered “fundraising videos” necessarily, but will still help you increase your reach and establish credibility amongst your audience.

Staying “on-brand” is an essential element of corporate video production; think of how uniform the voice and imagery is for iconic brands like Apple, Disney, or Coca-Cola. You recognize these companies immediately upon seeing their content, and you want to create the same recognizability for your organization. 

Once you’ve begun sharing video content, analyze the results and data to improve your next nonprofit video marketing campaign. Determine what worked (and what didn’t) by studying the stats on your fundraising videos like watch time, conversions, shares, etc. Use this data to make changes to upcoming videos and in time, you’ll be able to find the strategy that works best for your organization’s unique set of needs and objectives.

Keep the Concept of Story Central to Your Fundraising Video 

Storytelling in video production is essential no matter the industry or mission, particularly for nonprofit video marketing. When your video is created with the goal of convincing the viewer to donate money, aim to tell a story that pulls on the viewer’s heart strings and evokes emotion. Think about a bland 1970’s school documentary versus a modern cinematic documentary that draws you right into the story. Which one made you feel more strongly? Which one held your attention the longest?

Story is what makes video compelling, and designing your fundraising video around a story is an effective way to increase its effectiveness. To incorporate storytelling into your video production, you can:

  • Showcase the story of a donor 
  • Share the story of a recipient of your nonprofit’s aid or care 
  • Tell your audience the story of your nonprofit’s impact on the community

Even if you are telling real-life stories, try to structure them in a way that keeps the viewer engaged. Remember narrative structures like the Hero’s Journey or the 3/4/5 act structure, and consider how you can format your videos similarly. By telling compelling stories, you’re more likely to create videos that will leave a lasting impact on the viewer.

Incorporate Professional Production Techniques Into Your Fundraising Video 

If you’re asking for money, you need to put your best foot forward by maintaining a professional approach to fundraising video production. Employ a structured production plan that will ensure that you get everything you need on film and can assemble it into the most powerful fundraising video possible. A typical video production consists of four stages: pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution. By breaking your marketing video production down into these four stages, you can take a step back and better analyze how to stay true to your brand and mission along the way.

Once you’ve produced the videos, consider distribution for ROI. Think about who your audience is, and where they spend their time. Once you’ve identified that, follow the best practices for each platform. Remember that Facebook video marketing does not follow the same set of rules as YouTube or Instagram. However, it’s possible to take elements of your video and customize them for other platforms; this will maximize the miles you get out of each video you produce. By considering distribution during the pre-production stage, you’ll be in a better position to capture video content that can be spread across various platforms — maximizing the reach of your mission and message.

Close up of a director describing the film set he imagines

Consider Professional Help for Your Fundraising Video 

Regardless of industry, audience, or whether you’re creating video content for a for-profit or nonprofit organization, the basics of creating effective video marketing content remain the same. By thoroughly planning and prioritizing quality production values, you’ll be able to create videos that will help you reach your goals. 

Sometimes, the best way to create effective video content is to outsource video creation, particularly if you don’t have experience with video production. If you want to incorporate more video into your marketing strategy, but aren’t sure where to start, Charter & Co is here to help. 

At Charter & Co, we believe your mission is important and you shouldn’t settle for anything less than the best. Let us help you with your video marketing so you can spend your time focusing on your mission and those you help each and every day.


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