Over the years, we have worked with many nonprofit organizations to produce videos for social and capital campaigns. We have seen how video can help to raise awareness and inspiring action.

Yet as video marketing becomes ubiquitous, creating memorable content for your nonprofit organization becomes more difficult.

As storytellers and marketers, we strive to find ways to help you create content that stands out, as well as meeting your campaign goals. Each organization and campaign is unique, but some things are essential for any compelling campaign video.

Develop a narrative & include powerful details

Storytelling matters. Effective campaign videos weave powerful stories, as opposed to simply spouting facts. It’s distressing, but true: many capital and social campaign videos highlight organizations and their work, yet fail to close the sale with viewers. They fail to persuade. If you are planning a campaign, consider crafting a story that focuses on specific individuals related to your organization or work. This narrative could portray a single volunteer or follow a group of beneficiaries. The more detailed and focused your story, the more engaging it will be. And ultimately, you will be able to build a stronger emotional connection with your audience.

For example, watch this video we made for the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis. This video is from a series of narratives we produced for their “Serve Boldly” campaign. They sought to encourage their audience to reach out and serve the wider community. In this particular story, we focused on Sarah. We captured unique, evocative images that highlighted her extraordinary narrative.

Have a clear call-to-action and achievable goal

Developing a call-to-action is critical. Your campaign should motivate your audience to participate. Clearly communicate exactly how a person can contribute, both in the video and in supporting material. Emphasize how an individual’s contribution can make a tangible difference.

According to academic research on charitable giving, when the “ask” is more tangible, donors give more. Studies reveal that people are more likely to contribute to a cause when they perceive their involvement will make a clear and substantial difference. Rather than creating a vague message associated with a broad goal, spell out your call-to-action plainly. Inform your audience how their action will result in real change.

For example: a call-to-action message such as “Your generous gift will support a family in our shelter” will be much more effective than “Help us combat inner city homelessness.” Although the concept of ending homelessness might sound more impressive than providing temporary shelter, it’s less compelling. Focusing on the larger issue is likely to decrease your audience’s motivation. “Why should I help? It’s only a drop in the bucket!” The abstract problem makes a contribution seem negligible. In short, focus on people, not concepts.

Of course, your call-to-action will always depend on the nature of your campaign and goal.  Creating a tangible message can be a game-changer.


Like What You See?

Create an effective campaign video for your nonprofit organization.