When you are running a nonprofit organization, your mission drives everything. Your mission is what motivates you to show up every day to do the work you do, and it inspires others to support your organization as donors, volunteers, board members, or advocates.
The challenge for many nonprofits is communicating what exactly that mission is – why it matters and why people should be moved to contribute to your cause. Too often, the passion you feel doesn’t quite come through in annual reports, board meetings or academic articles.
You have to show, not tell. And video is the best way to show your nonprofit’s mission in action.
Why Video Storytelling is Ideal for Nonprofits
Videos grab our attention.
It’s not easy to capture your audience’s limited attention. You are competing with news articles, social media updates and day-to-day life priorities, so to stand out in the crowd, you need to have a compelling story to tell.
A well-crafted video makes your audience unable to keep scrolling through their news feed. They want to know the answer to the questions you’ve posed. They want to know what happens next. You’ve sparked their interest and curiosity.
Videos tap into emotions.
Don’t get us wrong: we love the written word (please keep reading this blog post!). But when it comes to bringing an organization’s values and work to life, video reigns supreme.
You can read about a cause and think logically, “Yes, I think it is important to support early childhood education/environmental protection/social justice/etc.” But when you see a video featuring the people and communities directly affected by this issue, it becomes more real and more personal for you. You connect with it on an emotional level, as well as a rational one. You see the real-life, human impact of your support.
Videos inspire action.
Videos are catalysts, encouraging viewers to take action in the moment.
A Google study found that over three-quarters of donors said that online video ads are the most useful advertisements in determining whether they should donate to a cause. And more than half of people – 57 percent – who watch a nonprofit video go on to make a donation afterwards.
Here’s an example:
L37 recently made a video for the educational nonprofit, Debate it Forward. The organization uses a unique debate curriculum that encourages collaboration over competition. It targets students often overlooked by traditional high school debate programs: younger children, low-income students, children with learning or developmental differences. Its goal is to foster empathy, confidence, and critical-thinking skills in students of diverse backgrounds.
L37 created a video that highlights the people who make Debate it Forward an inspiring and moving story: the passionate staff, the enthusiastic students, the supportive parents, and dedicated educators.
The video doesn’t cite educational statistics or talk about test score improvements in schools. It features real people – real stakeholders – talking excitedly about why they love the program.
Just watch, and you’ll see why video is so effective in reaching donors and other supporters.
Would you like some help telling your organization’s story? Get in touch.