Lights, Camera, Action: How to Market Your Nonprofit with Video

Non profit videoWhen it comes to marketing your organization, sometimes you need to get creative, especially when it comes to how you budget your resources. You may feel that a lot of “fancier” options, like video, are out of your reach. Well, think again! Video is not only an important tool that should become part of your marketing plan, it is also budget friendly. Let’s look at how this can be incorporated and some platforms that are great for broadcasting this medium.
First, let’s quickly discuss why video is important for you to consider. It is not as expensive as you’d think. Unless you are working to film a television spot you do not need a fancy camera set up. With all of the advances we have seen with our smartphones, they now take awesome video. You essentially walk around with the power to create in your pocket, for no extra cost. We all want better search results and hits on our organization’s website. Videos can help with that! Videos are prioritized by Googles Search Engine Optimization (SEO) algorithms, therefore they can help increase your SEO “score” and move you up a spot or two on the search page (if done correctly). One other benefit of this type of communication is that it is attention-grabbing and light on text. If you are wanting to catch the attention of Millennials or Generation Z’ers this is a great channel. Visual, text light communication is the way to reach these groups and video is great for that, think Snapchat and Instagram Stories.

Now that we have the reasons why video can be beneficial to your nonprofit let’s take a look at some do’s and don’t’s when it comes to creating video and what channels you can use to disseminate your message:


Consider your audience – Just because this is video does not make it different than any other message you have created, it should still be tailored for the audience you wish to reach.

Have a goal – Making a video may be as easy as pulling out your phone, but that doesn’t mean you should shoot video just because. Have a goal in mind; you still are telling a story here.

Pick your moments – This goes along with having a goal in mind. Don’t shoot and post a video of every single second of your day. Choose events and programs you want to highlight. Too many videos can hurt you.


Show only your board members – They may be the leaders of your organization, and it is good to include them in some videos, but not everyone. People want to see variety and the true work that is being done, not a CEO in a suit.

Forget you are telling a story – When you market your organization you are marketing your story, don’t lose sight of that when you create a video. It should have a point.

Use all possible channels – There are many options out there but make sure they are the right options for you (see consider your audience above).


YouTube – Having a dedicated channel to hold all of your creations past and present is a great idea. Almost 5 billion people watch a YouTube video a day; that’s a lot of potential views, not to mention it can be shared on many other channels. If you want to draw attention to your cause, get a video to go viral. For example get in on one of the new “video crazes.” How many mannequin challenges have you seen? Find a way to tell your own story through these fads.

Facebook Live – Have an event coming up you want to promote? Think about going “live” on Facebook for behind the scenes looks to help draw Shooting a video with your cell phoneinterest and document your event. You already have a Facebook; get your followers talking with you in real time with Facebook Live comments.

Snapchat – The new kid on the block when it comes to social media, this is a great way to reach Gen Z’ers. It’s also a great way to document a story in several short videos. This would also be beneficial for documenting an event. The only downfall–the video disappears after your followers view it so they can’t continue to go back to it.

Traditional – Let’s not leave out an oldie but goodie. Though this has more production cost, a traditional video still has its merits. When you are working on a PSA that will be broadcast on television as well as online this may be the best choice. You can reach a broad audience with this channel.

Video can be an important tool for your nonprofit if used and produced correctly. So get creative and remember you can always reshoot (unless you are using Facebook Live). What are some ideas you have for creating video content for your organization? Do you have a favorite nonprofit video? Share it with us!

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