6 Powerful Types of Video Content Every Nonprofit Needs

May 23, 2019 0 Comments

According to The New York Times, we are now officially entering a “post-text world” as a society.

In short, this means that the written content is going out of fashion and is no longer the dominant form of communication.

Types Of Video Marketing

  1. Explainer Videos – Share Your Mission
  2. “Meet The Team” Videos – Share Your Values
  3. “Behind The Scenes” Videos – Pull Back The Curtain For The Audience
  4. Testimonial Videos – Show Your Nonprofit’s Impact
  5. Interview Videos – Build Trust and Authority
  6. Personalized Video Emails – Take The Time To Inspire Action
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Multimedia has already dominated virtually every form of communication that you can think of.

To put it another way, using actual writing to share your nonprofit’s story and its mission with your audience is falling out of style.

Because of that, video marketing for nonprofits has become a core strategy in planning fundraising events, showcasing impact, and much more!

Not a year from now, not next week. Today. Now.

In truth, the popularity of video marketing is nothing new.

What has changed over the last few years, however, is just how important video has become.

Online video content is no longer “just another piece” of your overall content marketing plan.

It can no longer remain as “a channel to focus on when it is convenient for you.”

Online video content is your content marketing plan – or at least, it’s a central point of your efforts, especially for your social media content actions.

Building A Better Online Video Content Strategy

Before we actually get into the types of video content that you can use, I first recommend identifying what you want those videos to accomplish in the first place.

Only by understanding what you’re trying to do in a specific sense will you be able to also pinpoint exactly how you need to do it.

Generally speaking, there are three main categories of videos to be aware of, each with their own unique objectives:

Awareness Videos

Awareness videos aim to accomplish exactly what it sounds like – they’re how you “announce” the presence of your nonprofit to the world.

You’re not necessarily trying to get someone to donate just yet.

Instead, you’re trying to let people know who you are, what you’re all about and, critically, why they should be paying attention.

Engagement Videos

Engagement videos are how you take things to the next level, motivating people to actually interact with your nonprofit or larger brand.

These types of engaging videos can involve motivating people to donate money, or even their time, to help further your efforts.

Education Videos

Education videos are a bit like awareness videos, but they’re more singularly focused.

These are your chance to allow people to learn and understand certain topics that are important to you.

You could shed light on breaking news events that are relevant to your nonprofit, or highlight certain issues that are important.

In any event, people should walk away with knowledge they didn’t have before – and they should consider you an authority on the subject matter, too.

Now that you have a clear idea about your goals and the different types of video content you can leverage, let’s dive into specific videos that you can use to boost your visibility and reach.

1. Explainer Videos – Share Your Mission

As the name suggests (and as partially outlined above), explainer videos are a great opportunity to introduce your nonprofit to the world. Here, you’ll be focusing on two core elements:

  • Your mission: what it is, and why it’s so important to you.
  • Your goal: What type of impact you hope to make on the world.

Take this video from an adolescent health nonprofit advocating on behalf of kids in Jamaica, for example.

By the end of it, you’ll know exactly what they do – and why an organization like theirs is desperately needed:


You might think that explainer videos are expensive to produce, and you might need a professional team, to put together an over-the-top video.

But in truth, creating explainer videos doesn’t have to be more complicated than just putting together a few slides in Powerpoint.

This type of video content is extremely powerful and useful.

You can use them virtually everywhere, and repurpose them for all your marketing goals, whether that’s more engagement on social media, or more conversions on your homepage!

Explainer videos are usually 30-90 seconds long, which translates into a script of around 150 to 200 words.

2. “Meet The Team” Videos – Share Your Values

Meet the Team videos are a perfect opportunity to not only share your values with your audience, but to also put a face to the people helping with your cause to spread those values far and wide.

Eventbrite isn’t exactly a nonprofit, but they do have a perfect “Meet the Team” video that you can get some inspiration from.

It showcases their organization in an intimate way and also puts some flavor and personality on display at the same time:


This type of video content can do wonders for your nonprofit.

Not only can it give other people a sense of your organization’s values, and mission, but it can also entice others to join your cause.

3. “Behind The Scenes” Videos – Pull Back The Curtain For The Audience

Everyone loves a good “behind the scenes” story, and your nonprofit audience members are no different.

This again is a way to showcase some of your nonprofit’s personality, but in a slightly more intimate and “less polished” way.

This video from the Seattle nonprofit film studio Knock Studios illustrates this quite nicely, as you get an inside look into the types of things they do when not furthering their mission – like having meetings with peanut butter cookies.


BTS (behind-the-scenes) videos are great for social media engagement, they’re also easy to produce.

So next time you have a gathering or an event, this is a great chance for you to take your audience behind the scene!

4. Testimonial Videos – Show Your Nonprofit’s Impact

Testimonial videos are always effective, in part, because they’re so emotional.

It’s one thing to write a thousand words about your nonprofit’s impact on your community.

It’s another thing entirely to let some of those community members tell their own story.

People can see the look on their face and feel the emotion in their voice, thus making the point better than words alone ever could.

To get a sense of this type of video content, look to the following nonprofit with the people at Robin Hood Foundation:


5. Interview Videos – Build Trust and Authority

Interview videos are great for your nonprofit because they accomplish two goals at the same time.

First, you get to further educate your audience about important topics that matter – and you also get to establish yourself as an authority (and thus build a terrific degree of trust) while you do it.

Take this interview from nonprofit AARP with actor Danny Trejo, where he talks about being sober for 46 years and giving back to his community.

Not only is the interview itself naturally compelling – but it’s also intimate in a way that helps further your understanding of what AARP actually does.


6. Personalized Video Emails – Take The Time To Inspire Action

Personalize video emails are great because they don’t just inspire someone to take action by volunteering or donating – they’re also your chance to SHOW someone how much they truly mean to you.

The sheer fact that you took a few minutes to record a video for one person, in particular, will absolutely be appreciated – and it will again help put a face to the larger nonprofit you represent and its efforts.

While the following example isn’t personal in that it uses someone’s name, it does wonderfully illustrate the target you should be trying to hit:


How To Get Started With Video Marketing On A Budget

Now that you’re well-versed in the types of video-on-demand content that you need to take your nonprofit to the next level, you can begin to think about how you’re going to take your vision for that content and bring it into reality.

The most important thing for you to understand is that you do not need access to a massive marketing budget in order to be successful.

If you want to learn how to make a great YouTube video, for example, just head over to YouTube and check out some of today’s top pieces.

The site is filled with captivating, engaging content made by “amateur” creators – many on a shoestring budget without a single piece of “professional” equipment to their name.

Yours will likely be more professional than the latest comedy sketch created by a comedian in his college dorm room – but the point still stands.

It’s possible to do this, and it’s a lot easier than you might think.

First, know that if you happen to own a recent iPhone or some other smartphone of similar quality, you already have access to a camera that shoots video in 4K resolution.

The iPhone, in particular, has been capable of this for a few years.

See how many of these you can rent inexpensively instead of purchasing from local equipment houses in your area.

Most computers already come with nonlinear video editing suites built in at the time of purchase – Apple computers have iMovie, for example.

You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on an Avid to edit a video with the sleek sophistication of a larger international brand – you just need patience, time, and a basic understanding of how these (again, totally free) utilities work.

At that point, all you have to do is create the content itself – which again, isn’t nearly as difficult (or expensive) as you’re probably assuming.

Just remember the age-old rule of filmmaking:

You can only pick two of the following qualities – cheap, fast, and good.

You can have “fast” and “good,” but it isn’t going to be cheap.

You can have “fast” and “cheap,” but it isn’t going to be good.

Instead, shoot for “cheap” and “good” and know that the process will take however long it needs to and not a moment sooner.

So long as you understand and accept that, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.

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AboutRafi Norberg