We’ve met non-profits who calculate they have the means to make one video about their organization. So they plan to cram every message about every program they have into this one overstuffed video. But by trying to reach everyone, they actually truly connect well with no one.

Maybe you’ve watched videos like this created by non-profits –if you stuck it out to watch the whole thing. According to Comcast, over half of all the videos online get clicked away from by the 2 minute mark.

So how do you ensure your organization’s video gets seen and brings the results you intended? For starters, less is way more:

  1. Focus On Your Target Audience
    Think about who your target audience is for this video. Trying to hit everyone at once equally means you’ll run the risk of connecting with no one. Think specific. Do you want to reach hip, urban 20 and 30-somethings who mistakenly think your organization isn’t for them? Maybe you want to reach supporters who already know your organization, but aren’t aware of your newer projects?
  2. Start with One Goal
    Then think about what you want this audience to do when they’ve seen your video. Come to your upcoming event? Donate money online? Support you with Planned Giving? Become a volunteer? Again, go for one specific goal rather than a scattershot array of messages. If you know of the outcome you want, you can steer the video and its impact in that direction. Check out this video by St. Jude’s Hospital- all it wants to do is wish you a happy holiday. But boy does it pack an emotional wallop.

  3. Focus On Your Cause, Not Yourself!
    Forget listing all the facilities and services your organization offers. Video doesn’t work like a printed brochure. Video is the medium to touch people with your cause, not overwhelm them with information you could better transmit in print or on your web site. You’ll connect emotionally with viewers when you focus on the reason your organization exists and the amazing life-changing results that work brings.
  4. Avoid Executive Directors On Camera
    Okay, that’s not exactly true. It’s not that you can never put a staff member on camera, but a client or user of your services is almost always more powerful. But if the employee or Executive Director is unusually magnetic or has a powerful personal story connected to your mission, then yes, put them on camera. Charity: Water has a founder who is compelling and passionate on camera. His personal story in founding the organization makes you want to support him and the cause:

  5. Otherwise, put the spotlight on the people who benefit from and use your services. They’ll touch viewers like nothing else can.

    Need some further help focusing your script and ideas? Consider consulting professionals in non-profit marketing and video production. Even if it’s just for help at the scripting stage before you create your video in-house, you’ll be starting off with a solid concept.

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