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Get Into Focus: Ideas & Resources for Nonprofit Videos

By July 10, 2013April 25th, 2014Communication, Nonprofits

It’s summer.

You are distracted by being outdoors, family gatherings, or vacation because you have a “minute” to slow down.

It’s also a great time to focus on how you share messages about your organization using video.

We don’t have the money for that, you say? But what if you use a smart phone and

  • Send an intern out to a special event or client gathering and capture short clips of people saying great things about your work.
  • Record the first few minutes of a staff or board meeting with people saying what they love about your mission.
  • Take a 30 second run through the office and get people to say thank you so you have a great video to post on your donate page.
  • Have your very proper & serious Executive Director record a fun thank you message or program update.

I recently read a report that is interesting and helpful when it comes to using video. There’s so much great information in Into Focus: A Benchmark Guide to Effective Nonprofit Video from YouTube, See3, and Edelman it’s hard to know where to begin.


Here are some staggering statistics about the prevalence of video on the Internet. While this is something you might have suspected, seeing the numbers really hits home how important video is:

  • More than 50% of internet content is video
  • 4 billion hours if video are viewed on YouTube very month
  • 350 million videos are shared on Twitter every year

What does this mean for your nonprofit? It means if you’re not already incorporating video into your storytelling and messaging, it’s something you want to do.

Video is great not only for your fundraising efforts but, as the study states, is used for marketing and awareness, member development and relations, and advocacy.

So what is keeping so many nonprofits from making the leap to using video in their work? It should come as no surprise that budget is the number 1 reason. Seventy-nine percent said that’s what kept them from producing their own videos, other reasons include:

  • 52% Staff Resources
  • 39% Silos (the organization doesn’t know who should be responsible for video content)
  • 22% Proof of ROI

While these are expected barriers to prevent nonprofits from incorporating video into their organization’s work, the study includes some great suggestions on how to get around these barriers, and even has advice on how to measure ROI.

Plus, there are tips from YouTube on making sure your videos are successful, and five questions to help point you create an effective and popular video.

One more great resource for your summer video efforts: The Best of Non-Profit Video Storytelling (on Pinterest!)


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