Utilizing the Power of Video for a Successful Non-Profit Endeavor

All non-profit charities and organizations are constantly seeking the best ways to convey their message and mission to the widest audience possible. Too often, simply words on a website or in a paper brochure aren’t enough—in a world of visual bombardment, video increasingly stands out as one the best ways to grab attention and make a statement.

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However, unless your non-profit enjoys the benefit of a having oodles of cash to support an envious marketing and advertising campaign, crafting a quality video presentation—one that sets the proper tone and inspires viewers to support your cause—can easily be a budget-busting endeavor. Thankfully though, the tech world has, as it so often does, come to the rescue with a host of easy-to-use, intuitive and highly affordable video-making tools.

The critical elements of a successful marketing video are fairly obvious, and Sherice Jacobs of website Designswaggs.com nicely put together the steps to creating and disseminating a knock-em-dead video.

  • Create a script that captures viewer’s attention. It should clearly state what your organization seeks to achieve and how that goal or goals will be met. But it needs to do so in a compelling fashion, created in such a way that a viewer watches from beginning to end and, hopefully, shares it via multiple social media channels. Therefore, she suggests using short and concise sentences.
  • Record a voiceover using a decent microphone, and use someone who has a strong and clear sound. You can always edit the recording later, so don’t panic if it doesn’t come out right the first time.
  • Think about your visuals by creating a storyboard that exactly follows the script. Visuals can include hand-drawn images, stock photography and, preferably, live video that you or someone in your group has taken: if your non-profit helps feed the homeless or mentors underserved children, for example, be sure to include such activities in the video.
  • Edit the video and boil it down to a short presentation——the total video length should be no more than 60 seconds—and always end the video with a strong call to action. In the editing process, consider adding royalty-free music and make transitions seamless and logical.

Of course, creating a quality video for your non-profit leads back to the aforementioned question of money: how much can you spend, and what tools should you spend it on? Consider these affordable resources:

  • GarageBand for Apple and Mixcraft for Windows are both great tools to record and mix voiceovers and add music or other audio affects.
  • iStockPhoto and Getty both offer a huge selection of free or very affordable imagery. There are also screen capture tools like ScreenFlow for Mac and Camtasia or Jing for PCs.
  • Photoshop Elements is a powerful picture-editing tool and syncs photos across multiple platforms.
  • When it comes time for video editing, iMovie for Mac and PowerPoint for either Macs or PCs are fantastic choices, both easy to learn and highly intuitive.
  • If you’re looking for a great one-stop-shopping tool for animation, check out www.powtoon.com. The online software platform is great for creating videos, and it features a one-click export feature that instantly zooms your presentation to YouTube or to your computer where you can use it for all your marketing and website needs.

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