Nonprofits capture supporter attention with video content

July 15, 2014

Nonprofits capture supporter attention with video content

Donors only have so much time to dedicate to researching causes to support, so it is critical that nonprofits capture their attention within only a few minutes. A video's quick and emotive nature engages current and prospective supporters in just a couple seconds. This engaging method captures the essence of a nonprofit's mission, while simultaneously informing, educating and inspiring prospective donors. With an uplifting tone, videos also motivate and mobilize supporters to give to an organization.

Additionally, video content is a valuable way to tell a meaningful story. Storytelling is one of the most effective methods to connect with a target audience, according to the Lincoln Journal. Whether it's a testimonial, the founders' motivation for starting the organization or the future of the nonprofit, these narratives will inspire supporters to donate.

Nonprofits must consider the video's goals and objectives
There are several components nonprofits must think about before producing a video, such as its message, the target audience and a call to action. The ultimate project intention may include raising awareness, cultivating membership relations and advocacy. There are various ways to measure the impact of the video and whether it achieved its objectives, such as views, clicks and shares.

To ensure as many donations as possible, the Nonprofit Technology Network recommends keeping the video short, such as three to four minutes or less, and presenting a concrete, tangible call to action. With a specific call to action, nonprofits can nurture an existing donor base, while also attracting new donors.

"Turn strangers into friends," said Seth Grodin of Flipping the Funnel. "Turn friends into donors. And then … do the most important job: Turn your donors into fundraisers."

Nonprofits may face various obstacles in video production
While many nonprofits hope to produce a quality, moving video, many times, budget constraints can be a barrier. Nonprofits must be economical to maintain low overhead costs, because most donors appreciate when their contribution goes directly to benefit programs and services. Only so much money is set aside for the development, communications and volunteer management departments. With limited funding devoted to each team, it's difficult to determine how much to allocate to video production. Nonprofits may consider seeking out volunteers with experience in video who can guide the process at a minimal cost, or at least suggest a realistic budget.

Many nonprofits are also challenged with limited time and resources. However, there are several solutions and ideas to address these issues. One is to utilize current staff members' talents, since it's possible a worker has prior video production experience. Also, collaborating among departments instead of working in silos can streamline the organization's strategy. 

Additionally, equipment and editing software is becoming less expensive and more user-friendly. There is cost-efficient gear to choose from, whether it's a tripod, microphone or lighting. Bloomerang suggests using pocket cameras, smartphones or a Kodak Zi10 PlayTouch. This camera is inexpensive and comes with an external microphone input. 

Nonprofits must get the word out through social media channels
Once the video is finished, strong distribution strategies will help the nonprofit's video be a success. Social media channels are an effective way to share the videos that nonprofits have created. By posting the link on their website and sending it to supporters via email, a nonprofit can ensure the video will be seen by many people in the desired audience. YouTube, in particular, stands out as one of the most important communication channels and is another useful site that videos should be posted on.

Video offers a human element. They take viewers by the hand and tell an organization's story. Make them see, hear and feel the impact of an organization's work. Hopefully, the videos will soon transform viewers into a part of the story.

Content presented by First Nonprofit Group, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers. Check out some of First Nonprofit's video content here.


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We first started using First Nonprofit’s Unemployment Savings Program when we were a small startup nonprofit.  We didn’t have an HR department and needed expertise in the event that an unemployment claim was made.  We knew we were eligible to be a reimbursing employer, but weren’t sure how to navigate that process.  They made it easy to set things up, plan for, and then manage claims when they came at a very reasonable cost. The amount of time and stress they’ve saved us dealing with all this has been worth way more than the cost.  We’ve now grown to a large nonprofit and do have an HR department but have no plans to stop using their services.  I highly recommend them to every nonprofit I come into contact with!


Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.

Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools, Chicago, IL

It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios.

Thresholds, Chicago, IL

NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.

New York Council of Nonprofits, Albany, NY

Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

Luckily for us, our interactions regarding any issues with staffing has been very minimal! I can say that all other interactions with regards to billing, 941 reporting, etc. have been extremely pleasant, accommodating and easy to work with. Kim Ghanayem is always prompt, professional and friendly. Thank you so much!

Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ

First Nonprofit has been easy to work with and makes the administrative process easier and smoother. We enjoy working with you.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY