I recently attended a presentation by Chip Dizárd, on the importance of video – good video – to the overall nonprofit campaign. Chip teaches video techniques to Baltimore City school students, often working with nonprofits.
Not only are videos being shared in greater numbers than ever before
but the types of videos that are among those being viewed most directly relate to nonprofit fundraising:
According to Pew Research, nearly ¾ of online adults are using video sharing sites, and more than 1/3 are now looking for their news in the form of online videos. Will your organization be there to provide any of the information that people are seeking in this medium . . . or will your competition supply it instead?
These days, it’s not enough simply to have a phone and shoot an amateur video, Chip explained. It’s essential to have a plan, for one thing. What are you intending to shoot? What story are you telling? What do you hope that viewers will do once they are finished viewing your video? Donate? Volunteer? Sign a petition? Understand your organization better? If you don’t know, it’s not time to hit the [RECORD] button yet.
Consider your audience and the story they want and need to hear about your organization and what you’ve been accomplishing. You’ll do much better telling a story about – and from! – the people you’re serving, rather than the executive director making a speech for ten minutes. (“That’s what my donations pay for?!”)
It’s also crucial to consider the quality of the video itself, Chip explained. The competition for viewing eyes is much greater, so if you post something with poor lighting, sound, etc., you can forget having others share it. Your wonderful script and passionate speaker will have been for naught.
Of course, nonprofits can’t afford the best equipment in the industry, but a good executive director understands that prioritizing enough to invest in some good enough equipment to get the job done is essential. A decision will have to be made about how important quality online representation is to the organization.
Some very high quality video production can be farmed out, but quite a bit can be done in-house with relatively little investment initially.
Also, there are many intern programs, such as Chip’s, where students who are learning in the classroom are willing to apply it in the organization and company offices. Chip suggests searching on Twitter, for example, and laments, “People aren’t using social media to its full advantage,” when it comes to networking and finding one another.
An additional important component that nonprofits should add to their video campaign goals is applying for a YouTube Nonprofit account, which allows for additional features, including a clickable link directly within the video. This can take the viewer outside of YouTube, to a donation page, a petition, or other actionable web page related to your campaign.
How do you plan to bolster video for your campaign in the coming year?
Keep the base of the pyramid strong