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Nonprofit: Using video for nonprofits
You probably already know that YouTube® is a powerful medium. It launches careers, promotes brands and sparks water cooler conversations.

But did you know using video as a communication tool is becoming more widespread among nonprofits? The National Council of Nonprofits called 2012 “the year of the video” in the nonprofit sector. With over 72 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute and the average Canadian Internet user spending 24.8 hours watching 291 online videos each month, why wouldn’t your nonprofit join in the fun?

There’s ample research to show that using video marketing with nonprofits makes sense. Videos can raise money, recruit volunteers or advocate causes. According to a survey of 500 nonprofits by the video provider See3® and Beth Kanter, author of “How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media,” 80 percent of nonprofits believe video is important to their organization, and 91 percent believe it will become more important in the next three years. But, despite agreeing on the importance of video, nearly two-thirds of nonprofit organizations say video budgets will stay the same or decline.

So how can you get on board and convince leaders that video is worth the investment? Here are some resources that can help you harness the power of video and launch your nonprofit to the next level, even on a limited budget.

Help your nonprofits harness the power of video

  • Check out what other nonprofits are doing. Review how 20 nonprofits use videos effectively, including raising money and awareness, and share these ideas with your board and donors. Stand Up 2 Cancer®, for example, asked visitors to submit personal stories on how they beat cancer and used them to create a powerful awareness-building message.
  • Tap into free resources. There are multiple free resources that can help you get started developing and implementing a video strategy. For example, review a webinar by the CEO of See3, Michael Hoffman. In his webinar “YouTube for Nonprofits,” Hoffman walks you through the why and how of getting started. He provides planning strategies and examples that will help you identify next steps.
  • Go to back to school. Go to “video school” on Vimeo®.com and learn how to make effective videos for your nonprofit. Encourage volunteers and staff to participate and reward them upon “graduation” with grad cap shaped pencil for them to use when brainstorming video ideas.
  • Think small. You don’t necessarily need a large video production team. Charity: Water® has one individual to produce, shoot and edit all videos. If you can find someone in your organization that has some video and editing abilities or even interest, it might be all you need to create a short, compelling video.
  • Make sure your video is seen. Don’t just post the video on your organization’s website, it needs to be on YouTube, Facebook®, LinkedIn®, Twitter®, and anywhere else that your nonprofit sees a lot of Web traffic.
  • Get the video in your marketing mix. Your video should be linked to your holistic marketing strategy. Make sure it’s mentioned in all print marketing efforts such as banners, posters and brochures so people know it’s out there. Consider distributing bookmarks with a QR code that links directly to the video to drive greater traffic.
  • Create engaging content. When it comes to storytelling, volunteers have a lot to share. Interview longtime volunteers and ask them to share stories on their purpose and connection to your organization. As a thank you for participation give volunteers an appreciation plaque or certificate of gratitude.

There’s really no reason why you can’t use videos to launch your nonprofit. Even with a limited budget and resources, there’s a lot at your fingertips to help you get started. With a little planning and effort, your nonprofit video could be the topic at your next fundraiser.

Nonprofit Knowledge Matters | 2012 – Year of Nonprofit Video.Home. N.p., 11 Jan. 2012. Web. 10 June 2013.

Canadians No Longer the Biggest Web Addict, Report Shows.” CBC News. 4 March 2013. Web. 11 June 2013.

Kanter, Beth. “Beth’s Blog.” Web log post. RSS. N.p., 3 June 2013. Web. 10 June 2013.

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