How Nonprofits Can Leverage Video Marketing

David Campbell • Sep 10, 2022

Nonprofit fundraising can be challenging. You don’t have a product to sell, and you may not have enough corporate connections. You’re operating on a shoestring budget. What you have is a vision for the future and an urge to inspire people to make a difference.

So, what do you do to get that message across?

Leverage video marketing. It’s an affordable way to reach people with your message. You don’t need fancy equipment. All you need is a camera and a good idea that highlights your cause. 


Besides, in 2021, individual donors were the largest source of charitable giving in the United States. Most of these individuals are on social media and prefer visual content, such as video, over audio and text. 

So, how do you leverage video marketing as a nonprofit? Follow these tips:

1. Define Your Video Goals

Before embarking on a video marketing campaign, you need to define your video goals. Ask yourself the exact purpose of your video. Is it highlighting the communities that you serve? Do you want to show your behind-the-scenes? Do you want people to contact you after seeing your video?

Once you have your goals, you can determine the other elements to include in your video. All of these elements should supplement your goals. 

For example, if your goal is to highlight your behind-the-scenes work, your footage should revolve around your volunteers packing in-kind donations for distribution. Your voice-over, if any, could be about how volunteers spent an entire sleepless night to meet the 1,500 packs to be distributed the next day. 

In other words, your video goals will determine how your video will look.

That’s the exact essence of video marketing for nonprofits. For example, with this video, UNICEF aimed to use the #RedDotChallenge to promote awareness about menstrual hygiene and engage people. So, the video is filled with catchy visuals that raise awareness. It also laid out a strong call to action for folks to participate in the #RedDotChallenge. We’ll talk about CTAs later. 

2. Identify the right topic.

Your video goals are typically part of a wider narrative or overarching strategy. You might need to create a series of videos to meet this objective successfully. Each video must have a specific topic guiding it. Think about the topic as your angle or pitch, which translates to your video content. 

For example, if your video goal is to get more volunteers, you might decide to release three videos. The topic of the first video could be your cause, for instance, water pollution. The second video topic could be your nonprofit. The third topic could be how people can volunteer for the cause.

The right topic can elicit the right emotions and connections. Check out what Best Friends Society did in this Facebook Live video. The overarching goal of this video is to solicit donations for the cause. The topic of this video is animals to be helped. 

The topic resonated emotionally with the nonprofit’s audience. Just look at how much they raised in a short period. When choosing your topics, ensure they align with your video’s goal. The video’s goal should align with the ultimate goal, which is for people to click on that donate button or volunteer.

3. Highlight Your Cause

One of the essential uses of video marketing for nonprofits is highlighting your cause. Video captures the essence of those words and helps you truly connect with your audience

When highlighting your cause, you need to explain what the problem is in the first place. That can give the audience an idea of how bad the problem is. When they see the gravity of the situation, they’ll understand the relevance of your cause and your nonprofit in the first place.

Girl Effect is a nonprofit geared toward impacting the lives of girls between 10 and 19. In this video, the nonprofit first laid down the problems girls face at this early age. These include teenage pregnancies, rape, domestic violence, and abuse.

At the end of the video, you’ll see a link to the nonprofit’s website. It’s a strategic way of structuring the video. By then, people are more likely to click on that link since they already understand from the video that these girls need help.

Video marketing for nonprofits wasn’t even an “in” thing in 2010. However, the short video above, with 2.8 million-plus views, showcases how powerful the video is. You can also promote these videos on other platforms for increased reach. 

You can share a YouTube QR code to your video on your website, blogs, or socials. That will make it easy for your visitors to watch. All they’d need to do is scan the code, and they’d be directed to your video.

4. Showcase Your Staff

The audience may also be interested in the faces behind your nonprofit. After all, they’re trusting you with their money. When you showcase your staff, you humanize your nonprofit, too.

Check out this example from the US-based nonprofit Charity: Water. The video details Founder Scott Harrison’s journey from a nightclub promoter to a clean water advocate.


The video currently has over 26 million views on YouTube and links to a donation page on the Charity: Water website. While the conversion rates from the video to actual donors aren’t available, the donations raised from this one video campaign alone could be staggering.

There are other ways you can showcase your staff. You can, for instance, give a glimpse of the lives of employees outside the nonprofit. You could also include behind-the-scenes content with your team in their regular day-to-day roles. 

5. Include a Strong CTA

What’s the point of engaging in nonprofit video marketing if you don’t provide a strong call to action? The bottom line of any nonprofit campaign may simply be Donate, Donate More, or Volunteer. So, what are the components of a powerful CTA?

  • Strong action verbs – words such as “donate,” “act,” “change,” “gift,” “transform,” “stop,” or “fight” will draw up emotional responses from your audiences.
  • Clarity and simplicity – Keep it simple by thinking of just a few simple words to express your needs and goals.
  • Urgency – The point is to get them to volunteer or donate urgently. Use words such as “today” and “now” to impact your audience.

Your CTA should also underscore the mission of your nonprofit. 

Check out this video from the Free Wheelchair Mission, whose aim is “Transforming Lives Through the Gift of Mobility.” The CTA is concise and straightforward – gift a wheelchair – and it resonates with the overarching aim of the organization.

At the same time, the CTA emphasizes the good act that results from clicking on the CTA. When you “gift” someone with something, you typically do that out of the goodness of your heart, without expecting anything in return.

For potential donors, you could take it a step further and send a personalized video email. Use an email checker to make sure the emails reach your intended recipients.

6. Track Your Performance

After all your efforts, you want to be sure that your video campaign has been a success and that there is an ROI corresponding to your goals. How is success measured in this space?

For the Charity: Water video, if the intention was to raise awareness and boost engagement, you could tell the campaign was a success judging by the number of views. These are music videos or viral video numbers, and they imply a return. 

You can use the following metrics, too:

  • Increased revenues after the video campaign
  • Increased number of video shares and likes
  • Increased clicks on video ads 
  • Increased traffic to your website immediately after the campaign
  • Increased number of hot calls or inquiries from potential donors
  • An increased spotlight on your nonprofit by the media

For instance, Chicago nonprofit High Jump released a 2:45-minute video calling on donors to support their cause of enriching seventh and eighth-grade education programs in Chicago. The video campaign managed to raise $215,816 against a target of $175,000. That just shows the effectiveness of video marketing in fundraising campaigns.

You’d want a more hands-on way of keeping track of revenue changes or donor reactions. Keela allows for the seamless integration of fundraising activities with other organizational objectives on a common CRM.

See How Nonprofits Use Keela to Raise 4x More!

Get a glimpse of how Keela’s donor management system can help you develop better relationships, retain donors and raise more for your cause.

Video is the perfect opportunity for organizations to share their stories, highlight their cause, and engage authentically with potential donors. Video, after all, can get and sustain people’s attention. 

You’ve read how you can leverage video marketing for nonprofits. First, define clear goals for each video. You also need to identify your topics. In your videos, highlight your cause and showcase your staff. Make sure you include a strong CTA. Finally, track your campaign results.

Video marketing is a powerful tool to convey your message and elicit action. Use it to your advantage, and you can expect excellent results.

David Campbell is a digital marketing specialist at Ramp Ventures. He helps manage the content marketing team at Right Inbox. When he’s not working, he enjoys traveling and trying to learn Spanish.