The world of video production for not-for-profits can sometimes be overwhelming. We decided to put together a guide – or a refresher – on the important things to consider if you’re thinking of heading down that path.

The Importance of Storytelling

Storytelling, especially when it involves the emotions, is essential to successful not-for-profit video production, and it’s a powerful way to connect with your audience

Viewers will more likely relate – and react – to the not-for-profit cause if they watch an emotional story about how the organisation impacts lives or the community.

Great storytelling in your video content can also humanise the cause, putting faces that might otherwise be hidden, front and centre, for all to see. It can inspire a reaction from the viewer to do something when they watch an emotional story.

The Royal Children’s Hospital Christmas Appeal was aimed to tug at heart strings and encourage those to donate!

Defining your Objectives

Well-defined goals are essential to your video production process, ensuring all involved parties, including your video production team, are ‘on the same page’. Being clear as to where you’re headed will ensure a consistent message throughout the video, avoiding confusion and making the best use of your (perhaps limited) resources.

Clear goals also allow you to set quantifiable targets for your video production, which can help assess the project’s success.

Defining your objectives will also help you with the story you need to tell and to better plan your video’s narrative structure, allowing you to share your not-for-profit’s story in a compelling way, putting the story first.

Pre-Production Planning

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Always remember, Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance!

Pre-production possesses its own superpower, and giving this plenty of attention can help you save money during the later, most expensive parts of the production process. We highly recommend that you work with your in-house team or external video production company on shot lists or storyboards to know exactly what you want to capture and how you want it edited. 

Not knowing exactly what to film often means that many more things than are required are filmed, taking up more time and, perhaps unnecessarily, eating into your budget.

Choosing the Right Video Format

Where is your video going to be posted or watched? Is it Facebook? Your website? Answering this question early-on will determine what formats you want your finished video to be in. It is very hard to create a high-quality vertical video, for example, if a video has been filmed in normal horizontal mode.

Conducting Impactful Interviews

To properly showcase Holly’s story we needed to make sure the interview was impactful and emotional.

The interviews are often what make, or break, a not-for-profit video. Asking the right questions will get you the right responses. It is worth ensuring you know everything you can about an interviewee, even to the point of chatting with them on Zoom, or similar, if that’s doable.

Spend time in pre-production working out exactly what you want to know, then target your questions to get those answers. Not having a clear objective and skimping on pre-production often means that many more questions than are necessary get asked, wasting time and money.

Measuring Success

To make a better video next time, you need to measure the success of the one you’ve just completed. See how many people are sharing your video, read what comments people are making, and look at video analytics to see where people start switching off. Try A/B testing with more than one thumbnail –  maybe one will work better than the other.

Try different video names and see if that changes the number of people who click through. 

Once you have your data, you can take this into your next video production. After all, there really are very few creative efforts that can’t be improved upon!

We have more information on optimising videos for YouTube  in this blog post.

Distribution and Promotion

Our client, ECA took the next step and released their video to movie cinemas to widen their reach.

Hands up who has an email list. Not-for-profits rely on them for donations and for getting the word out. As well as posting to social media and adding to your website, make sure that you do a mail-out to all of your members or subscribers.

Finally, ensure you share a link that takes the reader directly to the video, and make sure that the video, in turn, is linked to some kind of analytics. 

The Jasper Picture Company is a Melbourne Video Production Company that has been creating content for businesses, not-for-profits and governments across Australia since 2014. We also are one of Melbourne’s leading live-streaming companies. Please get in touch if we can help you achieve your marketing goals.

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