Why video is such a powerful storytelling tool

on April 24, 2018

You’ve got one job. Well, ok, that may not be entirely true... we know you’ve got a million jobs. (Has your floor been swept lately?) But at the end of the day, your main job really is to work towards making an impact for your cause. You’re trying to cure a disease, provide shelter to those without, make sure everyone is fed, give opportunity to those in need, or any other multitude of incredible causes out there.

So, if that’s the case, then the story that you’re portraying on your campaign page in order to get your supporters to help you in your plight is so, so, (one more for good measure) so important.

That’s where video comes in.

Videos provide that emotional connection with your cause that otherwise is really hard to convey. It gives you a way to show, not just tell, how awareness and dollars can truly help.

And, it’s proven that people are more likely to watch a video versus read some text. In fact, people are 12x more likely to check out a video. The brain processes video much faster than text and, not only that, it’s often more enjoyable to watch a video versus reading a block of text.

Incorporating video into your campaign pages, updates, and social posts is one way to amp up the message of your nonprofit and encourage not only donations, but more awareness as well.

Ok I’m sold, so what should my video look like?

The best first step to creating a video for your nonprofit is to ask yourself what you want the video to accomplish. What’s your campaign strategy? Are you trying to raise dollars for a specific project? Are you working towards overall cause awareness? Are you trying to gain fundraisers? All of these questions have different videos that could help address and highlight these needs.

Want to spread cause awareness? If so, think about creating a video that highlights the problem you’re addressing and how your cause is working towards solving it.

Fundraising for a specific goal? For example, permanent homes for 50 shelter animals or 60 meals for homebound seniors? Show a scenario where the dollars given actually make a difference and provide a home or a meal for the person/animal in need.

Looking to invest in your nonprofit? Maybe you’ve been thinking about getting a new piece of equipment, investing in some new technology, or even snagging tickets to an upcoming nonprofit conference? Create a video that lets your supporters know that investments in your nonprofit can actually provide real growth to your cause and an ROI that brings about real change. Be transparent. Show what you’re working with now and how this investment can help your nonprofit do so much more.

Ok, I’ve got a video idea in mind, now how do I distribute it?

Well, we all know that the social media landscape is constantly evolving and changing. With the recent Facebook developments, for example, we know that, though you’re a nonprofit, you’re treated like a business and videos as well as text posts will be deprioritized to give more favor to those shared by friends and family. Not to worry though... that’s the beauty of social fundraising.


Social fundraising, or the act of encouraging fundraisers, supporters, visitors, etc., to post to their network of friends and family, is an imperative tool to use as a nonprofit. If you make a video that really gets to the heart of your issue, and you encourage your supporters to share it, they’ll cut through the noise of social media and end up delivering content that’s trusted and compelling that their network will really respond to.ScreenShot-1You can also use your campaign update tool on your campaign page to update supporters with your video. These are people who have already given to your campaign and now have a personal connection with your cause. Maybe you create a couple videos for the campaign where you show an update based on the amount raised so far, and then another one that celebrates when you hit your goal, etc. Imagine you’re on the other end of the campaign update. What would get you to give again? Would you give again if you saw the impact your dollars have already made? Would you give again if you saw employees cheering that you are halfway to your goal?

The power of video

Videos are an easy way to add depth and provide clarity to your campaigns. And, with high-quality video capabilities of modern phones, you don’t need to hire an agency or spend hours and hours cutting video to make it happen.

Want to learn more about incorporating videos into your campaigns?

Video Checklist Download 

Annette Hauswirth

Annette Hauswirth leads the Starter Success team at CrowdRise. She’s a philanthropy nerd who loves helping charities achieve more by creatively sharing their mission with the world. When she’s not working to keep the title of CrowdRise Pizza Queen, you can find her practicing yoga. Ohmmm.