Campaign videos dos and don'ts

The Dos and Don’ts of adding a video to your campaign

Video is a great way to tell your story, create an emotional response, and get your message across. Working with thousands of nonprofit partners, we’ve seen videos of all shapes and sizes.

To help you get the most out of your video we’ve put together a checklist to help keep you on track.


DO think about your desired outcome

Make sure your video has direction and a purpose. Is it purely educational, or is it highlighting a new initiative? The answer should help guide the direction of your video.

DO humanize your cause to your audience

Create a video that allows the viewer to ‘walk a mile’ in the shoes of those you benefit. For example, showing the stark contrast between your donor’s living situation and that of who you help can be eye opening.

DO focus on people

Vet and think about who you are highlighting in your video. A survivor? A client? A passionate employee? A donor? Your Executive Director? Be sure to go over their story with them and brief them on the questions you plan to ask.

DO capture your audience’s full attention

If you don’t reel them in early, they might move on. Make the content compelling so they stick around and want to share the video.

DO have a strong communication plan

Post links on Facebook and Twitter, share a teaser on Instagram or SnapChat, or send out an email update to your donor base. Go where your audience is so you can capture their attention. Tip: When adding video to CrowdRise, use a YouTube or Vimeo link.


DON’T be vague about money

Donors are more inclined to donate if they know the final outcome. In your video, highlight the project, people, or research your nonprofit is striving to help.

DON’T make your video for everyone

Are you talking to new supporters? Repeat donors? Board members? The audience you’re talking to is important to nail down in order to have a succinct and powerful message that speaks directly to your supporters.

DON’T stress over production

You don’t need spend precious hours and dollars on a high quality production. Most small production companies or local high school video clubs may offer free or discounted services in exchange for experience.

DON’T worry about getting emotional

Does your video make people feel happy, sad, angry? Regardless, you’ve accomplished your goal. An emotional response, in most cases, leads to a reaction. They might volunteer, share or, better yet, fundraise.

DON’T share a video you wouldn’t watch

Ask yourself when you’re creating the dialogue for the video, ‘Would I share this?’ If the answer is no, keep working at it. Also, make sure your video is short and concise. If you wouldn’t pay attention for longer than 2 minutes, neither will your audience.