Seven tips for creating an effective charity video – Bounce Video blog

Whether it be for fundraising, volunteer and member recruitment, corporate sponsorship or awareness raising campaigns, they are many ways in which charities are using video production to get their messages out there.  But with limited funds and resources, how can third sector organisations make video that has the most impact?

Here are seven top tips:

1. Spark your creativity

When thinking of creative ideas for videos, the best place to start is looking at what other third sector organisations are doing.  Spend an hour doing some research on charity websites, YouTube and social media channels to find some examples of videos that you like.  Your video production team can take ideas from those videos to create something original and meaningful to your organisation.

Here’s an example of a creative campaign film, for a young people’s advocacy charity, that was devised in this way:


2. Keep your videos short

When it comes to online video, less is always more. Our attention spans are getting shorter and according to a study by video hosting website, Wistia, videos under 2 minutes get the most engagement..

You also need to consider creating different length content for social media channels.  Marketing giant, HubSpot, recommends 2 minutes for YouTube, 1 minute for Facebook, 45 seconds for Twitter and 30 seconds for Instagram.

3. Remember the 3 second rule

It’s important grab your audience’s attention within the first 3 seconds.  Put your most compelling shot or interview snippet right at the top to hook the viewer in;  this scripted, homelessness charity campaign film uses a compelling opening shot of a woman on the street:


4. Let you beneficiaries do the talking

One of the most effective things you can do to promote your charity’s cause is give a voice to the people that you support. It sounds obvious but including interview from your clients and beneficiaries is far more effective than just including an interview from your charity CEO.  This could be through an overview video or series of short case studies profiling different client success stories.  We need to hear about the benefits and impact of your work (how it has changed lives) and the best people to tell us that are your clients themselves.

5. Get your video sponsored

Finding funding for a video project can be a barrier, particularly for smaller charities.  Consider contacting a local company and ask them to sponsor your video project.   You can include the sponsorship details in the video and it’s a great PR asset that the company can promote on their own website and social media channels too. For example, this sight loss charity was sponsored by a local optician practice:

6. Consider batch filming

Once you’ve got funding for your project, consider cramming as much as you can into the filming day to make the most of your budget.  For example, if you’re visiting a key outreach location to get a shot for your charity promo, you could consider capturing a client interview whilst you’re there, to create a 1 minute case study video.

7. Have a clear call to action

Lastly make sure your video includes a call to action, whether it’s something like a ‘Text to Donate’ number, a website link or contact email, make sure you capitalise on your video’s impact.

About the author

Bounce Video is run by BAFTA-winning former BBC Producer, Grace Gibbons, and specialises in helping charities of all sizes create compelling video content. You can find out more information about our charity video production packages here.