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Industry Spotlight: 5 Great Videos from Non-Profits

Posted by Debbie Camper on February 24, 2020

Many modern, successful companies have positioned a large portion of their advertising and branding in video– for good reason. Video continues to grow as the primary means to effectively communicate with the largest number of people. Multiple devices and mobile platforms make watching and sharing video easier than ever. But it can still be difficult for specific industries to navigate how to best position themselves for growth and success in terms of using videos. In this spotlight, we will take a look at five outstanding non-profit video productions—videos whose messages and stories create such a strong emotional appeal that, as a viewer, make you want to take action.

Often when someone says “non-profit” the general public assumes “charity”. However, charities represent about 18% of the sector as a whole. The point of a non-profit video is to increase awareness and stir emotions to prompt the viewer to want to learn more about or support your company.

Generally speaking, the factors and techniques that make any video a “good” video usually carry over no matter the genre. But for non-profit companies, it’s the creativity and compassion in their videos that make their missions and causes appeal to viewers. With that said, let’s take a look at some recent examples of non-profit companies successfully producing great video content and dig into exactly what makes them work.

1. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

This video places you in the midst of a family’s fight against childhood cancer. In this simple yet effective production, a father talks candidly about his daughter, Jordan, and her journey through a life of cancer.

At the beginning of the video, Jordan’s dad introduces you to his seemingly healthy daughter as a soft piano plays. However, through black and white photos and vivid storytelling, viewers learn what Jordan is up against—a young girl, the “cancer slayer,” who is taking on an unimaginable disease, brain cancer.

This video is authentic, heartfelt, and honest. It lays out the case for potential donors to take that next step and to donate to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

This video production, like other productions we’ve discussed, proves that simplicity and great storytelling can still drive deep emotional connection to viewers.

Could your organization benefit from a more candid and straightforward approach in its video productions?

2. Water is Life

In this video, you meet four-year-old, Nkaitole, a small boy living in Kenya.

As the video starts, Nkaitole begins to tell his story. With a piano and a cello, viewers are instantly drawn in through emotion as a tiny voice tells them that one day he will be a Massai warrior. But the viewers soon learn that Nkaitolehas has a 1 in 5 chance of not reaching the age of 5. Because of this, Water is Life sets out to help Nkaitole complete his bucket list.

With a multitude of wide-angle shots and landscapes, Water is Life takes you on Nkaitole’s adventures—playing soccer, riding on a boat, flying on airplanes, and beating the fastest man in a race. This extraordinary little boy also gets to see the ocean for the first time, go ice skating and experience his first kiss.

Like the video above, Nkaitole’s story is compelling and touching. And, after watching, all one wants to do is make things better for Nkaitole and other children like him.

How can your organization’s productions spark emotion in people to make them want to respond?

3. The Seva Foundation

Eyesight is one of the five senses many people might take for granted. In just under 30 seconds, this imaginative video from the Seva Foundation reminds us of just how fortunate most people are for having the gift of vision.

At the same time, the video, told with video animation and the use of drawings on paper, folded and unfolded, tells the story of a girl who loses her sight and then regains it with the help of the Seva Foundation.

This brilliantly produced video also features sound effects, piano, and statistical information about the impact that the Seva Foundation has had on the world. The use of animation also captivates the viewer and helps to illustrate a story in a short 30 second time frame.

This production shows that even the shortest story, when produced with skill and originality, can effectively connect with viewers and deliver its message.

4. Brighton Housing Trust

This Brighton Housing Trust video comes with an inevitable and unavoidable hard impact—it’s reality, and it’s eye-opening. This video delivers the unexpected, while at the same time telling the truth about homelessness.

Nothing seems out of the ordinary at the start of this video as a young girl, Millie, arrives for class late, where students who stand at the front of the room share which occupations they hope to work in as adults.

Viewers learn that the boy who has already shared his story hopes to one day be a cartographer. His classmate, another young girl, aspires to be a nurse and proudly shares with the class a picture she has drawn.

As her classmates address the class, Millie tunes out. She is distracted, dissociated, and withdrawn. This is conveyed through the video’s sound—echoey, mumbling of voices in the background.

When it’s Millie’s turn to share the plans of her future, viewers are hit with the unexpected—Millie’s description of a future filled with being kicked out of her house, living in shelters, and even turning to drugs and alcohol.

As the little girl speaks, her classmates are shocked, confused, and seem lost. The message is painful, as Millie’s final words are, “When I grow up, I want to feel worthless.”

Her last words are then met with the simple message, “Nobody chooses to be homeless.” This message gives viewers no other choice but to think about the causes and issues associated with homelessness.

Depending on the goals of your video productions, sometimes a creative approach presenting severe and real facts may be what it takes to persuade people to take action.

5. Love146

This video intertwines animation, heartfelt music, and a sincerely delivered message to address a tragic and disturbing topic, child exploitation.
As the animation harmonizes with the speaker’s words, a fluid dynamic forms that makes viewers want to continue watching.

Although the subject matter is one that is often unpleasant to discuss or even think about, almost two minutes in and positive, uplifting energy is created through music—energy that motivates viewers to want to act and be a part of the solution.

Does your organization deal with issues that are hard to talk about? How will you go about getting your message out in a way that is easier for an audience to receive? How can you make them want to act?

Wrap Up

The videos above show us that authentic stories can be made more powerful and better received with the help of music and visuals. While, the technical depth of production can vary and help hold viewers’ attention, at the core of any exceptional video production is a heartfelt and real message, that people understand—one that they feel and one that makes them want to take action.

What strategies and tools are your organization using to produce a more significant impact on viewers? Can you rely solely on simplicity and story alone, or do you need video animation and other tools to convey your message more appropriately and build a more striking presentation?

Get rolling on your next great video project today! At Crews Control, we’ll connect you with the best production team for your project, no matter where you’re located or what you’re looking to shoot. We also have all of your animation and post production needs covered. Check out all of our services and reach out today for your free quote.

About Debbie Camper

Debbie, our Assistant Production Manager, is a master at multi-tasking. With a degree in English/Writing and Communications, an advanced degree in Film and Video, as well as professional and independent experience in producing, it’s no wonder Crews Control was quick to snatch her up. By day she is “super girl”–calling crews, confirming shoots, updating profiles, screening applicants–and that’s all without drinking a sip of coffee (she prefers hot chocolate). When not helping to coordinate the inner workings of the production team, she participates in a writing group, choreographs and teaches dance, and bakes decadent desserts. Now if only she could teach us how to rub our stomachs, pat our heads, and hop on one foot.

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