Our founder recently hosted a panel on nonprofit video production at the Classy Collaborative. What follows is a summary of that discussion. Want to learn how to create a great fundraising video? Read on!

The Big Picture

1. Plan

Define your audience, your goals, and your measures of success. Choose a producer, or an internal team, that is capable of putting themselves in the shoes of your donors. How can you speak their language and simplify your message to meet them where they are, not where you are. Also, define where you want to deploy the video before you start making it.

2. Create

Design your video around the principles of storytelling, engagement and impact. What does that mean? Check out this blog post for more. If it’s in your budget, choose a creator whose work demonstrates that they’ve mastered these elements.

Use a clear and well-defined creation process. At Planet Nutshell, our process is:

  • Discovery/Research
  • Scriptwriting (FYI, one minute of video = 150-ish words)
  • Storyboard (We use Boords)
  • Design
  • Animation & Sound Design  

3. Deploy and Measure

Be very intentional about where in your donor pipeline you want to deploy the video. For example, is your video best placed on your homepage, on social media, at an event with a captive audience? Each of these placements will change the content and length of the video.

Use a video host that gives you solid analytics about the performance of the video. Consider Wistia (paid) or Vimeo (free).

Get Inspired

Classy made a list of great nonprofit videos a couple of years ago. Here are a few of our favorites from that list:

And here are a few more animated videos from Planet Nutshell to get your juices flowing:

Tools and Resources for Animation

Animatron makes it easy for anyone to create their own animation, offering tons of free video, audio, and photo files to drag and drop into an animated template.

Vyond is another application with templates that make it easy to develop your own animated video.

The “12 Principles of Animation” is a great video for students and art directors who are new to animation.

Do you have any favorite tools or tips for creating great fundraising videos? Let us know in the comments below…