How to Make Incredible Videos for Your Nonprofit (On A Budget!)

Pro MediaFire Staff


Pro MediaFire Staff


July 7, 2022

How to Make Incredible Videos for Your Nonprofit (On A Budget!)

Take a minute or two and scroll through your Facebook or Instagram feed. You read that right — pull out your phone and do it!

Now, what did you observe while you were scrolling? Maybe you saw a baby announcement, a photo of your co-worker’s lunch, or a hilarious meme. More than likely what you saw strewn through your feed is a ton of video content. 

In 2022, video is the forerunner when it comes to digital content. Social media algorithms highly favor video content, especially the short-form content we see on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. Why is this the case and what does it mean for our organization’s digital strategy?

In a nutshell, Internet users just really enjoy video content. 

Approximately 97.8% of 18 to 24-year-olds consider themselves active digital video viewers while 96.2% of 12 to 17-year-olds say the same. Even in older generations, video content usage is prevalent with 63.8% of seniors aged 65 and above consuming video content.

The video content being consumed varies in its purposes. Video is not just merely being used for entertainment but it is also being used for mental health support, education, and even advocacy and charitable purposes.

Video users are not just mindless consumers; they pay attention to the messages being shared in the video content they watch. In fact, 54% of consumers desire to see more video content from the brands and businesses they support and love. 

This is where nonprofit organizations come in. 

Video content can only benefit your nonprofit organization through its unique ability to convey information in a fast-paced world. While it is helpful to have excellent mission-driven writing in your digital toolbelt, videos make it so you can consolidate important information and share it in a captivating way. 

Let’s use the example of a food blog. After we read the blogger’s life story, we get to the written recipe which includes all the ingredients and instructions we need. Easy peasy right? The majority of people can get by on a recipe alone. 

However, it is a total game-changer when the food blog has an instructional video to go along with the written recipe. The video serves to both convey important information and it also brings a little bit of life to the written words.

When you utilize video as a nonprofit, the words of your mission spring to life. It is one thing to say you are supporting impoverished homeowners in the inner-city, it is an entirely different thing to show a video of the projects you’ve completed on these residents’ homes.

Video will only serve to back up your mission as an organization and offer authenticity to your supporters, donors, and potential partners. However, we see the roadblock here: video content costs money.

As a nonprofit, you only have so many dollars available to execute the mission at hand. We know that very few of those dollars are delegated to a marketing team let alone strategy. However, we want to give you a few tips to make incredible videos for your nonprofit (on a budget). Let’s get to it!

  1. Take advantage of your smartphone camera

Here’s the good news: you do not need a professional-grade camera to capture good video content! Sure, you’re not going to get feature-film video quality from a smartphone. However, the goal is not to try to outdo Spielberg, but to produce videos that are the right quality for the medium it will be viewed on (i.e. smartphones, tablets, and computer screens). 

Many of the smartphones available on the market today have exceptional video recording features and hardware. Out of all the models currently available, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has one of the best camera systems. 

This model works incredibly well in low light situations, has exceptional autofocus, and has 3 rear lenses with ultrawide features included. This is all nerdy talk to say: this iPhone has a stellar camera and the odds are that someone at your nonprofit owns one.

There are other smartphone models out there that also have fabulous video recording capabilities. Instead of dropping hundreds (or thousands) on a professional camera, you can easily make high-quality content through your smartphone camera.

  1. Buy a lapel microphone

One aspect of video recording that can be tricky is getting the audio right. A video can be wonderful visually, but if it suffers in the audio department you might be in trouble.

While it is possible to rely on your smartphone or camera’s built-in microphone, you run the risk of the audio getting jumbled by outside noises like wind, vehicles, or other people. In order to mitigate this sound issue, it is wise to invest in a lapel microphone. 

A lapel is just a small microphone that typically attaches to your shirt to capture the subject’s audio hands-free. There are a ton of different lapel microphones you can choose from, but if you’re going to use your smartphone to film, definitely consider one that is compatible with your specific model and has noise-canceling features. 

This mic is a cheap investment that you can use for a plethora of your nonprofit videos, especially if they involve interviews! You can use the lapel for both video content capturing and also for Facebook lives, Instagram Reels, and even TikToks. 

  1. Don’t forget about lighting

Want to know one great thing about natural light? It’s free! Natural lighting can be a great asset to any video creation because it makes the video look more authentic. This type of lighting can also be manipulated via natural light reflectors to redirect the light onto the subject you are filming. 

Although natural lighting is awesome, it is not always very reliable. Rainy conditions and cloudy skies can ruin your filming plan if you’re relying on the sunlight for your shots. If you’re looking for a cheap lighting alternative, investing in a simple ring light is a great idea. There are also other types of studio lighting for larger shots you can find for pretty cheap online.

While a lot of magic can be done in post-production to make a video look great, it is essential to have clear lighting conditions for filming.

  1. Film, film, and film again!

We all know the rule of thumb for buying food for a party: it is better to have too much than not enough! When it comes to capturing content for your nonprofit video, the same rule applies. You don’t want to have a scarcity mindset when filming because not everything you film will end up in the final video anyway. 

Part of the post-production process is “culling” the video content i.e. removing the unnecessary clips. However, it is still good to have excess because some of the removed content may end up being beneficial to another video down the road. 

You don’t want to find yourself in a sticky situation where your content can’t stretch far enough to fill up the video duration. You also don’t want to go back to your filming location or set up your gear again because you didn’t get enough content the first time. 

In short, film more than you think you even need and leave it up to the video editors to utilize the content the best way they know how.

  1. Leave it to the pros

In an ideal world, every nonprofit would have a fully functional digital media team that is full of talented videographers, creative directors, and video editors. However, we know that is more than likely not the case for most nonprofits. 

One of the more expensive parts of the video creation process is post-production. You need a high-capacity computer, professional editing software, and an educated video editor to transform raw footage into a masterpiece. This part of the process is a huge investment, however, there is a cost-effective alternative.

Our team at PMF Creative is equipped to take your video clips and content to the next level. Our talented team is full of video professionals who have worked with countless churches and nonprofits to bring your videos to life. Instead of trying to figure it out on your own, let us do the heavy lifting and help you use video to ignite growth in your nonprofit!

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