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Video Marketing for Nonprofits: Content Ideas for Virality, Engagement, and Conversion

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Published July 27, 2023 Reading Time: 6 minutes

This blog was written by Cody Hays from Marketing Mission. Cody partners with nonprofit fundraisers, founders, and executive directors to streamline their marketing efforts, increase funding, and increase impact.

In today’s fast-paced social media world, video marketing for nonprofits is an essential tool for connecting with audiences. However, creating impactful videos can be time-consuming.

To make the most of your video marketing plan, it’s crucial to understand the types of videos that can make an impact: viral videos, engagement videos, and conversion videos. In this blog, we’ll explore these categories and how your nonprofit can use them to engage, mobilize, and inspire action.

Viral Videos: Captivating the Masses

Viral videos have the ability to capture attention and resonate with a wide audience, extending far beyond your existing supporters. These videos often use compelling storytelling, humor, or heartwarming content to establish an emotional connection. While the reach of viral videos may be substantial, note that the engagement from your core audience might vary.

Here are some examples of viral videos for nonprofits that can captivate the masses:

Inspirational Stories

Share uplifting stories of individuals or communities whose lives your organization has positively impacted. These stories should evoke strong emotions and highlight the transformative power of your work. By showcasing real-life examples of how your nonprofit has made a difference, you can inspire viewers and encourage them to support your cause.

For instance, you could feature a heartwarming video of someone receiving the medical supplies they need thanks to your organization’s efforts. Such stories of resilience and hope have the potential to touch the hearts of viewers and generate widespread sharing.

Unique Challenges

Create videos that highlight unique challenges or events related to your cause. These videos can leverage viral trends or challenges to increase the likelihood of sharing and engagement. By tapping into popular trends or utilizing creative concepts, you can make your message more relatable and shareable.

For instance, if your nonprofit focuses on environmental conservation, you could create a video that showcases a creative and fun “trash cleanup challenge” where participants compete to collect the most litter in their communities. This video can raise awareness about the issue of pollution and encourage viewers to get involved and take action.

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Humorous Content

Use humor to convey your message by creating funny marketing videos that cleverly align with your nonprofit’s mission or initiatives. Humor has a way of capturing attention and engaging viewers, making your content more shareable and memorable.

Consider creating a lighthearted video that incorporates comedy sketches or witty storytelling while conveying a vital message related to your cause. For instance, a nonprofit focused on animal welfare could create an amusing video featuring talking animals discussing the importance of responsible pet ownership. By infusing humor into your content, you can entertain and educate viewers while increasing the likelihood of your video going viral.


Phainopeplas (seen in pics two and three!) are also known as "Goth Cardinals", but we think they fit the emo vibe pretty well too 🖤🥀🐣 #emogirl #birds #fyp #birdtok

♬ y2k has my heart - sandra ♌️

Why haven’t I gone viral yet?

Viral videos have the potential to generate widespread attention and reach a large audience, but it’s critical to note that going viral doesn’t always translate into converting viewers into followers or supporters. While these videos can create a buzz and generate awareness, there may be a limit to the level of engagement and conversion from the broader audience.

The reason behind this lies in the nature of viral content. Viral videos often appeal to a wide audience, including those who may not necessarily be interested or aligned with your nonprofit’s mission or cause. So while they may enjoy and share the video, their engagement might not extend beyond that initial interaction.

To make the most impact, complement viral videos with other types of content that engage and connect with your core audience. This leads us to the next category of nonprofit videos: engagement videos.

Engagement Videos: Strengthening Bonds With Your Existing Audience

Engagement videos resonate with your core audience, fostering deeper connections and encouraging active participation. These videos may not reach the same wide audience as viral videos but tend to generate higher levels of interaction and involvement from those already invested in your organization. Here are some examples of engagement videos that can strengthen the bonds with your existing audience:

Behind-the-Scenes Updates

Provide exclusive glimpses into your nonprofit’s daily operations, events, or projects. This behind-the-scenes content lets your audience feel connected and involved in your organization’s activities. By sharing the inner workings of your nonprofit, you create a sense of nonprofit transparency and build trust with your supporters.

For instance, you can create a video showcasing your volunteers or staff’s behind-the-scenes experience, preparations for an upcoming fundraising event, or a day in the life of a nonprofit employee. This type of video engages your existing audience and allows them to feel like they are a part of the journey.

Volunteer and Supporter Spotlights

Recognize and showcase the efforts of your dedicated volunteers and supporters. Conduct interviews or capture testimonials that highlight their contributions and express gratitude for their dedication. These videos acknowledge the invaluable role played by your supporters while inspiring others to get involved and make a difference.

For instance, you could create a video series featuring individual volunteers sharing their personal stories, motivations, and experiences with your nonprofit. By highlighting the impact of their work and expressing appreciation, you strengthen the sense of community and encourage others to join.

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Educational Content

Share informative videos that educate your audience on topics related to your cause. By providing valuable insights, tips, or tutorials, you address their interests or concerns. Educational videos position your nonprofit as a trusted source of information and expertise, enhancing your credibility and deepening the engagement of your audience.

For instance, if your nonprofit focuses on environmental conservation, you can create educational videos that offer practical tips on sustainable living, recycling, or eco-friendly practices. By empowering your audience with knowledge, you inspire them to take action and make positive changes in their lives.

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Why isn’t my audience engaging with our videos?

To enhance audience engagement with your nonprofit’s videos, address these potential obstacles:

  1. Overcome lack of relevance by understanding your audience’s interests and tailoring your content to align with their needs.
  2. Replace lengthy or complex videos with concise, focused content that’s easily digestible.
  3. Include clear calls to action and maintain a consistent posting schedule to help guide viewers toward engagement.

By actively addressing these considerations, nonprofits can boost audience engagement and build stronger connections through video content.

Conversion Videos: Driving Advocacy and Fundraising Efforts

Conversion videos inspire specific actions from your audience, mobilizing them to support your nonprofit’s advocacy or fundraising initiatives. These videos may not have the same reach and engagement as viral or engagement videos but are essential for generating tangible support. Here are a few types of conversion videos that can drive action:

Calls to Action

Create videos that clearly communicate the specific actions you want your audience to take. Whether signing a petition, making a donation, attending an event, or volunteering, these videos should emphasize the urgency and importance of their participation by clearly explaining the impact of their action and the benefits of getting involved. Use compelling visuals, storytelling, and persuasive language to inspire immediate action.

For instance, you can create a video that highlights a pressing issue and presents a call to action for viewers to sign a petition urging policymakers to take action. By clearly outlining the steps and emphasizing the impact of their signatures, you can motivate viewers to actively participate in advocating for change.

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Share powerful testimonials from beneficiaries, volunteers, or donors to establish credibility and encourage others to join your cause. These testimonials provide social proof, demonstrating the positive impact your nonprofit has had on individuals or communities. Through heartfelt stories and firsthand accounts, these videos also build trust, showcase the importance of your work, and inspire others to support your mission.

For instance, consider creating a video featuring a beneficiary who shares their journey and how your organization has made a difference for them. By capturing their gratitude, transformation, or improved circumstances, you can create an emotional connection with viewers and compel them to contribute to your cause.

Impact Reports

Showcase the outcomes and impact of your nonprofit’s work through data, infographics, and success stories. Use visuals, statistics, and testimonials to present measurable results and illustrate the positive change your nonprofit brings to the community. These videos demonstrate your organization’s effectiveness, transparency, and the value of supporting your mission.

For instance, you can create a video that highlights the number of lives impacted, the total funds raised, or a success story from alumni. By presenting the concrete results of your efforts, you can instill confidence in potential supporters and inspire them to contribute to your fundraising efforts or engage in your advocacy campaigns.

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Why aren’t these videos performing well?

The videos probably areHowever, it’s crucial to note that when embarking on a conversion campaign with specific calls to action, it’s normal for reach and engagement to be lower compared to more broadly appealing or entertaining videos.

Conversion videos often target a specific and committed audience, which may result in a smaller reach. Additionally, the call to action may require a higher level of commitment, leading to lower engagement rates.

So don’t be discouraged if you see a dip in metrics during a conversion campaign. Instead, focus on the quality of engagement and the potential for meaningful action from those who do engage. Remember, the goal of conversion videos is to mobilize dedicated supporters and advocates willing to take steps to support your cause.

Reach the Right Audiences With These Video Marketing Tips

By categorizing your nonprofit videos based on the potential for virality, engagement, and conversion, your organization can strategically create and share content to maximize impact.

Viral videos have the potential to reach a wide audience, while engagement videos foster deeper connections with your existing supporters. Yet, conversion videos, although having a narrower reach, are crucial for driving advocacy and fundraising efforts.

By understanding the purpose and characteristics of each category, your nonprofit can develop a well-rounded video marketing strategy that effectively engages, mobilizes, and inspires action.

Copy Editor: Ayanna Julien

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