How charitable organizations are leveraging video to raise awareness and inspire donors to give

Without the world’s charitable organizations, it’s hard to imagine how much more difficult life would be for tens of millions of disenfranchised men, women, and children.

It’s thanks to those who bring their passion and purpose to organizations such as Amnesty International, the World Food Programme, the UN Food & Agriculture Organization, and many others, that individuals without access to food, medicine, clean water, and more – actually get a fighting chance.

It might seem like a no-brainer. They’re doing the much needed, most venerable hard work of providing what the world’s most vulnerable populations need most. How can people not be inspired to support the cause? Even if it’s just a one-time donation of $10 or $5 monthly . . .

The key to engaging and inspiring donors

It should be a no-brainer, but it isn’t. In fact, it has been noted that nonprofits lose more than 60% of their donors each year on average because of how difficult it is for them to find the right message and the right medium for engagement and inspiration.

However, there are organizations that have found a way to reach out to and galvanize donors to action. This way – is video.

Video can be so effective that according to one Google study, when people watch a video about a cause seeking donations, 57% will actually go on to donate!

And, the fact that Google itself believes in the power of video for fundraising is clearly seen in YouTube’s “Donate” button. This feature was designed to enable an organization’s video-makers to create and embed a fundraising campaign right by their videos.

Video is a powerful tool for charitable organizations not only for raising funds, but also for raising awareness, particularly through social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, where social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.

Inspiration in practice

Let’s take a look at how social video is being used by some very worthy organizations to raise awareness:

Amnesty International Norway on Facebook, about seeking support for their fight for human rights.


The World Food Program on LinkedIn, on how it is monitoring and responding to the new needs that have come about as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.


The UN Food & Agriculture Organization on Instagram, on the benefits of planting urban trees to clean and cool city air, reduce flood risk, lower stress, and boost mental health.

The Union for International Cancer Control on YouTube, on why cancer patients are at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus.


The impact of a great story

“Using video storytelling can raise interest in your work and connect profoundly with donors by giving them fresh insights into your mission.” (Charity Digital)

The first rule for engaging your audience with video is to make sure you are not just giving them the facts, but that you are telling them your story. According to cognitive scientist, Jerome Bruner, reaching out to your audience with a story increases the chances of your cause being memorable by 22 times!

And, what should be at the center of your story?

Whether your organization is about food, water, medicine, or housing – your story isn’t really about food, water, medicine, or housing. It’s about the people whose lives will be impacted and changed for the better by your efforts (and the donor’s support).

Tell their story. Show their face. Share their journey.

For charitable organizations seeking to demonstrate impact it is critical that the story told on video be driven by the human stories that drive the organization.

Practical tips for securing engagement

As for the visual representation of your video story, there are some basic rules of thumb that should be kept in mind:

  • Plan your work and work your plan, by writing a script to ensure that the video job is done professionally and efficiently. A polished video conveys a message of integrity and trustworthiness.
  • Select your participants well, since a good speaker will go a long way for engaging potential donors.
  • Use your first few seconds wisely, as it has been noted that the highest viewer drop-off rate happens within the first 3-7 seconds of the video. So, it’s best to make sure that your cause and its value is clearly introduced right off the bat. Or, alternately, you can start out with an intriguing question that will entice the viewer to stick around to watch the rest of the video.
  • Keep it short especially with videos for social media. On these platforms, 60 seconds should be your max, where videos on Instagram are optimized at approximately 30 seconds. If the video is on your website, you can go as much as 1.5 minutes. But, with attention spans being so limited these days, the shorter the better.
  • Use powerful visuals, images, and videos, that are aligned with your domain and reflect your passion and purpose.
  • Caption your videos, particularly those intended for social, since most social videos are watched without the sound on. This is where subtitles, text overlays, and splashes come in, as they convey the information that is otherwise completely missed when the video is muted.
  • Clearly state your call to action/call to give by first showing your donors that action is necessary. Secondly, once they understand that their action is what will make the difference, it is critical to unabashedly recommend the donation. For example, “your monthly donation of $10 can help us reach our goal of feeding 100 families in Yemen.”
  • Empower the organization’s personnel to create the videos of their dreams. This one is very important. Because, if creating these videos requires expensive agencies or extensive editing skills, many of them won’t get done. And, if they won’t get done, the awareness and fundraising efforts of the organization will, unfortunately, be compromised.

What’s the answer? It’s in how Amnesty International, the World Food Programme, the UN Food & Agriculture Organization (i.e. the videos you saw above, among many others) do it. That is – with Wochit Studio.

Wochit Studio is a cloud-based video creation platform that is designed to empower anyone and everyone, regardless of whether or not they have a background or knowledge in video editing, to create high-quality, professional-grade videos that are deeply engaging.

The platform offers a straightforward UX that simplifies editing, smart editing features with many options for customizations, an extensive pre-licensed library of 200 million images and videos, and myriad built-in templates.

So, the only thing left is to let the inspiration begin!

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