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No time, no money, now what?

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

David: Episode five. Nonprofit Video Comms. My name is David. This show is about video marketing tips to help your nonprofit be seen, get funded and be helpful to more people.

Your organization is busy. You've got no time, generally don't have money, but you want video. So now what?

I'm going to ask you three questions. The first one is, what do you want to achieve with video? I think that's the very first thing you should think about. The most common answers that I get when I ask that is raise awareness, promote a campaign or a fundraiser, educate people about something, maybe do a Kickstarter. That's all fair. That's all. Fine. Those are very valid reasons, but I'd like to suggest some other reasons that might be more inspiring. Some of the reasons might include help website visitors navigate the website better towards getting the help they need towards self service style, customer service, clear instructions, and a predictable path towards hitting that donate button or video to help equip one generation educate another generation. For example, equip. If you have a seniors program and you want to equip their children, then you might make a video targeting their children. Anyway, I could go on about this, but I'm telling you, get more specific, get more specific with an actual function you would like to achieve. That is more specific than raising awareness. There's something you should know about raising awareness, and that is when it comes to digital relevant, useful and constant, consistent publishing is the key. A one time video won't do it. It happens. Believe me, when I say it happens because of a combination of luck or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The second thing I want you to think about is what is your expectation of video quality? I always suggest that anyone getting into video these days, I wouldn't say 20 years ago, but these days, forget everything you know about video. Think about everything you've seen and forget it the way that online communication works. Now, video is not just entertainment or film or ads or commercials. Video is actually in the hands of users. Now, anyone with a smartphone, not exclusively, just as part of the mix. If you're not a high end corporation, don't worry about it. Make homemade videos or get volunteers to do it or hire a videographer and ask them to keep it simple. Think of video as a window into your nonprofit. It's just a communication tool. It's a whole bunch of little windows on the Internet, on social media, into who you are, into who your nonprofit is and who they serve and what happens and what they do at the nonprofit. You should feel no responsibility or burden to be a TV show or a fancy commercial or funny on social posts or whatever platform is new and happen. Your only job, especially when you have no time and no money, is to think of videos as just windows into your nonprofit. Keep it simple. Keep it real.

The third thing is I want to ask you to do something that is to practice. Either practice talking to your smartphone or practice filming things around you. But do it related to your nonprofit. Record yourself ten times. Blab, do it ten times, then delete them, then do it ten more times. Watch them cringe. Ask yourself why you ever did this or Pat yourself on the back. You did it. That's all you needed to do. You don't have to publish them. Nobody's going to see them. They're just on your phone or your laptop. Delete them. Do it again. After a couple of days of doing this, you will know if this feels natural or if it's not natural. Maybe it's exciting and worth developing and practicing. It does take practice, or you can decide you're really pressed for time and this is just not worth it. That is absolutely a valid decision to make. Saying no, I think is one of the hardest and most awesome things you can do when it comes to how to spend your time on something, but you don't know until you try it. The other benefit of trying it is that you might decide you do need to hire somebody, but when that time comes, you'll have a better idea of how the filming process goes. You'll have a better idea of how you behave on camera. This is all money in the bank. Practice might surprise you and help you move ahead, or it might surprise you and help you say no and save a lot of time.

So we talked about three things. I asked you, what do you want to achieve with video? I suggest you keep it narrow and specific. The second thing was forget everything you know about video. Be real. Be simple. Treat videos like little windows into your nonprofit for viewers to get to know you. The third thing was practice. Blab at the smartphone ten times, delete them, do it again. Get uncomfortable. And by the way, nobody will see these. Just practice.

And to wrap up, I want to give you a final note here about this no time, no money thing. The thing about money is depending on which nonprofit you are. Maybe you do have the money. I think it depends how you think about it. You could allocate 4 hours to try video yourself. Commonly you will find that 4 hours turns into two weeks. Think about how much time and how much wages that cost you and whoever else you pulled in. That would probably cost more than hiring an amateur videographer or more than paying an honorarium to a volunteer to do it. The other thing about money is that you might have access to funding where you could make the case for video. And this is where the first question would come in handy is what do you want to achieve? if it's specific, like “we want to train people,” “we want to educate people,” or “We want to push people towards the Donate button”, those are things you can forecast and measure. Those strengthen the case for a bit of extra funding for videos. Anyway, I'll get into more detail about the return on investing in video in another episode.

Thanks for listening to the fifth episode of Nonprofit Video Comms. My name is David. So far the only place to follow me is on LinkedIn. I would love to see you there. Look up. My name is David Phu.

You'll recognize me with the same photo that's on the podcast cover.

‘Till next time. Bye bye.


Learn about our services at Nonprofit Video Comms or follow David on LinkedIn.

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