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How To Raise Awareness Using Nonprofit Explainer Videos

Figuring out how to raise awareness is a core goal for many non-profits and other cause-oriented organizations. A social media campaign or press release might be a good start, but nonprofit explainer videos can reach a wider audience.

Video marketing is an obvious choice for many nonprofits because people love to watch videos. The medium can present complex topics in accessible ways and brings an immediacy that other formats just can’t achieve.

How to Raise Awareness with Nonprofit Explainer Videos

Here are five ways nonprofits are leveraging video to increase awareness of their missions and programs:

  1. Telling the Organization’s Story. Use explainer video to highlight the issues most important to your cause. A compelling story can prompt the public to learn more, take action, or make a donation. 

  2. Promoting Fundraisers Or Events. As part of the design of a fundraising plan, you can spread the word about ongoing fundraisers or events. Sharing these videos on YouTube, social media, and your website can bring more people to your programs and fundraisers.

  3. Sharing Success Stories. Create video testimonials or give donors a “behind-the-scenes” look at the work your organization does. These types of videos humanize your mission.

  4. Educating Audiences. PSAs or public service announcements offer a broader audience. They are  subject to special different distribution and production rules, so make sure you understand those guidelines before making a PSA.

  5. Thanking Donors and Volunteers. Your donors play a big role in helping further your cause. Video can help you thank them. A personalized thank you video makes supporters feel special and lets them know exactly how their contribution helps.

6 Nonprofits That Have Figured Out How to Raise Awareness With Nonprofit Explainer Videos

A list of ways to raise awareness is all well and good, but how about some examples? Here are some of our favorite examples of videos created for non-profits and cause-driven organizations.

Advocate Through Education

Feeding America

This video from Feeding America starts with a statistic: 37 million Americans experience food insecurity. That statistic is just the starting point for a crash course in hunger in America. It shows viewers a problem they may not be familiar with and offers them a chance to take action.

Leverage Beautiful Animations

The Nature Conservancy

This video from The Nature Conservancy uses animation to illustrate the beauty of nature. Because their message is all about saving the environment, a rich color palette and immersive settings are a smart choice. But if you pay attention, there’s also a lot of information packed into this minute and 26 second animated explainer video.

Show the Real Impact With Live Action

Alcoholics Anonymous

Although we love animation, sometimes live action is just the right choice. This awareness campaign we created for Alcoholics Anonymous gains much of its power from the close shots and relatable setting. Viewers can’t help but make an emotional connection with the character.

Let The Audience Be The Hero 

Santa Monica Fair Housing

Kids may not seem like the authority on housing law, but it turns out they are superb spokespeople. The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office ran an art for contest for children to help get out the message around Fair Housing Regulations. This video features a winning entry from a seventh grader, Peter Riedle. It explains what tenants can expect from landlords and property management companies under California’s Fair Housing Regulations.

Though not a nonprofit organization, the Attorney’s office did make this video to raise awareness.  At IdeaRocket we were happy to step in and bring Peter’s art to animated life. You can read more about our work on this project here.

Use Video to Build a Community

World Health Organization

This video from the World Health Organization introduces viewers to the Nursing and Midwifery Global Community of Practice. Using animated characters and soft music, the video encourages people to join the community. Along the way, it shares details about the community’s mission and outcomes.

Drive The Narrative With Influencers

Drug Policy Alliance: “The War On Drugs Is An Epic Fail”

Even though it’s a little older, this 2016 video is worth mentioning for its beautiful take on whiteboard animation. It’s a collaboration between rapper Jay Z (Shawn Carter), artist Molly Crabapple, and the Drug Policy Alliance. Rich illustrations, cutouts trace the history of the War on Drugs in the United States.

The video was created to unite California voters in support of Prop 64, a bill to legalize recreational marijuana. The bill was put into effect in January 2018. The campaign is a powerful example of strong influencer partnerships, supported by artistry.

Make a Series to Propel a Movement

Girl Effect: “International Day of the Girl 2021”

Girl Effect is a global nonprofit dedicated to helping girls take control of their health, education, and livelihoods. The video above is part of a series created for International Day of the Girl, observed on October 11 each year. The video lets each girl speak for herself, and share her story with the world. The documentary style and simple text overlay make this video feel authentic.

Make Your Nonprofit Explainer Videos: Production Companies Can Help

Nonprofit explainer videos bring your cause to life with a blend of imagery and narrative. Explainer videos can distill complex issues and give target audiences a chance to connect with a cause. If you need help creating video content for your nonprofit, reach out to IdeaRocket. We make videos in techniques such as 2d and 3d animationmixed mediawhiteboardmotion graphics and live action. All you need is a mission and a story to tell.

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