Tag Archives: Nonprofits

How to Get Your Nonprofit Message Out Using Video

By Julia Mace, Senior Communications Officer, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

Your organization is fantastic, and you want people to know about its work. Or maybe you have a new leader or program you want to highlight.

Like you, we wanted to share our messages using video.

Here’s how we did it at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Check out our latest videos

Our scenario

We were transitioning to a new CEO/President after 17 years. This was the perfect opportunity to remind or tell people what we do: The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is a charitable resource for a more vibrant and prosperous community so everyone can thrive.

Whether you use a professional production team or you own in-house tools, we hope our tips help you on your journey!

Where did we start?

First, we tapped in our fans:

  • We asked our donors to talk about why they partner with us to make a difference. It was more compelling to hear others talk about supporting our cause.
  • We contacted the nonprofits our donors support. We were able to show the wide range of our work by showing video of the many types of nonprofits our donors support.

We wrote a script:

  • Having key messages written will help you as you create your concept.
  • You can write a script yourself or hire a writer.
  • Scripts are helpful even when you want to capture your subjects in their own words, so you can guide your subject and give guidance if they are nervous.
  • When filming testimonials or taking b-roll video (supplemental video edited with the main shot), your script will keep you on track.

How did it come together?

Keep in mind things often go unplanned:

  • Like any project, there may be bumps. It may rain on a day you plan to shoot outside, or someone may not get back to you.
  • Don’t worry, it happens. And most likely, something better will work out.

Prep your subjects:

  • Communicate with your subjects. Make certain they know the script and like it. People are not going to want to say something they are not comfortable with or don’t agree on. Email them the script ahead of time, talk them through it, do whatever it takes to make them comfortable.
  • Ask your subjects to avoid wearing patterns on screen, they can be distracting. Watch out for jewelry, especially bracelets, to minimize clinking sounds.

How can we get people to see our video?

Reuse & Recycle

  • Repurpose your video. Our original video was 2:12 minutes. We also shortened it to use for a television spot.
  • We also used extra b-roll and interviews to create the additional video showcasing our donors.
  • Remember how we said to share it all over social media – we are doing the same for the new video.

Want more tips? See “Ten Video Tips for Nonprofits” by Nonprofit Technology Network 

Check out these videos for more inspiration

Our Sincere Thanks

We thank our video producer, Pippin Rush, LLC. We thank the following for appearing in this video: Wijdan Jreisat, Herb Robinson and Barbara Sferra, L-A and Jeff Stopa and Dianne Rosenberg.

We thank the following organizations for their assistance in the making of this video: Phil Mastman, The Carnegie, Children, Inc., Cincinnati Area Senior Services, Inc., Cincinnati Arts and Technology Center, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Parks, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati, Contemporary Arts Center, Freestore Foodbank Cincinnati Cooks!, Music Hall, Shelterhouse, Santa Maria Community Services, and Tender Mercies.

Do you have any helpful tips for nonprofit videos? Share them in the comments below.

Julia Mace is the Senior Communications Officer of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.


Building Meaningful Connections

Our 2014 Annual Report cover features Union Terminal. Learn more about our work with the Cultural Facilities Task Force.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s 2014 Annual Report cover features Union Terminal.

By Ellen M. Katz, President/CEO of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

As the new face here at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, I’ve been busy learning all about the meaningful connections GCF makes in the community.

The spirit of giving in the Tristate is legendary, and we are proud of the part we play. By partnering with many in our community, GCF granted more than $77 million to nonprofits in 2014.

You may be surprised at the many things GCF has had a hand in, thanks to our generous donors.

A few of the projects in which GCF has invested:

In taking this job, I’m excited by GCF being the region’s leading convener.

By partnering with many organizations and community leaders, GCF has helped to develop a shared vision of community change, save two local icons,  support big ideas, inspire the next generation of philanthropists, improve racial equity, and connect many interested donors to causes they care about.

GCF is often there, providing support behind-the-scenes.

Another important role for us is building the nonprofit capacity in our region. We do this in many ways – through grantmaking, impact investing, and support to nonprofits. Our nonprofits are top-notch in Greater Cincinnati, providing for the good of our community in countless ways.

I personally subscribe to the values of servant leadership, where the needs of others are put first.

That’s why I love the story of the women leaders of the Fresh Air Society, who realized their mission to provide tenement families a respite in the country was obsolete. They went on to partner with the local banking community to start The Greater Cincinnati Foundation in 1963.

I look forward to partnering with you, as I begin my journey here at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Ellen M. Katz is the CEO/President of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.