We all love a great and moving video made by a nonprofit organization doing amazing work to change the world.
It could even be argued that non-profit explainer videos reap more of a reward than for-profit company videos. That’s because people are moved by stories that matter.
And, when the audience cares, they’re more likely to get involved.
While for-profit companies are busy selling, chances are you’re out there making a real difference in the world.
That is something people want to get behind.
But how will people know what you’re up to if you don’t tell them? And, what exactly is the best way to tell them?
Whether you want to increase awareness about your brand, educate the world about a certain issue, recruit volunteers, or get donations, an explainer video is the way to do it.
If you’re interested in having one made for your organization or have questions about the process, feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to be of service.
If you’re new to video marketing, then be sure to check out our e-book that breaks down how to build a video marketing strategy for startups
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Nonprofit explainer videos allow you to simply and briefly tell the world who you are and why you matter.
Why nonprofit explainer videos are effective
Whether we like it or not, people would rather watch videos than read these days.
That’s why relying on video to tell your story is the way to go.
With explainer videos, you’ll reach the most amount of people and get them to care about what you stand for at the same time.
Beyond that, your nonprofit organization has a meaningful mission. Like we said before, people are moved by compelling stories, especially if we connect to those stories on an emotional level.
Some ways non-profit organizations can use explainer videos
- Fundraising: This is one of the most common ways of using nonprofit explainer videos. If that’s something you’re looking to do, an explainer video is a great tool to have at the ready.
- Educational content: A lot of nonprofit organizations have ideas they want to educate the world about. These are the go-to content formats for think tanks, research organization and educational institutions.
- Raising awareness about your brand: To stay top of mind, it is important for people to know who you are and what your organization is all about. Having an explainer video to share with people is a great way to do that.
- Conferences: You can share a video at an upcoming conference to kick things off. Highlight specific wins from last year or communicate a message to the audience in a compelling way.
But aren’t videos really expensive?
There are many ways to cut explainer video costs and still get useful video.
Work with a nonprofit video production company who truly understands and believes in what you’re doing.
And then, you can get creative when it comes to raising funds for your nonprofit video production!
Convince people that video is the best way to reach people, after all, our survey found that video has brought home more revenue and customers for 78% of businesses.
Also, video has a long shelf-life, and it can save you time and money down the road.
19 of the best nonprofit explainer videos
From those that have already trodden the road that you want to take, these best examples of non-profit videos can act as inspirations for you.
1. The Girl Effect
Here’s a video that makes clever use of kinetic typography and minimal illustrations to tell a compelling story.
There’s no voice-over which can be a great strategy to employ, considering how many people watch videos without sound these days.
The paired back color palette, music composition, and compelling subject matter all combine to make this a highly emotive piece of art that compels the audience to learn more.
You see, the animated explainer videos are a great solution for covering difficult subject matter like this, because it allows you to tell a story without showing real people.
2. Resource Ministry
Not to brag but this is a video we made for a non-profit. We loved working with an organization that’s trying to help young people.
Additionally, the team got to experiment with a new illustration style and now we’ve got something unique in our portfolio.
If you like the video and want something like this for your business, get in touch with our video experts. The team will be happy to help!
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3. The Impossible Hug
This is a topic most people aren’t thinking about very often. All the more reason to make a video to raise awareness!
While there is a voice-over for the video, it takes a unique approach regarding sound in that it doesn’t have music.
Not using music, especially for such an emotional subject matter, is a risky move, but they’ve executed it perfectly.
Instead of using music, it relies on sound design and visuals to tell the story and convey the emotion.
This video proves that sometimes creative risk-taking pays off.
We typically don’t recommend creating an explainer video that exceeds 2 minutes. However, sometimes the story calls for it.
This is a great example, though, in many ways, this isn’t a traditional explainer video.
Yet, it’s highly effective because of the way they executed the concept they came up with.
It uses abstract visuals to convey emotions and makes use of sound design to drive home the feelings of sexually abused children.
Given how difficult it is to talk about this issue, the story required a unique visual approach to effectively reach children and make them feel like they have somewhere to turn.
5. Exodus Cry
Even nonprofits with serious subject matter can leverage video to share their mission with the world. Here’s a perfect example.
Exodus cry exists to end human trafficking and this video is all about the connection between prostitution and human trafficking.
Everything from the compelling music score to the detailed style and motion graphics make this a compelling story that drives the audience to care and get involved.
This video is proof that an animated explainer can be as effective as live-action in generating a strong emotional response (and at a fraction of the cost!).
6. Charity Water
Charity water is a pretty well-known non-profit organization trying to provide clean water to millions of people who still don’t have it.
This video effectively appeals to the audience by getting us to put ourselves in the shoes of those who don’t have access to clean water.
We love this approach because empathy is really what gets your audience to care and ultimately, take the action you want them to take.
7. HIAS: For the refugees
Here’s a beautiful video with a powerful message about refugees. It’s an effective example of high production value in action.
The art alone makes you want to continue watching and keeps you engaged in what the story is about.
While it isn’t overly emotional, the subject matter, crisp illustrations, and quality motion graphics keep viewers interested throughout the entire video.
8. The Adventure Project
The Adventure Project has been using video content to draw support for its mission of alleviating global poverty by creating jobs around the world.
In Chipaza’s story, a video about Chipaza, a rural farmer in Malawi, is given the mic on the subject.
Allowing him to tell his story and describe how The Adventure Project’s programs have impacted his life.
While it demonstrates impact, this storytelling tactic also ensures that dignity and control over self-expression remain with the organization’s beneficiaries — a key element of the Adventure Project’s goals to encourage a sustainable, self-driven entrepreneurial solution to poverty among those they serve.
9. Greater Than Aids
This video reminds us that keeping non-profit videos short and focused on one emotional appeal will never cease to succeed in capturing viewer’s attention.
In a little over one minute, Greater than Aids has introduced a relatable subject, explained, both through the sufferer’s story and her relationship to GTA’s mission of educating people about and responding to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic.
And, provided a clear call-to-action. Take notes!
10. Cancer Research Institute
For organizations like Cancer Research Institute that seek to educate and inform their supporters about research findings or other more complex subjects, animation can be immensely helpful in their video strategy.
In this example, the animation is used to visually explain the difference between chemotherapy and immunotherapy — a treatment championed by CRI that empowers the immune system to fight cancer.
Consider using animated explainer videos to help communicate key processes or concepts that are foundational to your organization’s mission, especially when content about these topics includes a lot of industry jargon.
11. Slaying Childhood Cancer by Alex’s Lemonade Stand
I love the candidness and simplicity with which this video tells the story of one person’s struggle.
The father of a young cancer patient chronicles his painful experience with the disease but maintains such a light-hearted and uplifting portrait of his daughter that it’s impossible not to be moved.
It’s worth a watch and is a compelling example of how simple, personal storytelling is equally as effective as the results of big production budgets.
12. Cause Story
Here is another example of an organization that helps non-profits. The cause comes alongside organizations that are just getting started and takes care of all the logistics so they can focus on what they are passionate about.
The animation style of this video is simple, clear, and gets the message across without losing the viewers in unnecessary details.
13. Animated non-profit video for Planet Donate
Planet Donate helps organizations raise money through the collection of unwanted clothing and shoes, shipping them to people who need them around the world.
They help you “loop the clothes”, as we say in this colorful, hopeful animated explainer video.
In this video, they tell the story of “Ben’s T-Shirt”, both with and without Planet Donate.
Try to watch this one without having an emotional connection for that t-shirt. It’s not easy.
14. Non-profit Video for a Melanoma Research Foundation
The skin of steel is a not-for-profit organization striving to fund the first national, collaborative Melanoma Tissue Bank, which will give researchers across the country access to the fresh-frozen primary tissues they need to enhance melanoma treatment and eventually find a cure.
This mesmerizing animated video is one of the best non-profit videos that communicate Skin of Steel’s vision with beautiful music, imagery, and text. It’s filled with facts and, more importantly, hope.
15. Restore the Gore
This is an effective non-profit explainer video, because the message is clear and easy to follow. It starts by appealing to the audience’s love for nature, transitions into the problem, and then briefly tell you the actions you can take to help.
The story isn’t over-the-top emotional, but it does drive people to care and get involved.
16. Best Friends Animal Society: Quiton’s story
Telling a simple story remains one of the best ways you can engage the audience and hit those emotional chords.
Best Friends Animal Society is a nationwide charity for animals on a mission to “save them all”, and they’re not pulling any punches.
This charity video tells the story of the rescue of Quition, a five-week-old kitten who lost his foot living on the street.
Set to soft music, with text, you’re shown shots of Quiton as he gets his first bath, makes friends, and eventually meets his human. And we are 100% sure that somewhere just out of view, someone was chopping onions.
This is a story that will yank mightily on your heartstrings. That makes it an exceptionally effective way to raise awareness about a charity that saves lives just like Quiton’s.
A video doesn’t have to be masterfully shot or brilliantly produced to work. It just needs a heart, a strong story, and a compelling star.
17. Fight for Survival — Every Mother Counts
Here is proof that sometimes shorter is better. This video for non-profit comes in at 30 seconds, but does everything it needs to get done.
It tells you how women struggle with their pregnancy, and how it becomes a fight for survival as many women lose their lives.
By the end, the audience knows what the organization is about, and can go learn more about them if they want.
This video style is also paired backwards which helps keep the audience focused on the message.
18. Make it Easy to Learn More with Resources and CTAs
This organization provides first aid training, and they got creative with this delightfully informative advertisement.
The 40-second video uses animated toys to teach parents about choking hazards, and how to care for a child in danger.
The video is a good example of hooking a viewer and introducing them to a concept while providing a clear way to find more information they may need.
19. Non-Profit Video for the Child Advocacy Group
In a perfect world, children live in safe, nurturing environments.
But our world is not perfect. The harsh reality is that child abuse occurs all too frequently, all around the country, and world.
This non-profit commercial was created for the Child Advocacy Center in Gainesville, Florida. Child abuse is a sensitive topic, but we think this video addresses the matter with grace and a sense of hope.
Every organization can benefit from video, including non-profits. You’ve got a message that matters, and a mission that people would want to support.
Include video in your marketing strategy, no matter what goals you’re trying to achieve, and you’re sure to see the result.
Hire a non-profit video production company that will come alongside you and develop your story from the ground up, utilizing whichever creative ideas are best for your particular goals. Good luck!
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