• Mary-Laine Friday

5 Ways Video Can Help Your Charity During Coronavirus COVID-19

Updated: Mar 16, 2020

With the Coronavirus crisis meaning necessary closures, conference cancellations and event postponements, every charity and non-profit is being forced to think outside of the box.

How do you continue to meet fundraising targets?

And how do you continue to communicate with your audiences and community in the most informative, engaging and considerate ways?

Here are some ideas for how video can help!

(And, bonus points, they’re all work-from-home friendly!)

1: E-learning and virtual conferences

If your conference has been cancelled, most certainly consider virtual conferencing.

If a conference has been cancelled last minute, chances are your speakers will have their slideshows all ready and raring to go. There’s no need to let your team’s preparation go to waste. By simply recording and overlaying a voiceover, timed precisely to an animated presentation or slideshow, you can upload the presentation onto platforms like YouTube and deliver it virtually to the participants or members who were scheduled to attend.

If you’re concerned about the quality of voiceover, why not ask your speaker or team member to write a transcript and commission a professional recording by an in-house voiceover artist.

This works equally well for any training or coaching courses that have had to be postponed or cancelled. Check out some of our E-learning videos for NHS Foundation Trusts.

Similarly, it’s worth considering if you were planning on making announcement, launching new initiatives, delivering outreach or even simply sharing an inspiring message at the conference, it could be wise to develop a direct outreach piece through video to share some of the messaging participants would have heard straight to their inbox.

Keep participants and attendees, as well as sponsors and stakeholders, feeling loved!

2: Animated infographics

Your community are likely to have a few questions about how Coronavirus might affect them, particularly if you are part of health charity and support vulnerable individuals.

Lots of organisation are publishing blogs issuing guidance and advice. However, with increasingly more time to scroll through social media, have you considered the value of eye-catching and highly shareable informational video resources?

We adore this video series from SignHealth who have created British Sign Language videos to help deaf BSL users.

Fear not if your organisation’s work-from-home policy means filming is a no-go right now: informational video resources can still be produced with stock footage and stills-based media paired with some fancy animated graphic work!

If you’re hosting a virtual Q+A, why not turn the most Frequently Asked Questions into animated-text video that’s engaging, informative and perfect for social media (do I hear Pinned Post on Twitter? I think I do!). You could even go a step further and self-film your organisations answers to the FAQ for integration into the video.

3: Market a viral fundraising challenge

Fundraising events might be postponed or cancelled, but there’s still a need to raise those all-important funds for your charity.

With people spending more time on the internet during evenings indoors, and perhaps with more disposable income from going-out and commuting less frequently, try thinking up a digital fundraising challenge that could go (pardon the pun!) viral.

Who remembers the success of the ALS ice bucket challenge? Well, who can forget!

While the success of the ALS ice bucket challenge has since been hard to emulate, your charity can still raise some all-important cash by setting up sponsored challenges linked to a Facebook Fundraiser.

You can start the ball rolling by taking-on the challenge internally within your organisation – and make sure you film it! Also ask your supporters to take the challenge and film themselves.

Footage in hand, you can make sure to market your fundraiser challenge: produce a video that’s highly shareable on social media and shows the public just how easy it to participate!

And, of course, don’t forget a memorable hashtag!

4: Pleas for philanthropic donations

Refreshingly, charities and non-profits, and indeed even small businesses, are being highly transparent about the financial repercussions Coronavirus has caused. This openness and honesty has so far generated a wave of support across social media, encouraging people to spend where possible to support those organisations and businesses most affected.

Consider directly asking your followers, sponsors, supporters and donors to give.

A charity that has done this brilliantly is The Eve Appeal in their urgent appeal.

Using video to appeal for philanthropic donations can be highly effective in its shareability across social media. Something even as cheap and cheerful as animated text, perhaps paired with self-filmed plea from an ambassador can be really effective.

You might be surprised at the generosity and kindness of individuals during this crisis. and, remember: if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

5: User-generated stories from your community

Fostering a sense of general connections where possible is important. Some clients want to share content that’s empathetic and compassionate, and some want to have some positive, light relief. Regardless of the approach it’s important to create content that engages and inspires and fuels connection in your communities.

If you have any positive stories or case-studies of the people you help sitting on a hard drive, now might be a great time to get that edited and to publish. If the proverbial well’s run dry, why not ask some of your donors, members or audience to send in their stories? User-generated (self-filmed) footage has the added benefit of fostering a deep sense of personal connection and authenticity.

If you’re a small organisation, a short self-filmed video from the team with personal words of reassurance is a great idea to help your community feel connected to you. This personal touch helps strengthen your relationships with your supporters in a tough time.

If you’ve had to cancel fundraising events, like sponsored walks, and have opted for solo, virtual efforts, why not encourage fundraisers to self-film during the event? This can later be edited into a highlights video which showcases individual efforts and is a great ‘end product’ to promote the success of your event, and the strength of the cause and its supporters.

Remember, whether it’s drawing upon stock footage or stills-based media, user-generated footage, or commissioning a shiny animation, you can still create video content that informs and educates, engages and inspires those who want to hear from you and your organisation – whilst raising those all-important funds – during the current coronavirus crisis.

Check out the possibilities of stock footage by watching our films Waiting Games and On the Shoulder of Giants which draw heavily, or entirely, on free stock footage.


Subscribe to our mailing list to not only receive your free How-To Shooting Guide:  Filming Talking Heads on Mobile for Zero Budget for Charities, but also a free How-To Vlog Guide that you can send to your communities for some user-generated footage!

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