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How to bring your story to life through video

Video is a powerful medium. It is attention-grabbing and stimulating. It is now relatively cheap and easy to produce yourself or invite supporters to generate video on your behalf.

According to YouTube, the site has more than 1 billion users. Every day, people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube; half of views are on mobile devices.

Things you'll need

  • Video camera or even a smartphone
  • A YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram or Vine channel
  • A story to tell!

Think about doing it yourself

If you want to make videos yourself, you will need kit to film and software to edit it. You can then upload it to your own channels (website and social media) and video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. Depending on what you want to produce, you don’t necessarily need expensive equipment. It is possible to create great video using your smartphone (remembering of course to say no to vertical video).

There are also a number of collaborative video apps which can help you to produce videos from your community.

If you don’t have the ideas, skills or time to do it yourself, look for a specialist video company can produce films for you.


Tell a story

There’s nothing more powerful than hearing the stories of the people your charity helps first-hand. Get out there, immerse yourself in everything your charity does, find those stories and film them.


Don't over-complicate things

There’s a view that making a video is really hard. It doesn’t have to be. You just need to tell a story and film it so people can see and hear what’s going on. Obviously there are some basic skills involved, but you can learn these.

Focus on finding stories that resonate with your audience – then give them a reason to watch, share and maybe take an action at the end. You don’t need to be able to produce a polished masterpiece that’ll be studied by film students, with glorious panning shots and CGI effects.


Keep it short

As a basic rule of thumb, limit your videos to no longer than two minutes. You should be able to tell your story and get across your key messages in this time.

Of course, there are situations where a longer film is called for, but you should consider whether your target audience will appreciate it before spending time, effort and money making one.

Of course you can go even shorter. Vine is a brilliantly easy video app that lets you create six-second films you can quickly share online. It’s a great way to create fast, creative and digestible content. You should be able to fit a key message into six seconds. Diabetes UK have produced some great Vines.


Set realistic goals

It’s unlikely you’ll get thousands of views, but try to make sure the views you do get, matter, and are from the right target audience. Think about what you want your video to achieve – is it for fundraising, campaigning or to drive traffic to a particular part of your website? It should be used in as many ways as possible.


Immerse yourself in video

Watch other organisations’ videos. What are they doing well? Is there a format you could replicate? Get your creative juices flowing and give some new ideas a go.

Here are some examples:

Further information

Read more about video


This how-to is based on a blog post written by Jude Habib of sounddelivery for Tennyson Insurance now Zurich Insurance


Page last edited Jun 03, 2019 History

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