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How to create a video for your non-profit

If you've decided to look for a video production partner to create a video for your organisation, it may help to get an oversight of the whole process - from selecting an agency to signing off on the finished product.

Things you'll need

  • A budget
  • A brief
  • A clear sense of the audience you are targeting
  • An understanding of your goals (increase sales, drive traffic etc)
  • How you will measure success

Choosing an agency

Word of mouth is probably the best way to find an agency, but equally you can find a company easily online. Try using specific search terms ('video production company' is going to give you a lot of returns). Try adding a location and the sector you work in, for example 'charity video production company manchester'.

With the search engine returns have a look at the companies' showreels and case studies and shortlist 3 agencies to contact. Send them a brief with a sense of the budget, your goals and any benchmark videos that you like. if you know the format you require (animation, interview etc) it's helpful to stipulate this.

Based on their quote and proposal chose an agency. Be sure to ask how many sets of amendments you are offered in their cost, and what their rate card for editing would be beyond the amendments included.

Once you've chosen your agency, you're into the next stage - 'pre-production.'



The starting point after commissioning an agency should be a detailed conversation, either face to face or over the phone.

In this conversation an approach can be decided (eg live action vs animation) and you can discuss details on the the target audience
, how you intend to influence these viewers (eg increase uptake of a service or product, improve brand awareness) and how you will measure the success of the campaign

The budget
 should be agreed and a schedule set. 

In the pre-production stage the agency will liaise with you, normally through the producer or account manager, on the shape and content of the video, the length of the video, the look & feel of the elements (interview content, graphics etc) and tone. If there is drama involved, then this is when castings will take place.

Your point of contact will provide you with a script and shotlist for sign off, and if the shoot is complex possibly with storyboards, which are a drawn representation of how the shots will look.

Graphics add a lot of value to the look of a video, but they are expensive to produce. Your contact will probably give you work in progress examples of any graphics, therefore, so you can feedback, sign off or change tack as you progress.

The goal with pre-production is to tie down as many details as possible to ensure the next stage, production, goes as smoothly as possible.



During the production period the agreed plans are executed. This may well involve a shoot to capture location footage and interview content.

Of course, you can never be certain how people will respond in front of camera, or what the weather will be like on the day of your exterior shoot, so there is always some adapting to the pre-production plan. Hopefully you will find that you got more good content than you had expected. Perhaps you will decide to change the tone a little or make the decision to include some graphics to support what your interviewees have said.

The point is the conversation with your agency continues while you collect your filmed material and complete any graphical content. Then your're ready for post-production.



In this final stage of the process your agency will take all the specially shot and graphical materials into the edit to be assembled as per the script.

Music, captions and logos are added and voiceover, where required, is recorded and laid onto the video. 

Clients are given drafts of the video to review and comment on, until the final version is completed.

At this point the final delivery is made in the format you require (eg 1920 x 1080 mp4.h264 file).

But it doesn't stop there. Now you need to get your video seen by the right people. The temptation is to just put the video on YouTube, or on a homepage, but there are more pro-active ways of ensuring your video is seen by the right people. Finding an agency that can help with running a campaign with the completed video asset may well be part of your brief.

Certainly, to ensure you received the ROI on your video, you will need to measure the success of the video against the benchmarks you set during pre-production. What you are likely to find is that video is an incredibly effective and engaging tool for marketing if properly thought through and produced with good production values. 


Page last edited Apr 28, 2017 History

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