Video has become an important and powerful tool for organizations that want to create change.
Whether they are using those videos to raise money, recruit volunteers, or advocate for their causes, the medium can carry emotional impact in ways that other media cannot. Here are four ways organizations are using video to further their missions.
Putting a Face on the Cause
The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children caused some controversy with the decidedly disturbing commercial above, which shows a small boy getting a beating. The release of the video campaign coincided with new statistics that show an increase in the need for the organization’s services. The child actor in this video, said a psychologist who criticized the piece, leaves us “trembling.”
The Humane Society of the United States recently used a similar tactic in a documentary video about Stallone, a dog rescued from a dogfighting operation in 2009, who later died from his injuries. The video is also hard to watch but illustrates the toll of dogfighting in a way statistics could not.
Tearing Down Walls
Many museums and education groups are putting parts of their exhibits online so you can experience them anywhere.
The Mütter Museum, part of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, has taken its collection of medical instruments—and medical anomalies—online with a series of videos featuring its director and curator. In the videos, like the one above, staff members showcase interesting pieces from their collections to virtual visitors around the world. The one-on-one lessons are surprising, fun, and sometimes creepy.
In a similar way, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam is sharing clips from its archives to an audience around the world, including an interview with the Holocaust victim’s father, Otto Frank and the only available footage of Anne Frank herself. The Anne Frank footage has been viewed more than 2.9 million times.
Children’s Museum of Richmond is also using exhibit videos, both online and in the museum itself.
Showing Personal Stories—and Saying Thanks
First Graduate, a nonprofit that works to help first-generation college students earn their degrees, turns the camera on each graduating class it works with, giving students the opportunity to share their success—and thank donors.
Special Olympics has taken a similar approach, sharing the stories of successful athletes.
Sharing the Fun
Many online viewers aren’t interested in watching videos about social causes on YouTube.
Instead, they want to laugh and be entertained.
And some nonprofits have done a great job of creating entertaining videos that also have a connection to their missions.
The Best Friends Animal Society, for instance, uses its collection of cute animals quite effectively in its videos.
Other organizations, like Massachusetts’s Children’s Museum in Easton, share small moments from their programs that might make you smile.
Raymund Flandez contributed to this article.