How 6 Nonprofits are Putting Great Online Video to Work (Case Study)

Online video is hands-down, no-contest powerful. Just look at these stats on video audiences, drawn from a recent ComScore study:

  • Over 133 million Americans watched online video in July 2007 – or 74% of US Internet users.
  • They watched more than 9 billion videos, 27% of them on Google sites including YouTube.

The pull is undeniable. So move on it. No better first step than to review some of the high-impact nonprofit videos out there to inspire and guide you in your own online video initiative.

Here are six of my top picks:

Young Greenpeacer Demands Change

This imagery (stark, monochromatic and exceedingly plain) grabbed me, as do the angry words of this child demanding protection for his right to live in a clean environment.

It’s so different from how we’re used to seeing children (in bright colors, playing happily). This child narrator is almost post-apocalyptic; frightening but 150% compelling.

Warning: Many Getting Attention blog readers hated this video. What’s your reaction? Email me.

Biz School Students Speak Out on Value of Their Learning

This video from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School showcases students discussing how they’re advancing their careers via their UNC studies. It’s a strong example of “storytelling” content that’s far more effective delivered via video than the written word. These faces and voices are just more immediate, more real, more effective.

Thanks to higher ed marketer Bob Johnson for the tip.

18-Year-Old Kartieaa – Who’s Without Parents, Income and Confidence – Tells How the TRAC Program Has Put Him on the Road to College and a Positive Self-Image

The Central Dallas Ministries Transition Resource Action Center (TRAC) produced this video about Kartieaa, an 18-year-old client, who tells his incredible story.

After Kartieaa was bounced through seven foster homes and four group homes, plus two years in jail, TRAC helped him get on track to stability and a college degree. It’s sad, pleasing and ultimately engaging.

This video motivated NPowerDC’s Jocelyn Harmon to become a first-time TRAC donor.

International Rescue Committee Video Diary from Darfur Shows What’s Really Going On – and How IRC is Helping

IRC communications officer Emily Holland recently traveled to Darfur to document the lives of displaced Sudanese survivors. Her video diary shows us how IRC is working on the ground in key areas. Authenticity rules.

Thanks for the lead to Sea Change Strategies’ Alia McKee.

Environmental Org Puts Video to Work for Online Training

North Carolina environmental organization is using video for online training, with the long-term goal of reducing training-related travel. After all, online audience reach is infinite, and cheap. takes a simple but clever approach to do so: Staff members film a PowerPoint presentation with audio, to generate a full-fledged Webinar (Web-based seminar) available on demand to almost any online user without requiring additional software downloads. Simple but elegant,

California Bar Association Sets the Bar for Online Video

Online Video Service credits the California Bar Association with setting the bar in using video as a fully-integrated component of its anti-smoking campaign. CBA puts celebrities like Carol Burnett delivering messages about stopping smoking and the importance of clean air.

Do you have a powerful nonprofit video favorite to add to this list? If so, please leave a comment below.

P. S. Remember to review “9 Keys to Using Online Video to Increase Your Nonprofit Marketing Impact”