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Nonprofit Video Editing for Social Media: Three Basics for Successful Content



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Nonprofit video content can be compelling for a lot of reasons. It gives donors and supporters a behind-the-scenes look at the work you do and how you do it. It can put names, faces, and personalities to an otherwise-bland social media presence. 

It can help to build familiarity and emotional connection between your supporters and your organization. 

And with the average person spending more than an hour watching video content online every day, it’s a trend you don’t want to ignore. 

Nonprofit video editing. In this image, a woman wearing pink headphones waves as she smiles at a cellphone screen. She is seated outdoors.

The Basics of Good Video Editing for Social Media

Not all nonprofit video has to be created at a professional level—but you do want to make sure you’ve got the basics covered. 

Choose the Right Tone for Your Nonprofit Video

It’s important to set the stage for the message you’re trying to get across with your video. What’s the tone you’re going for? Do you want to leave your viewer happy, hopeful, sad, inspired, feeling a sense of urgency, or something else?

This tone will dictate the way you edit video for social media, the footage you use, and the music you add. 

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Music for Nonprofit Video

The music you choose can have a huge impact on the way your video is received. Think about the tone of the song choice and the lyrical content, if there is any.

If you’re using native editing tools on a site like TikTok, you’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of current and popular tunes—including copyrighted songs that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you.

For projects that will be distributed elsewhere, however—like your website or sites like YouTube or Vimeo—you’ll need to find royalty-free music your organization is legally allowed to use.  

Don’t hesitate to ask others and get feedback here. Music can be tricky, and the wrong choice can derail your nonprofit video project. 

Use B-Roll to Add Visual Interest

“B-roll” refers to any footage you have that isn’t a primary, essential piece of the narrative. This would include scenery shots, for example, or demonstrations of the action your narrator is describing.

Other footage like interviews or dialogue is considered “A-roll.” But because it’s commonly accepted that you should swap visuals every six or so seconds—even if you’re just changing angles or zooming in and out—it’s helpful to use B-roll footage to keep things interesting for your viewer.

Don’t Go Overboard with Cuts and Transitions

It’s appealing to want to edit out every “um” or “you know” from interview footage, and it’s fun to add fancy transitions like fade-outs. But too much of either can be distracting to your viewer, ultimately calling attention to the editing itself—and taking away from the message of your video content. 

Use these techniques sparingly to avoid making your video look amateurish or dated.

Consider the Size of Your Project

How DIY you get with your organization’s video editing for social media should be relative to the size of your project. Combine footage, text, and graphics to have fun and test your skill level with social media posts—even stories that only stay published for 24 hours or so.

But think twice before going it alone for the first time with a video presentation for this year’s big gala, for example, or a promotional video for a large fundraising campaign. 

You can always work up to developing those skills—but consider calling on the professionals until you’re comfortable with larger projects! 

For the full ebook and more great resources for nonprofit leaders, check out NPO Centric’s membership program! >>