Video Case Studies for Charities
Image by Martin Vysoudil - Unsplash
Video case studies are highly beneficial for charities – here are some of the reasons why...
• They raise your profile
• They advertise your services
• They highlight your staff and volunteers
• They let people fully understand the process
• They show your funders/stakeholders where the money is going
• They can be used in annual reports
• They can attract new funders, volunteers, service users and partners
They build trust and create connection!
A video case study is a longer form of video testimonial, almost like a mini documentary. Rather than a short review, the service user can tell their story about why they decided to use your charity and how you’ve changed their life for the better. This helps the viewer understand more fully how your services can help people.
You’ll also be opening the door to the charity – people who have been apprehensive about donating or using your charity can now see exactly what is involved and discover the positive outcomes.
So how do you make a video case study and fully embrace the use of storytelling and character?
They are cost-effective. You don’t need to hire an expensive production team – this is something you can do yourself with just a smartphone. The story and emotion will be the focus, not the production values.
Some tips can be found in my article here!
First of all, approach a service user who has gained a positive experience from your services. Find someone who is happy to talk about their story and enjoys chatting – someone who will really enjoy being filmed.
Image by Georg Arthur Pflueger - Unsplash
Make it a fun experience for both of you and the outcome will be more authentic and emotional!
Quite simply, you’ll need to feature:
• Their situation before they used your service
• The problem they had
• How they found your service
• How you helped them solve their problem
• How happy they are now and how your services have benefitted their life
You can even go further by asking the person how they feel about their future now they’ve achieved their goal. Talk about their plans and how much the change has affected their life, their relationships, their job and so on.
Make sure you have everything in place before you film, to ensure the process is as easy, quick and enjoyable as possible. Know what questions you’re going to ask and what you want to film. Ensure the space is ready, and clean up if you need to! Make sure you’re technically ready too: have you charged your smartphone or camera? Have you got lights if you need them?
Film the person using the charity’s service if possible. Show them enjoying themselves and chatting to staff, volunteers, other service users and so on. Try and get as much fly-on-the-wall footage as you can.
Image by Monica Melton - Unsplash
Make sure you have media consent for everyone you film!
Keep things authentic – if you hear someone offering biscuits in the middle of filming, or someone answering a busy phone, then keep it in – show the charity as it is. This isn’t a television studio, so keep things real as this helps with the connection.
When interviewing your service user, it can be more powerful if you just let them talk and then edit out you asking the questions. Ask open questions so the person can fully explain their story: how did the process make them feel at different stages? What did the team do for them?
Another idea could be to film a chat between them and the member of staff or volunteer that has helped. Let them bounce off each other – some nice, authentic, intimate moments can be created here and will show their relationship.
Flood the video with positivity!
Make sure your video and audio is clear in order to show respect – that you care about the story.
You can also enhance the story by choosing a certain style, adding music, captions and so on.
I would recommend highlighting just one person per video to focus on their journey so the viewer can fully empathise and relate to them. This will also gain the biggest emotional punch and the video will be more likely to be shared.
Image by Andre Ouellet - Unsplash
You can always create a series of video case studies, making them as diverse as possible so that a wider audience can engage with them.
Once you’ve created your video you now need to start sharing. Decide who you’d like to target and where you should post it. Who is your audience and where are they? What social channels will they be looking at?
So, give it a go, highlight these real people and real stories to show the positive impact of your services. Let existing and potential funders see your work and achievements.
It really shows you care about your work by featuring these stories, again building trust with the viewer and making that emotional connection.