How to make a video for non-profits (created for GlobalGiving)

Created by What Took You So Long for Global Giving, this video offers 34 tips and examples for creating short films about non-profit organizations and international projects. We focused on 3 primary areas: directing and producing, shooting in the field, and editing.

All of the footage in this video was filmed by What Took You So Long in locations around the world, including Somalia, Haiti, Kenya, Colombia, Liberia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Namibia, India, and more.

GlobalGiving is a charity fundraising web site that gives social entrepreneurs and non-profits from anywhere in the world a chance to raise the money that they need to improve their communities. Since 2002, GlobalGiving has raised over $78 million from 308,772 donors who have supported 7,209 projects.

For more information, visit:

Video flow:

Set the scene
Capture honest moments
Use public transport
Feature camels
Powerful images create discussion
Kids are awesome, but don’t exploit
Share positive stories
Emotions create connection with viewers
Feature Local leaders
Build a relationship

Use two cameras or more
Play with focus and jump cuts
Follow action
Play with perspective
Make the Simple Beautiful
Be colorful
Improvise with your equipment
Climb buildings
Create continuity

Start strong
Simplify your message
Add drama and predictability
Repetition increases impact
Experiment with background and movement
Effects can be fun, but be careful
Match imagery with music
Utilize local sounds
Audio can speak for itself
Create original title cards
Work with good translators
Incorporate humor
But don’t overdo the humor
Don’t over-rely on voiceovers
Work with external footage

About the author



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  • The Gratitude Project works in collaboration with Inspire Transformation as a catalyst for social transformation in the Nkomazi community of South Africa and around the globe.
    The approach is putting Gratitude into Action and uniting hearts through service.

    The vision is that all who participate in The Gratitude Project will begin to recognize the many opportunities around them every single day for making a difference in someone else's life. Whether in ways big or small, the opportunities are always there — we just often fail to see them. The Gratitude Project stands for changing this, and for the brighter world we will all share when that happens.

    We are in need of a videographer or student in the field. That wants to have the opportunity to create an small film to sponsor our project, The film will be showcase in front of 300 people, it will be posted on our website and you tube. The videographer will have the freedom to be his/her own art director. this is a NO PAY project. that will help spread the message of Gratitude.

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