Video isn’t (yet) killing the nonprofit star

May 21, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

More than half of all Internet content is video. Some 4 billion hours of video are viewed on YouTube every month and more than 350 million videos are annually shared on Twitter.

Those are just some of the signs that Internet video is no passing fad but while nonprofits believe that video is crucial to their communications, many believe they don’t know how to use it effectively or measure its impact, according to Michael Hoffman, CEO and founder of Chicago, Ill.-based See3 Communications. He presented “Into Focus: A Benchmark Guide to Nonprofit Video” at the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) held last month in Washington, D.C., offering results of the first benchmark survey on use and impact of nonprofit video.

The survey included 446 participants, ranging from senior management, communications and development at charities of all sizes, with a diversity of missions and experience with video.

More than three-quarters of respondents don’t know how to measure the impact of their videos or they only track it anecdotally. The most important thing you can do to improve your video’s return on investment (ROI) is to define a clear, attainable goal and measure how and if you reach that goal, Hoffman said.

Half of nonprofit respondents said Facebook is a critical social media channel to distribute video, while 27 percent said it’s very important, compared with 28 and 27 percent, respectively, for Twitter, and 58 percent and 23 percent, respectively, for YouTube.

There are more than 20,000 active nonprofits in YouTube’s nonprofit program but less than 2,000 are using the Donate button, and just 72 have live-streamed an event. Nonprofits have received nearly 6.5 billion views and 588 organizations have more than 1 million views.