Nonprofit Video Storytelling: The Role of Storytellers

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Want to engage with your audience more? It might be time to work with a Storyteller instead of a Videographer. Nonprofit video storytelling is more than just pretty pixels. It's about unveiling your values and impact through compelling narratives.

This article highlights the difference between videography and storytelling. By the end, you will know when to hire a Videographer and when to hire a Storyteller for your video marketing.

Disclaimer: We accept and respect the skills and expertise of Videographers in their field. This post underlines Storytellers' unique approach and value to nonprofit video marketing.

The Role of Videographers for Nonprofit Video Storytelling

Videographer filming a group of women. Nonprofit Video Storytelling.

Traditionally, nonprofits may hire Videographers to document, capture events, and preserve moments. Videographers have technical skills in operating cameras and producing high-quality footage. Their primary focus is often on the visual aspects of the content. Skilled Videographers masterfully capture video footage with precision and expertise.

Drawbacks of Hiring A Videographer

Videography alone may fail to engage audiences deeply and leave a lasting impact. Some Videographers focus more on the visual and technical aspects than on the overall impact of video marketing for your nonprofit.

When to Hire A Videographer

Videographers can be your go-to whenever you need something recorded.

Videographers are ideal when recording events, capturing social media clips, or building a content library. They excel in documenting the "who, what, when, and where" details.

The Role of Storytellers for Nonprofit Video Storytelling

Storytelling exceeds mere documentation and technical video production. It involves weaving narratives, capturing genuine moments, and connecting with audiences emotionally. Storytellers leverage video to convey messages, evoke empathy, and inspire action.

Paul J. Zak's research suggests that video storytelling is more effective than text in triggering emotional responses. (Zak, 2013). This emphasizes the value of storytellers who can create video content for your organization.

Storytellers using post it notes. Nonprofit Video Storytelling.

The Science Behind Storytelling

  • Effective stories capture and hold attention through tension and surprise (Zak, 2013).

Benefits of Nonprofit Video Storytelling

Embracing nonprofit video storytelling means sharing your mission, values, and impact through resounding stories. It's about connecting with others and making a real impact through your stories. Shifting from videography to storytelling taps into your stories' transformative power, helping your organization develop emotional connections, build empathy, and inspire meaningful engagement.

Drawbacks of Hiring A Storyteller

Sometimes, you don't need the depth of emotive storytelling. You might just need what you're doing to be captured and shared. This can be a stumbling block for some Storytellers as they might add elements that aren't necessary.

Price Differences for Video Storytelling

Storytellers can be more expensive than Videographers.

A Videographer can cost between $1,200 and $5,000 for filming and editing. Storytellers, with their personalized and comprehensive approach, start around $10,000 and higher.

Choose a Videographer for event filming or basic footage. Invest in a Storyteller for powerful stories that move people and inspire action.

Side Note: Checkout this budget checklist for your nonprofit video storytelling

When to Hire A Storyteller?

Storytellers are your go-to partner for leaving a lasting impact. They are crucial when your organization wants to touch hearts, build empathy, and strengthen connections. Storytellers help distill your work into compelling stories that captivate, inspire, and mobilize people to take action.

Ultimately, it's about finding the right fit for your goals and budget. Both Videographers and Storytellers have their strengths, and choosing the one that aligns with your objectives is essential.

Bridging the Gap Between Storytellers and Videographers

BairStories Storytellers facilitating a workshop

At BairStories, we're Storytellers using video as our medium to solve communication problems. We understand that a video alone can be beautiful, but its story touches the heart and moves the mind.

Environmental organizations that partner with us know they'll feel heard and connected to their audience, stakeholders, and mission through storytelling. We craft the right story by listening intently, inviting our clients to collaborate, and asking meaningful questions.

Concluding Storytellers vs Videographers

Did this help you understand the difference between Storytellers and Videographers? Videographers are essential for capturing stunning visuals and producing high-quality videos. Storytellers go beyond to understand the essence of a story, its characters, and its underlying emotions.

Nonprofit video storytelling is about transformation, vulnerability, conflict, and resolution. It requires a perspective shift and a deep understanding of your organization's story.

Are your video stories feeling flat? Check out these storytelling tips/hacks to craft stories that captivate and convert.


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We're a storyfirst film and video production company, based in Minnesota, specializing in emotive stories that elevate empathy, community, and funding. 

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