Video Budget Checklist for Nonprofits: Ultimate Guide

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It's fiscal planning time! As your nonprofit gears up for some video storytelling, one big question looms: How much should you budget? This actionable guide takes the guesswork out of video budgeting and aligns it with your mission.

We will continuously update this article with fresh, wisdom-packed insights on video budgets for nonprofits. Keep swinging by to avoid missing the latest.

Rate Considerations 📈

Your first stop in budget planning is understanding how Videographers and Storytellers charge for their services. It sets the stage for realistic expectations. There's no one-size-fits-all rule here, and that's because of the whole spectrum of experience, skills, value, and gear that people bring.

Understand Various Billing Methods

Get familiar with how video pros bill. Is it hourly, per project, or value-based? Choose the method that aligns best with your project scope.

  • Hourly Billing: Straightforward but can add up quickly. Suitable for short, predictable projects.
  • Project Billing: Provides a fixed rate, ideal for projects with a clear scope and timeline.
  • Value-based Billing: The fee is a percentage of the value you receive. Conversations decide this value, and consensus is vital.

Check Current Market Rates

For a glimpse into rates, Check out The Pay Transparency Project (PTP) for a more in-depth look.

We've noticed an average pay rate for the following roles needed for most video storytelling projects.

  • Producer/Project Manager = $2,000
  • Directors = $3,000
  • Camera Operators = $2,000
  • Editors = $2,500

Let the Story Guide the Form 🎬

Before diving into budget specifics, take a moment to know the heartbeat of your story. Sometimes, you won't even know your project's form—a narrative film, documentary, or something else—until you consult with professionals.

Consult First, Budget Later

Before pinning your budget, sit with video storytelling pros to help define the scope. These experts can guide you to the best medium to serve your story. Trust them—they've been around the block and know how to amplify your message in ways you might not have considered.

Essential Video Budgeting Considerations 🎯

Creating a budget isn't just about money. It's about balancing quality with costs and being clear about your project scope. After consulting with the storytelling experts to understand your story's needs, you can create a budget that aligns with the project scope.

  • Balance Quality vs. Cash: Investing in higher quality can be fruitful, but keeping it in line with your budget is essential.
  • Define Project Scope: It is vital to know whether you're making a short promo video or an in-depth documentary, as each comes with its cost structure.
  • Open Conversations: Transparent dialogues with videographers can avoid hidden costs or misunderstandings later.
  • Solo vs. Crew 🎥: The size of your video team can make or break your budget. Both solo videographers and crews offer distinct advantages.
  • Solo-Dolo: Great for tight budgets and smaller-scale projects. The decision-making process is often quicker, but the range of skills is sometimes limited.
  • Crews: Best for mid-size and more significant projects where specialized skills like storytelling, lighting, sound, and editing are needed. A crew is costlier but often necessary for complex projects.

Check out this article for a breakdown of the pros and cons of hiring a solo Videographer versus a Storyteller.

Service or Full-Solution? 🛠️

Sometimes, you may need a full-service solution, but other times, piecemeal services may suffice. Here's what to consider.

Choosing individual services like only filming or editing can save costs but may require more coordination. Total Solution If you opt for a full-service package, you'll pay more but streamline the production process.

Impact on Video Budget 💰

Your choices in the above categories will directly affect your final budget. Let's understand these implications.

  • Solo: A budget-friendly option for more straightforward tasks.
  • Crew: A team comes with higher expertise but at an elevated cost.
  • Service: Opting for task-specific services is lighter on the budget.
  • Total Solution: A complete package offers convenience but can be expensive.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

11 Actionable Steps for Video Budgeting

  1. ☑️ Initiate Discovery Phase with Professionals: Consider paying for a "discovery phase" with a storytelling expert or agency. During this phase, focus on understanding your video project's narrative requirements, form, and ultimate objectives. Be willing to invest both time and money into this phase to make more informed decisions later.
  2. ☑️ Decide on Continuation or New Selection: If the discovery phase proves valuable, consider hiring the same professionals for the project's execution. If not, you've at least gained valuable insights for selecting another service provider.
  3. ☑️ Clearly Define Goals (with Flexibility if Unconsulted): Articulate your objectives following the discovery phase or assessment. If you've bypassed professional consultation, treat this scope as a living document needing adjustments.
  4. ☑️ Consult Fellow Nonprofits: Network with other organizations to gather tips or recommendations. Real-world insights can give you a jump-start.
  5. ☑️ Solicit Multiple Proposals: If you haven't committed to the consulting agency, approach multiple service providers to get various pricing and service options.
  6. ☑️ Evaluate Portfolio: Review previous works of your shortlisted candidates to ensure their style and quality align with your organization's vision.
  7. ☑️ Draft a Contract: Get a legally binding agreement that clearly outlines the scope of work, timelines, and payment terms. This prevents misunderstandings later on.
  8. ☑️ Confirm Payment Modes and Schedules: Align the payment methods and schedules. This ensures that both parties are on the same page financially.
  9. ☑️ Set Milestones: Divide the project into phases and attach deadlines and payment schedules. This ensures that everyone stays on track.
  10. ☑️ Create a Contingency Fund: Allocate some budget for unplanned expenses. This will give you peace of mind and ensure the project doesn't stall due to financial hiccups.
  11. ☑️ Account for Legal and Admin Costs: Don't forget the bureaucratic side—budget for permits, licenses, or any legal or contractual obligations that might pop up.

Wrap It Up: Your Next Move

You have the tools and actionable steps to make informed decisions about your nonprofit's video storytelling budget. Don't let this guide collect digital dust—put it to work.

Schedule an intro call today if you're ready to initiate the discovery process. Ready, set, action!

Tagged: Budgets · Videographers

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