'Tis the Season for the best Non-profit Videos

Published on in Miscellaneous

December is here and that can only mean one thing: 'tis the season for hot chocolate, jingle bells, and - in the ProductionHUB world - nonprofit videos. So in the spirit of some good ole, Saint Nick-inspired altruism, we’re ringing in the holidays by showcasing a couple of our favorite nonprofit videos. From health care to special needs children, and foster care parents to programs for disabilities, these best-of-the-best videos were designed to inform, inspire and tell a story, and they don’t disappoint. 

Video created by: PUREWORKS Studio

For: HealthCare Chaplaincy: Creating the New World of Spiritual Care 

"We created this new overview video to premiere at HealthCare Chaplaincy Network’s annual fundraising event, the Wholeness of Life Gala, which is attended both by long-time supporters and people learning about us for the first time. The video’s objectives were to raise awareness of the value and importance of spiritual care as part of whole-person health care, and to bring attention to HCCN’s new direction in response to the changing health care landscape. This included introduction of innovative technological-driven services like “Chat with a Chaplain.” The video's goal was to make an important statement about HCCN as a brand." 

“Spiritual care is often under-recognized in the health care environment,” said Rev. Eric J. Hall, president and CEO of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network. “We want to send the message that spiritual health is a vital aspect of whole-person care, and that our organization has taken the lead in developing innovative tools to provide it.”

What inspired this video?

“What inspired us creatively was the notion expressed in our themeline ‘Caring for the Human Spirit.’ We wanted to present in a clear, energetic way how and why HealthCare Chaplaincy Network - over the past two years - has reinvented itself,” said Rev. Hall. “Certainly we continue to provide traditional bedside chaplaincy at major New York hospitals. That’s very important work. But because more medical care is being delivered outside the hospital walls at outpatient clinics or at home, we have built new services that reach people across the U.S. and in other countries. This paves the way for countless people who are coping with a health crisis to have access to professional-grade spiritual care that will help them find comfort and meaning. The video represents how we are ‘Creating the New World of Spiritual Care’ in response to the changing health care environment.”

What was the production concept? 

“The production concept to tell this story was to mesh what we show onscreen with the voiceover copy. We were very careful to line up the words people hear with what they see onscreen. We made sure to ‘show’ the diversity of patients we care for. We liked that the announcer is British, because we thought her reading would catch people’s attention immediately and imply our growing ability to serve people throughout the world.” 

Animator Mike Janson

How was the video publicized?

“The first public exposure of the video was at our annual Gala on November 5th, which is the organization’s major fundraising and awareness-raising event. The reaction of the people there was very positive. You could see around the room head-nods and smiles, followed by applause. They got what we wanted to say. That was very gratifying,” said Rev. Hall. “I think it works because the video reinforces our foundation, as a 54-year-old organization, and lays out succinctly where we are today and our vision for the future.”

 “Now we move to phase two. Since we created the video for long-time exposure, as well as for the gala, we’re now publicizing it on our website, on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, and in our e-newsletter. The goal is to reach as many people as possible and to make a difference in their lives,” said Rev. Hall. 

About HealthCare Chaplaincy Network  

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ is a 54-year old global nonprofit organization that offers spiritual-related information and resources, and professional chaplaincy services in hospitals, other healthcare settings, and online. Our mission is to advance the integration of spiritual care in health care through clinical practice, research and education in order to improve the patient experience and satisfaction and to help people faced with illness and grief find comfort and meaning, whoever they are, whatever they believe, wherever they are. For more information, visit www.healthcarechaplaincy.org, call 212-644-1111, follow us on Twitter or connect with us on Facebook.

About PUREWORKS Studio 

The distinguishing philosophy of PUREWORKS is the marriage of thoughtful concepts and effective design. PUREWORKS creates useful, beautiful work that clearly communicates ideas and seamlessly integrates branded messaging across platforms. For more information, visit: http://www.pureworkstudio.com/

Video created by: Studio C3 

For: Zach’s Place Program 

"The video is designed to be an emotional piece to support fundraising for the Zach's Place Program of Special Kids Special Families. There were numerous issues that had to be tackled from development through production, especially dealing with children with disabilities on camera. Beyond the challenges of their day-to-day and moment-to-moment issues is the regulatory and authorization issues from the state agencies for use of their images, including a new authorization form signed by their guardian each year specifically outlining the usage of the video (each authorization is only good for one year). With multiple children in background shots, we have added challenges in this regard for them as well."

How did storytelling help achieve your goal?

"The video scripting was created to make the video usable in multiple venues and events. We created the outline to use the story of one mother and child to showcase the impact of the program and suggest that these are the stories that happen every day at Zach's Place.

Studio C3’s work with Zach’s Place started when one of leaders in the organization saw our production work for another non-profit organization. We thought the mission of the organization was important and wanted to tell the story of Zach’s Place in a way that brought awareness to the great work they do for the families of autistic and special needs children.    

During our initial research, we started talking with the families and employees of Zach’s Place to identify the heart of the story and the people it involved. Shayla’s and her son Braxton’s story resonated because of the role Zach’s Place played in making it possible for her to graduate from college and get a job in nursing by offering respite and day care for Braxton. Talking with Shayla helped us understand how little help families with special needs kids have access to nationwide. The world these families live in is more difficult than most people can imagine and we wanted to express that. The bright light for these families is the help, support and care they and their children receive from the staff at Zach’s Place.

The video dramatically showed how involved the staff of Zach’s Place was in helping Shayla achieve her career goals by giving her a safe and positive environment for Braxton, and the time and support she needed to succeed."

What equipment was used?

Camera Package: Canon C-100 + Canon 6D
Lens Package: Canon 24-105mm L Series, Canon 70-300 mm L Series, Rokinon Cinema Primes - 35mm, 50mm, 85mm.
Audio Package: Rode NTG2 Shotgun, Sennheiser G3 Wireless Lav, Rode VideoMic Pro Shotgun Mic.
Camera Accessories: Zacuto Z-Finder EVF, Atomos Ninja Blade
Grip Package: Kino Flow Diva 200 Kit, Kino Flow Diva 400 Kit, Westcott Ice-Lights, Sunbouncer Pro Sun-Bounce.

About Special Kid's Special Families 

The SKSF Child and Family Services Program is in itself an umbrella for several direct service and care options supporting the children and caregivers of children with disabilities, including Zach’s Place Program at The Laurie Hillyard Family Center, Sibshops, Koscove Kids and The Network. The programs include advocacy as well as parent education. For more information, visit: http://sksfcolorado.org/.

About Studio C3 

We are not a video production company. We are a creative group and filmmaking agency. We partner with our clients to make films that will tell the right story to the right people – inspiring action and creating significant impact. For more information, visit: http://www.studioc3.tv/

Video created by: Ledford&Rhodes

For: CBC of Central Florida Commercial


"The objective for the video was to provoke people to become Foster Care Parents. Our company did a significant amount of primary and secondary research into 1) what makes someone want to become/be a foster parent, 2) what the process is like for the child being placed in foster care, and 3) what are misperceptions/misnomers people have about foster children and foster parents. 

The biggest obstacle that we needed to overcome when writing this story was the negative preconceived notions that the general public have of foster care. Our goal was to show a different picture…a more “real” picture of what foster parenting/care is like, rather than the often negative and distorted one portrayed in movies, tv, news, etc. We wanted this story to show how one gesture of love has the power to create a meaningful and positive experience in the lives of parents, their children, and that of a child that is welcomed into their home."

How was this video created?

"After storyboarding the creative idea to our client (which included what roles we wanted represented in telling the story and the actions/expressions from each role, the artistic look we wanted with specific camera angles/movement/coloring effect, etc.), we moved forward with writing the script for voiceover. 

Once that was completed, we auditioned talent for voiceover until we found the right person to provide the inflection and emotion needed to support the feeling we wanted viewers to have when they watched the commercial. (Every detail in making this commercial was considered essential in being able to move the head, heart, and gut of anyone watching this production). With our client, we scouted and identified the individuals that would play each role in the commercial, and then looked for a home that would offer the right “look” to support the storyline. We wanted to make sure that every visual element would lend itself to any potential foster parent being able to imagine themselves in the story. 

After a lot of production pre-planning, set-styling (to outfit the home we used), a shoot date was scheduled and executed. After a 13 hour day (with children that are not very fond of hearing “let’s do that again” a thousand times), all media went into editing. After logging and transferring all footage, we created a paper-cut and started editing including all color correcting, audio mixing, and mastering."

What equipment was used?

All footage shot in 4K
(2) RED Scarlet Dragons
Canon lenses:
MoVi stabilizing system
Paralinx wireless video transmission 
Car mount with C100
DJI Inspire 1 drone
Lite Panels Astra Lights
Small HD monitors 
Editing Production Details:
FinalCut 10
REDCINE-X PRO (used for color grading)
Various LUTs for vintage coloring effect  

Video Success?

"Our client would be able to talk more in-depth on this. However, both CBC of Central Florida and Orlando Science Center have shared with us a lot of the feedback they’ve received thus far and it has been overwhelmingly positive from all constituents."

About Community Based Care of Central Florida  

Community Based Care of Central Florida envisions a world in which every child has a safe, loving and nurturing home – free from abuse, neglect and abandonment. Our services include Fostering, Adoption and Diversion. As the region’s leading child welfare organization, we serve more than 3,000 kids each day. Our services include foster care, adoption, mentoring and independent living – along with resources that strengthen and empower families. For more information, visit: http://www.cbccfl.org/.

About Ledford&Rhodes

We are dedicated to helping brands drive engagement and loyalty across social and web-based channels. Our passion for digital marketing is a result of our first love, video production, and more specifically, telling a brand’s story in a unique and compelling way. We create content people want to hear and share with others, and our wide range of expertise allows us the rare freedom to create and communicate complete concepts, from inspiration to production, in engaging and innovative ways.Our team delivers over 20 years experience in strategic planning, content marketing and content development – From digital initiatives to traditional and new media, we work with our partners to conceive it, make it, and distribute it. For more information, visit: http://www.ledfordrhodes.com/

Video created by: The Goodbrain Digital Studios

For: Goodwill of Orange County video

Bunk final cut high res from Bryan Elliott on Vimeo.

Objective: Help educate and inform people about the Goodwill's assistive technology program and fitness center that helps those who are paralyzed and have other disabilities. 


"Did preliminary interviews with several worthy candidates who could share a compelling story and how they are currently using Goodwill's facilities. Decided on Bunk's story because I wanted to use a sports metaphor to tell his story of struggle and overcoming physical and mental obstacles. Sketched out the story board and sequecing. And created a shot list."

What equipment was used?

2 camera shoot:
Cameras: Panasonic GH4's: filmed in 4k

Lens: Panasonic 
Lumix 12-35, 35-100

Shot on tripod and handheld

--Rode digital lav mics to Zoom H6N
--Videomic Pro's on camera as back up 


Edited on Adobe Premiere 

Timeline: Start to finish in 2 weeks

About Goodwill of Orange County 

Since 1924, Goodwill of Orange County has helped people with disabilities find employment, become independent and support themselves and their families. We’re proud of our heritage and have a rich, active history in the local community. For more information, visit: http://www.ocgoodwill.org/

About The Goodbrain Digital Studios

The GoodBrain Digital Studios is a full-service production company focused on great storytelling. We understand that people watch, remark and share awesome stuff. From ideation and strategy to production and post-production, we help our clients develop original content and programming that can be viewed across multiple screens. We write, direct and produce video content that can be shared across multiple platforms. Our team specializes in developing projects for tv, web and mobile using the latest production tools, motion graphics, animation and video editing. We have our own lights, cameras and equipment, including aerial drones and partnership with RED digital camera. Our core team of writers, directors, production, post-production and FX experts can handle projects of all sizes. For more information, visit: http://thegoodbrain.com/

Video produced by: Star Studio

For: Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

What were the creative thought processes behind the videos / producing the content?

"The Star Studio crew approaches all our content with a lot of thoughtful analysis. We focus on producing content that is specifically geared to our unique audience of patients and families. It is an alternative to mainstream, commercial broadcasting. We aren't out to recreate content that is already available. All of our original content highlights local attractions and/or hospital staff."

How did you get the idea to create the videos / studio?

"It was an evolution, 37 years in the making. It started with a black and white security camera in 1978 and went through a few different incarnations before arriving where we are at today. For more information, check out this video."

Any special shooting techniques you used?

"We use lots of green screen/keying, timelapse shots, and Multi camera events. We always try to follow where the industry is going and sometimes go beyond and do what isn't the norm."

What equipment do you use for the videos / content?

"We use a Canon 5d MK2 for all of our non live content that goes on our channel or online. We will be upgrading to the Blackmagic URSA Mini very shortly for doing more long format recordings and events.

We also use a range of Blackmagic Design products for creating and broadcasting our content – including an ATEM Television Studio live production switcher, two Micro Videohubs for routing, DeckLink Studio 4K, DeckLink Extreme 3D and UltraStudio Thunderbolt for capture and playback, multiple Mini Converters and Mini Recorders, DaVinci Resolve for editing and color correction, and Fusion for VFX."

Why do you think the videos / content are successful?

"The success of our content is largely based on how the audience connects with the talent. Our live interactive shows allow hospital room bound kids and families a chance to be a part of something larger in a very personal and empowering way. When a patient calls into a show and hears their own voice on TV, they are transported to another place. They can forget about being sick and just be a kid."

Any other interesting facts / tidbits about the videos / your studio that you’d like to add?

"In addition to what is in the press release, we broadcast live fund raising events throughout the year. From an annual head shaving event to raise money for St Baldricks Cancer research, to live interactive broadcasts from the Minnesota State Fair."

Below is a list of feedback we have heard from families:

“Fun way to pass the time and fun to interact!”
“Your show has been our reset button in times of stress here.”
“Our child has not stopped talking about being on TV and has told everyone about it.”
“To the people who light up kids days. Who give them a reason to wake up and pay attention. You are an amazing group of people.”
“These awful surgeries and hospital stays are made so much better with your kindness, compassion, and creativity.”
“Keep up the good work and make those kids laugh and smile.”
“Sometimes it’s awkward visiting someone in the hospital- they are sick, in pain, scared… what do you talk about? Bingo.”
“We are convinced that without your wonderful staff and volunteer, our child would have just quit.”
“Great idea- kids go crazy in the hospital.”
“Our family loves the show! It always makes us laugh!”
“You all did such a wonderful job. It has been a very long time since I saw my daughter interact so much with something.”
“... makes you laugh and helps pass the time, which encourages patients to feel better.”
“Bright spot in a day of tests.”
“Great entertainment for everyone! Thank you!”
“We took pains to schedule nursing cares and everything else around the shows. It gave us something to look forward to.”
“Something to look forward to and definitely broke up the long hospital days.”
“I don’t know how we would have made it through without you.”
“Wonderful program, my child was wonderfully distracted, empowered, and connected to others during his isolation. Keep up the great work.”
“Now that we know about Star Studio, I just can’t imagine a family or a child not having this experience, so I hope it’s here to stay.”

About Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

At Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, we get to see amazing every day. The fighting spirit of a 24-week-old preemie. The resilient five year old learning to walk again. And the sense of pure optimism we see in every child. We believe children are the most amazing people on earth—and that drives us to do everything we can to live up to the privilege of caring for them.For more information, visit: http://www.childrensmn.org/

About Star Studio

Star Studio is Children's very own in-house TV channel. Offering handpicked programming for kids of all ages, "Channel 13" is geared specifically to young patients and their families as an alternative to mainstream commercial broadcasting. A broad range of shows has been thoughtfully prepared for viewing 24 hours a day. Channel 13 is a place on TV that the whole family can enjoy together. For more information, visit: http://www.childrensmn.org/patientfamily/hospital-amenities/star-studio

About Blackmagic Design 

Blackmagic has grown rapidly to become one of the world's leading innovators and manufacturers of creative video technology. And that's because our philosophy is refreshing and simple - to help true creativity blossom. Blackmagic Design's founders have had a long history in post-production editing and engineering. With extensive experiences in high-end telecine, film and post, harnessed with a real passion for perfection, Blackmagic set out to change the industry forever. For more information, visit: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/

Video created by: Mercy Ships 

For: Sambany

Sambany from Mercy Ships on Vimeo.

What was the inspiration behind the video?

"The inspiration for the video is Sambany himself. The team wanted to tell the story from his persepctive so they sat down and interviewed him. We then built his story around his own words and I think showing it all from his perspective made a real difference in the way people interacted with the video. It is a story about a brave man and his remarkable triumph. It reminds us all of the great obstacles Mercy Ships patients must overcome to access the medical care they need. He was a very humble man and I think people connected with that. Our job was to show him and his story as it was and I think we accomplished that."

Why was the video successful?

"I think it was so successful because it’s truly a remarkable story. We were able to present it in such a way that people could really connect to it and be a part of his story. The hearts of the crew that provided the care to remove his tumor and also the crew that helped put the story together really shines through and I think people really connect with that, it touches their hearts and they are eager to share it with their friends and family."

Equipment used? 

The story was captured on a Nikon D610 DSLR camera and edited in Adobe Premiere Pro.

About Mercy Ships 

Mercy Ships, a global charity, has operated a fleet of hospital ships in developing nations since 1978. Following the 2000-year-old model of Jesus, Mercy Ships brings hope and healing to the poor, mobilizing people and resources worldwide. For more information, visit: https://www.mercyships.org/

The real mark of a winning video is its ability to connect with its audience, and these non-profit videos execute that beautifully. Whether or not your company is a non-profit, and whether you connect with your audience on an emotional, intellectual, ethical, or comedic level, your video holds the power to influence and inspire: it's up to you to take that step.

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