The holidays — a time when I get so many donation letters from non-profits (NGOs) that my tiny New York mailbox is too jammed for anything else. I always appreciate the calendars, the magnets and heartfelt letters, but at the end of the day, I’ve most likely been keeping up with my favorite NGOs via their social channels throughout the year.

And I have to say, I like what I’m seeing especially on the video front.

NGOs tend to be scrappy, resourceful, tap into their influencer connections and most importantly, they know how to tell a compelling story.Click To Tweet

NGOs tend to be scrappy, resourceful, tap into their influencer connections and most importantly, they know how to tell a compelling story. And it’s that last point that lends itself so well to shareable, video content. Development of these types of videos, whether Facebook Live, Instagram Live or Stories seem to have doubled, if not tripled, over the last year. The best part is there’s a growing audience for video with about 50 million people in the U.S. now watching video on their mobile phones according to BI Intelligence. And that number has certainly increased to date.

So here’s a round-up of some NGOs who are truly killin’ it on social media. Their videos not only appeal to their audience, but are widely accessible to others which is important to garner reach.

  1. NPR Music – the music arm of this NGO is a content powerhouse using teasers for their famous Tiny Desk series and Jazz Night in America. Its social channels, like Instagram, showcase artist’s stories in boomerangs and short videos with fun text overlays and more! From barber shops in the South to rooftops in New York, NPR Music uses short, shareable social video to highlight the best artists across the country.

    Source: NPR Music
  2. Goats of Anarchy – Who doesn’t love a good animal video? The folks at Goats of Anarchy, a special needs goat sanctuary, truly know the power of video (plus the cute factor of their goats). With over 50K views, their daily updates from their farm would brighten up even Scrooge’s day.

    Source: Goats of Anarchy
  3. International Rescue Committee – founded by Albert Einstein, the IRC responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises. On their Instagram, they’ve not only beautifully captured the stories of refugees around the world but have also leveraged the power of video to highlight compelling stats – from refugee screenings to cholera outbreaks. This NGO also taps into celebrities, such as several Game of Thrones stars who have visited camps across the world.

    Source: IRC
  4. Spaceworks NYCFull disclosure: this NGO is a pro bono client. One of my favorite NGOs to follow on social media is Spaceworks, which offers space for New Yorkers to gather and engage with their local creative and cultural practices. The NGO’s content strategy is spot on, letting their artists showcase their affordable rehearsal spaces through Instagram Stories and short social videos. They have a team of content creators and social influencers who take over their channel for one week each month, giving the artists a platform while building a sense of belonging and community. This rotating approach has seen success and allowed followers the chance to see behind the scenes of this community-based NGO.
Source: Spaceworks NYC in partnership with The Queensboro Dance Festival

So what’s the takeaway for a marketer?

I think the biggest takeaway is that video does not always require a huge production budget. Most users are consuming all types of video from Instagram Stories to Facebook Lives. So take a step back and consider what you can offer up in the way of video that would truly engage your audience (and beyond).

And if you need help, reach out to us here at Padilla. We’re eager to create content that will not only tell your brand’s story, but also drive results.

And lastly, who knows, maybe this article will get you into the holiday spirit and inspire you to make a donation to a few of these truly inspiring NGOs. And hey, if you’re not ready to open your wallet, at least follow them on Instagram!