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  • Writer's pictureThe MSG Team


There is sometimes a falsehood people want to believe, that if you make a fancy video, donors might come out of the woodworks. Those same people then get disappointed when that does not happen.

Don't get us wrong. Videos are awesome tools for a nonprofit but while a fancy video can not promise to bring you new donors . . . a bad video could make you lose some. What example could be any better than this 1994 movie trailer for The Fantastic Four. When you watch the trailer, you can't help but notice how BAD it is. Rumor has it the studio, by contract, had to put out a movie and a trailer, no matter how awful it was, in order to keep the contract good. (The movie was never officially released but you can find it floating around on the internet.)

As a result the public got this laughable trailer, that NO ONE wanted to see. The superhero, "The Thing", did not just look like he was made of rocks but sounded like his mouth was full of them whenever he talked. This was not current MCU standards by any means. HA. Now the Fantastic Four becomes a historical laughing stock in regards to superhero movies. It would have been better for the Fantastic Four if this trailer was not released at all.

The same can be said about nonprofit videos . . . sometimes it's better not to do a video at all than to put out a bad one. If at any point during a marketing project you say to yourself "Well, at least it's something" . . . then perhaps have some board members, friends, and staff take an extra look to make sure it's something you want to put out.

So before we go, two simple rules when creating a video:

1) Are your expectations realistic? Are you aware that a video can't guarantee that donor money will come your way. Nothing is wrong with creating a video, just make sure that you keep your expectations in check.

2) Is it at a quality you could be proud of? All depends on the type of video you are putting out, so make sure that the goal of what you are trying to do, matches up with the quality of video you are trying to produce.

Good luck as you continue to raise money for your organization and be sure to keep these basic rules in place when considering the production of a video.


Midwest Studies Group helps nonprofits to increase their resource development capacity by connecting them stronger to their community through feasibility studies/capital campaign coaching, community impact studies, planned giving studies, and grant writing. For more information please visit

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