January 4, 2018

How To Make Better Grant Videos

If you’re attempting to apply for a grant or grant extension, there is no better way to convey your mission and impact than a well produced video.  It’s always best to know your specific audience but here are some general rules of thumb to keep in mind when creating your own promotional pieces.  

Tell a story that lays the path to empathy.  This means sharing any difficulties that your program is helping individuals overcome and capturing/highlighting their victories and achievements.  Testimonials from your program’s participants work especially well for this.  PROTIP: Plan your interview questions with your final edit in mind.

Include the nuts and bolts.   Before “showing” what your program does, it works best to include a very direct and literal description of your organization’s mission very early in the video.  This sets up the framework of the story you ultimately want to tell, before you get to your emotional appeal.

Use music to reinforce your message.  I can not emphasize this enough: selecting the right music for your video is crucial.  You want something that compliments the narrative, is thematically appropriate/relevant, and the right BPM (beats per minute).  The best tracks will give you a musical arch to tell your story to.  PROTIP: avoid songs with vocals.

Synchronize.  Good editing will have your story’s trajectory line up with changes in your song choice’s musical arrangement and this should all be brought together with supporting imagery that matches the energy of those components.  Use all three of these elements to build your video up to a moment of triumph.  

Start strong, finish strong.  Bookend your video with sound bites that encapsulate what your program is about and what it can achieve at it’s pinnacle.  Keep the information in the body of the video as pertinent as possible and aim for a total length of 90 to 120 seconds.  You never want your audience’s gaze to drop to the video’s timer because it’s feeling too long.

By incorporating some of these tips, you’ll improve your video’s capacity for story telling and ultimately your chances of receiving that well needed grant.  

An example of these tip in use for the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, AZ.

Let us know if you’ve executed on any of these tips or if you have any of your own in the comments below!


Pixel Thick is a Phoenix, AZ based video production company.

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