The Do's and Don'ts of Creating a Documentary for a Non-Profit Agency

29 December 2015
 Categories: , Blog


If you are the manager or marketing representative for a non-profit agency, you know how important it is that the agency is one that is recognizable within the community. Recognizable charities and agencies will always receive more funding and donations if people know who they are and what they are all about. Therefore, it is crucial to reach out to citizens in the community, which makes a non-profit documentary an ideal marketing tool. Even though producing a documentary is an excellent way to get recognition for a non-profit agency, in order for the efforts to be effective, you have to make the best impressions. There are a few easy-to-remember do's and don'ts to keep in mind during documentary production. 

Do include a brief history of the organization. 

People will want to know a bit about where the organization started and who was the original developer. This small bit of history is a good way to build a relationship with viewers and can include things like:

  • the year the organization was developed
  • the initial location of the agency or the developers
  • the idea that made someone think there was a need for this particular organization

Don't get carried away with providing the history of the non-profit agency. 

Including some history is good, but make sure that the majority of the documentary is not history of the organization alone. Your viewers will want to know more about the agency and what has taken place since the development. You may have a fantastic story to tell about the initial development, but keep it brief and to the point to retain viewer interest. 

Do inject emotion into the documentary. 

The primary purpose of a documentary for a non-profit agency is to reap community interest and hopefully encourage more donations. Therefore, conveying a sincere and emotional message about the need within the community is a good thing. 

Don't go overboard with the dramatic emotions. 

Emotional appeal is good, but coming across overly emotional can sometimes feel a little dramatized in a documentary and may give the wrong impression to viewers. Some topics naturally associated with not-for-profit agencies are naturally going to invoke emotion, such as those that work with children or abandoned animals. So you will be playing on the emotions of viewers already just through talking about the need in the community without being overly emotional with a sad soundtrack or visibly tearful guests in the documentary.

With these tips in mind, consider looking into a local documentary production company to discuss your options and what else you should include in your documentary to make it more appealing.