16/04/2013 11:47 BST | Updated 12/06/2013 06:12 BST

Engage, Empower, Effect - Making a Difference With Online Video

A recent report by New Philanthropy Capital has revealed that a lack of information explaining to supporters how donations are used by charities and offering evidence of their impact is holding back donations. As such charities are missing out on £665m in donations each year.

The report, based on findings from a survey of 3,000 people, focus groups and in-depth interviews, suggests digital channels such as online video and social media are underused by charities, which could be an effective medium to share content to boost online engagement with potential supporters and donors.

Charities are faced with a unique challenge compared to most businesses. They must not only encourage people to visit the website but, rather than convert these clicks to sales, charities need to engage with potential supporters, long enough for them to make a donation. Online video is the natural step to engage these audiences for not only can it convey a great deal of information in a short time frame, it can be viewed and shared easily and be more engaging, ensuring greater recall than words alone . With such a short window to capture and engage visitors, charities need to ensure videos leave viewers feeling empowered and are eager to make a difference. The key to make this happen is simplification.

Whether you chose to film real life stories or perhaps a short animated video to concisely explain the journey of a donation, online video is an effective tool that can make a difference. Some charities are even using it as a learning mechanism to proactively teach people new life skills that can make a difference and make them feel part of the mission.

What is important to remember when producing a video however, is to do everything you can ensure your video gets viewed. Despite the myth, you cannot make a video go viral. That decision lies with your audience. You can however help things along by making it sharable, embeddable and searchable. Above all, it's about creating engaging content that resonates with your audience. For this, it's always worth asking the experts. Take a look at my top tips on making an online video in my earlier post here.