Tips For Creating Content That Matters In Times of Crisis

By: Deana Concilio-Lenz

While these tips can apply to any company, I wanted to share some ideas specifically for non-profit organizations that are vital in gaining awareness and fundraising to assist during a crisis.

1)  Start with Why – The most important part of any content planning is to be crystal clear on your point of view; this is even more critical in times of crisis. Find a way to stand out from all the content clutter. What is important to your organization at this moment?  What do donors need to know about how you are helping in a time of crisis? Also, be clear on your objective for the content. Could this content potentially attract new brand sponsors, new and existing donors, and an audience that your organization can tap into after the crisis is over? Answering these questions will make you more effective and authentic.

2)  Make it Universal – Create video content that can live in multiple places besides your organization’s website.  What assets will you need to share on your social media channels and partner sites?  When creating your assets be sure to create two versions. First, you’ll need a minute and a half long version that tells what you care about, your plans for the future, and your  “ask”. Second, you’ll need thirty-second video (which is an abbreviated version of the longer video ) to live on your social media channels. Creating continuity across all your marketing channels will help your organization’s mission gain more support and recognition.

3)  Make Your Message Inclusive –  In order to reach your fundraising goals, your messaging has to make the viewer feel like they are part of your efforts. It also needs to reinforce your organization’s commitment to being there in times of need. Using verbiage such as “Join Us”, “Together”, “With Your Help”, and “WE”   are successful words that help generate this feeling of inclusivity. 

4)   Get Creative!  –  Right now with limited resources and difficulty getting projects done, you’ll need to get clever on how to create compelling content.   Start with what you have and look through your assets. If your organization has a library of footage from events, evergreen interviews, or b- roll, now is the perfect time to take advantage of this footage. I like to say; an audience is much more intrigued with an accessorized navy dress than just a simple navy dress that does not have any structure – this is how I creative direct all of my content, so accessorize! You can make a very bland looking video into a masterpiece with graphics, type and colorful transitions. Great editing can go a long; here are some ideas:

  • Make some of the shots black and white 
  • Put boxes around the footage
  • Create frames around certain areas in the video that may not necessarily stand out
  • Design typography in Photoshop that is on brand to your organization. Photoshop can help affect the fonts in an interesting and unique style.
  • Music and sound design will add to the production value. If there is a celebrity or influencer that is close to the organization, ask them to read the voice over.  
  • Make sure the “Call To Action” is shown throughout the entire video. I like to put the URL in the center of the screen in a box with a thin white line(or my brand colors) around the box. This draws the eye to where donations can be made.

Now is the time to build content with purpose. Be creative in how you connect with your customers and partners.  Non-profit organizations play a serious role during crisis, so it’s important to let people know what your mission is and ask them to support you. We are all in this together.


Deana Concilio-Lenz is a global creative visionary with demonstrated ability to produce and direct award-winning visionary content, strategic planning, partnerships, project management, and functional excellence.



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