Three New Documentary-Style Nonprofit Videos

By Doug Gritzmacher

Denver Director of Photography & Cinematographer

I first started creating videos for nonprofits back when I lived and worked in Washington, DC. There two of my clients were the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and ICANN. Most of the videos I created for those organizations were highlight videos of fundraising events.


It wasn’t until two years ago that I created a video for the fundraising event itself. The Coal Creek chapter of Meals on Wheels, based in Lafayette north of Denver, contacted me to create a video for their upcoming fundraising event. The director of that chapter was new and had come from working at nonprofits in Chicago where she had used video to great effect. She liked what she saw in my portfolio and asked if I could do a video for her and her organization. Of course!


That video ended up helping them raise a record amount of money at their fundraising event that year. Through that experience I discovered that my documentary shooting and filmmaking skills were a great match for nonprofits looking to move donors to action.


This spring I have created fundraising videos for three other nonprofits using a documentary style. One of the videos has already raised a record amount of money for STRIDE, a community health care network in Denver that is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. The other two have their fundraising events yet upcoming so I am eager to hear if they achieve similar results.


This is the video produced for STRIDE that helped earn them a record amount at their fundraising event two weeks ago. They are celebrating their 30th anniversary video so wanting something that was dual-purpose in talking about that moving donors to contribute.



This was produced for the Action Center, a nonprofit based in Lakewood, west of Denver. They help anyone in need with food, clothing, and other basic needs. This is my favorite video of the three. It was an opportunity to focus on how the organization impacts lives through a single person. This narrow focus works much better than a broader one, which is what most of my clients start off wanting until I show them how a narrower focus can help them better accomplish their goals.



Finally, this was produced for Caruso Family Charities, also based on Lakewood. It’s a very small, father and daughter operation, but they have a major impact on the lives of parents with sick children. Their fundraising event isn’t until the fall, but they do meetings and in-person asks throughout the year and wanted a video now they could have on their phones to show to those prospective donors what it is they do. This video is still in rough-cut stage and will be finalized soon.

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