Who should your Nonprofit create video clips on Vine?

Vine is the latest sensation in the world of social networking.  Twitter has acquired a mobile app that enables users to create short video clips of up to six seconds and to share them via Twitter or other social media. Video clips are recorded through Vine's in-app camera.

The concept of a six second video has thrown people in the same way that they thought it was impossible to share effective messages in the 140 characters allowed in a tweet.  "Posts on Vine are about abbreviation -- the shortened form of something larger," said Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann.  "They're little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life."  

It forces the videographer to get to the kernel of the matter immediately, as there is no time for long introductions.  Vine’s popularity is precisely because it takes just six seconds to view a Vine and with our short attention spans and busy, cluttered days, we can all find six seconds.

In the latest updates, the app has included revining or one-tap sharing of posts; protected posts for those who do not want everyone to see their posts; additional camera tools including grids and focus, and 15 channels on which Vines can be posted.

Take a look at this really good article that introduces the benefits of using Vine: http://nonprofitnate.com/2013/01/25/21-nonprofit-uses-for-twitters-vine-video-app/.

Vine Statistics


  • Vine was first used publicly in January 2013
  • Presently 13 million users

Vines during a one-month period April 2013:

  • 5 Vine videos are shared on Twitter every second
  • branded Vines are 4X more likely to be shared than branded online videos
  • more Vine tweets occur during the weekend than all of the weekdays combined
  • most Vine activity occurs between 10-11am
  • the largest number of Vine tweets (19,667) was sent on Monday, April 15 at 3-4pm – just after the Boston Marathon explosions

South Africa

  • Vine is an emerging media in SA but is already very popular and frequently used in tweets.

Below are some reasons why your non-profit should make use of the Vine app:

Video hunger

YouTube has proved that there seems to be an insatiable hunger for online video. In May 2013, Americans watched 41 billion videos online. Dom Hofmann noted: “It's actually pretty crazy how it has connected people." There can be no doubt that video is the way to inform people about your non-profit.

The power of your message

Vine can communicate powerful statements about your nonprofit or inspirational quotations related to your core mission even more powerfully. It is fairly easy to show the words quite creatively even as they are spoken. Simply Measured has a report for views of your Vine and can also analyze your Vine content compared to other visual media on Twitter such as Instagram and YouTube tweets. A very powerful message is to acknowledge those that have assisted you.

Today’s news

Vine provides an excellent medium for creating a mini-news item. Vine has been used highly effectively to report on disasters. Your news item may not be about a disaster but 6 seconds of the most dramatic key points can lead people to seeking more information. News does not have to be about disasters. The media commonly reports on important speeches, and you can report on speeches relating to your nonprofit.

Building your brand

Vine is a medium on which you can develop a visual style that should be replicated in your written media and your branding, ensuring instant recognition of your nonprofit by large numbers of people and increasing awareness in a way that can be useful in other instances and formats. Businesses spend large sums of money building brand awareness. Vine is a way to do it without the budget. Awareness building can be pretty basic until you have developed greater expertise.

Have some fun

Vine can show you the fun side of your nonprofit.  A fun side does not mean that your cause is not serious, but you can connect with people with a lighter message. Animal rescue and child care organisations have found that the cute or funny side of animals and children attract far more attention than serious messages -- no-one wants to be constantly bombarded with dire and depressing news.  Once you have their attention and you can share your more serious messages in creative ways.

How to whatever

Vine is the perfect medium for a quick “How to” video.  People are interested in how things are done.  Use time lapse to show how you build a wall or how to teach children in a classroom, or how you capture a bird to give it medical care. If you are a medical nonprofit you may show viewers how to give CPR. What seems mundane to you can take on a new life on video and can fascinate people. Add your name and logo to the video and not only will viewers learn how to do something that they didn’t know but they will also learn that your nonprofit is an expert in that field.

Bring people and information to life

Instead of including written information on your website, such as a portfolio or information about staff or what you do, create animated Vines and link them to your website. OneNine Design has good examples of animated Vines. Show what your non-profit does, e.g. a tree being planted, a homeless man being given clothes. The majority of people respond particularly well to visual presentations.  Not only does it lift you above the norm, your nonprofit will also be seen as innovative and up to date.

  • At the Albert T. Mills Enrichment Center! #community #greatcause #nonprofit #children #youthservices #vine

Give a face to your nonprofit.

For people to become conscious of something and to respond to requests for volunteers, donations, blankets etc., they need to relate.  Vine allows your staff and the recipients of your nonprofit to come to life. Humanize your cause. Show staff in your offices or simply show faces of people or animals you work with or even the face of the earth if that is your work.  People will soon feel that they know your nonprofit and be more responsive to it.

  • Finishing Up! #sheltonpainting #work #working #paint #MyPossibilities #Plano #nonprofit


Educate people about facts that are important to your mission or about historical occurrences that have impacted on what you do today. Even if you simply show trivia you will attract the attention of many viewers.. You could post a trivia question first, get some engagement from the public and then answer it with a Vine video.

  • #HealingWaters guided tour to learn how #sustainable #water purification can transform under developed #countries. #nonprofit #ngo #

Be found

Vine uses hashtags to categorise content. It is perfectly legitimate for you to use one of the most popular hashtags, as long as your Vine adheres to the description. The messaging about your nonprofit can be in the last second of a video or even superimposed.  Popular hashtags include #magic, #loop, #howto and #cute.  Create your video with this end in mind. #nonprofit  or #ngo are the hash tags that you will probably use most often.  If people revine, your reach will be increased exponentially with no further effort.  So make sure you create a good Vine and tag it correctly. 

For South Africans, one of the most touching Vine campaigns is the one that was implemented to pay tribute to former South African President Nelson Mandela. The campaign is called #hugformandela. This is a perfect example of telling a story, having a focus, and crowdsourcing - all for a good cause, or in this case, a good man.