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2S films creativity for good
  • Sophie Cooke

How much does a charity video cost?

Updated: May 17, 2022

How much does a video cost? This is one of the first questions we get asked by charities. There is no one simple answer, as there are many factors which affect the cost of a video. Understandably, charities are particularly concerned about their budget spend, however, a better question to ask is; ‘What does our charity want to achieve with this video, and what return on investment should we expect?’

Here we have outlined some of the fixed and variable costs associated with video, and how the decisions you make determine the final cost. This should help you to get a better idea of what you should expect to spend, and understand the value of your investment.

Fixed costs

Here are some of the fixed costs associated with creating a video:

  1. Film crew - Creating a great film generally involves paying professional filmmakers. Rates for DOPs, producers, directors, animators etc are guided by APA, a production trade body. Be prepared to pay the right price for the right quality.

  2. Pre-production is an important part of the process and will incur cost, however, it is crucial to ensure the right creative to engage your audience and reflect your brand, as well as to carefully plan your shoot in order to maximise value.

Variable costs

  1. The length of your film will affect the cost. This is largely down to the range of footage you will need to capture, and editing time. Having a clear idea of what you want, planning your shoot and having a streamline process for feedback is key to keeping this to a minimum. Here’s a link to the BBC production tariffs, which gives you an idea of how broad the commissioning budgets across a range of content categories per hour of footage.

  2. The number of locations may also affect your cost. Effective planning will help to minimise travel time and maximise shoot days.

  3. The visual quality and complexity of your film will impact your cost, determining the number of cameras you require, your lighting, and the expertise involved. Your intended platform(s) will determine certain spec requirements and the camera/audio quality you need to achieve this.

  4. The use of voiceover artists and actors may also increase your costs. Finding contributors can be a good alternative, and often lead to a more authentic outcome.

Individual Filmmaker vs Production Company

Using an individual filmmaker is a tempting option, but filming your content is just a small part of video creation. Using a production company comes with experience and expertise, streamlining the process from start to finish.

The main benefit of working with a production company is having a dedicated team who can assist with creative concepts, planning, distribution and access to a network of professionals and locations, with your brand, audience and strategy in mind throughout. Over time, a relationship means you are not starting each project at ground zero, rather building on accumulated understanding of your charity.

You can read more here about the benefits and process of working with an agency.


Hopefully you now have a better understanding of how much video costs. For additional guidance, here is a rough guide on how much it can cost to create some of the most common films for a charity:

Case Study Video – From £2,500 – to £5,500

​Campaign Video – from around £3,000 – £6,000+

​Hero Film – these can range from £6,500 up to around £15,000+. The lower end of the scale will be for online films and the upper region for TV Adverts.

A good starting point is to figure out what you want to achieve. An agency should then be able to provide you with advice on how to attain your goals; identifying the right platforms and opportunities for your charity. An agency should also work with you to strike the right balance between production and media spend for optimum reach and gain, as well as to maximise production time, considering cross-platform content to capture simultaneously.

This approach is what we pride ourselves on at 2S Films. Our focus on nonprofits means that we really understand the importance of making every penny count, and have the insight to create content that meets the needs of our clients. If this sounds right for you, get in touch with a member of our team and we can discuss your next video project.

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