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2S films creativity for good
  • Sophie Cooke

Using video to build trust

Building trust is vital for any charity to create and sustain donor relationships, and is a key fundraising success factor. With growing scepticism amongst the public, trust is harder to earn than it once was, and audiences are demanding more authentic and interactive content to learn more about what you do.

Video is a fantastic way to build trust with audiences. It is a window into your charity, giving people the opportunity to see the people behind the brand and your impact in real-time. Here we take a look at how charities should use video to build and maintain credibility and win that all-important trust.


Whilst digital has seen exponential growth, TV is still the most trusted communications platform by the public, and therefore DRTVs are a great route for charities. TV offers huge creative scope, dedicated screen space and time, and a receptive audience (with the right content and targeting). The effects of a TV advertisement can boost trust for the brand as a whole and not just the individual services being advertised due to its halo effect, i.e. its ability to instantly make a brand ‘real’ and believable.

High production quality is important for this platform reflecting the integrity of your charity. It is fundamental to consider TV ads as solid foundations for integrated campaigns to maximise reach and opportunities for interaction, as well as to ensure consistent brand messaging. Cancer Research have just launched a new integrated creative platform, recognising the benefits of a multi-channel approach. You can read more about their new campaign here. To find out if TV could be right for your charity, read more here.

Brand Ambassador

People believe in testimonies from those they trust, and you can leverage familiarity in individuals to build credibility with your video audiences and make them listen. Choosing the right ambassador with relevance and a genuine passion for your cause will help others to believe in you.

TV architect George Clarke joined The Big Issue in 2020 in urging the government to provide more social housing. George Clarke has a working-class background, and a well-known passion for affordable, accessible housing and architecture making him the perfect advocate for the cause. In this video, George Clarke is the absolute focus, because he has the power to deliver this message with impact and credibility.

Authentic case studies

Use video case studies to share the voices of the people you help through communicating their stories, and bring your impact to life. Personal experiences put human faces on the cause, and help audiences to relate and connect, and ultimately believe in the work you are doing. Here are some tips on how to nurture your storytellers and help their voice and personality to shine through:

● Use a fly-on-the-wall filming style to capture real moments and to create a sense of transparency.

● Unscripted conversation and interviews help to bring out the best from contributors and lead to the wonderful unexpected.

● Capture your contributors in action rather than just talking. Whether it’s playing football or spending time with family, finding an activity which they enjoy will help them to relax and create a more engaging video.

● Get people together. A conversation between two people can be more authentic and heartfelt than an interview. Lad Bible presents The Gap is a great example of how conversations can generate real emotion and genuine insight.

User Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is becoming a popular way for charities to share real experiences. The authenticity is what connects the audience more closely with contributors and makes the content believable. Users of platforms such as TikTok favour an unpolished, spontaneous approach, and there are many ways for charities to get involved. Read more here.

Educational content

Educational content helps others to trust you, and video is the most successful way to engage audiences with information. Position yourself as a resource, using video to educate on and around your cause. The most watched YouTube content is ‘how-to’ videos and educational content and therefore charities can grow their audience through sharing their knowledge. Animation can be a great way to break down and illustrate more complex topics, and can be easily updated to maintain relevance in the long-term.


In today’s climate of fake news, people are looking for new, reliable sources of information surrounding important issues. Good documentaries are informative and compelling to watch, making them powerful tools for charities to engage audiences. Use longer format video to delve below the surface of an issue and build credibility through authentic storytelling.

At 2S Films, we are currently working with RSPCA Assured on a series of micro documentaries to build awareness and trust around the logo. We are capturing behind-the-scenes moments, and having in-depth conversations with the farmers and experts, so consumers can understand the value of the scheme.

Post and post some more

Keep social video posts regular to build familiarity amongst audiences, maintain relevance and create more opportunities to connect with a variety of people. Bear this in mind when planning your shoots, making sure productions are maximised to generate as much content as possible.


Videos are conversation starters - don’t just post your videos and forget about them. Use them as an opportunity to respond to comments and get people talking. Responding allows a real human voice to come through, reinforces your values, and makes people feel heard. This interaction helps to build more intimate, trust-based relationships.

Final thoughts

Video can be an engaging and powerful trust-building tool. Using video to reflect an open-door approach and providing real insights will help others understand and value the work you do, and ultimately build support for your cause. Video also has the power to scale quickly, and ultimately the more people who know you, the more others will trust you. A consistent approach will help to build recognition with audiences and relate content back to your charity.

When working with an agency, make sure you choose one that understands the unique challenges of earning trust for charities. At 2S Films, we specialise in helping charities to communicate and build relationships with their audience. If you’re interested in making a video for your charity, please get in touch:

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