Not long ago, I found myself in a movie theater, digging in my purse for a tissue…and the feature film hadn’t even started yet. The trailer for Big Miracle had brought me to tears.

Don’t make fun of me. I have high empathy, okay?

Video is a medium that can tug at the heartstrings like no other, especially when striking images are paired with music. Here are a few nonprofit videos I like. The first two are from small nonprofits, proof that you don’t need a giant budget to make a compelling video.

Sea Save Foundation sent this fundraising appeal video out to their email list, recapping what they’ve accomplished in 2011, and hopefully inspiring some year end gifts. I don’t have details on the results, but I can tell you that after watching this, and listening to the brilliant soundtrack, I was psyched about the organization’s work. (What is it about marine mammals?)

Firefly Autism staff include this short introduction to the organization in their email signature. If a kid in your life has autism, you’ll understand why the beautiful social interaction in this home grown video speaks for the organization’s work and provides an emotional connection.

And now for something completely different: American Heart Association pulls off using humor to teach a serious lesson: a CPR technique that could save a life.

What are your favorites?