YouTube Unveils New Fundraising Tool for Nonprofits

The new program allows users to create and track fundraising campaigns, and even accept donations, via video.

Need to step up your fundraising game? YouTube thinks it can help.

You’ve got to have an emotional appeal, and it’s got to be more than talking heads. It’s got to be compelling, and it’s got to be visual.

The video-sharing site recently rolled out a new program that allows nonprofits to create campaigns, track their fundraising progress, and accept donations.

“With more than 18,000 organizations in the YouTube Nonprofit Program,  we are always looking for ways to help nonprofits turn video views into greater awareness, petitions signed, laws changed, dollars raised, and lives saved,” said YouTube software engineer David D on the company’s blog.

To get started, organizations create their own YouTube channel and apply to the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers products and services like Google Apps for Nonprofits and Google Earth Outreach Grants to help nonprofit organizations promote and achieve their missions.

Participating organizations must be 501(c)3 entities, and they cannot classify as hospitals, healthcare organizations, schools, childcare centers, universities, academic institutions, or governmental organizations.

For associations that have tried using social media to fundraise, the YouTube Nonprofits Program could prove a valuable complement to existing campaign strategies, especially in the area of relationship building, said Amy Sample Ward, membership director at NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network.

“As fundraisers know well, it’s difficult to make an ‘ask’ when someone is brand new to your work or mission,” said Ward. “Social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube allow people to learn about your work, hear the stories of those participating or benefiting from your programs, and see how they can join in making impact with you.”

Once they’ve established the audience and the relationships, associations can reap the benefits of a compelling video. But videos have to be uniquely engaging, said Steve Drake, president of SCD Group, Inc.

“[YouTube] has already got 18,000 people signed up for the program, so the challenge becomes what makes you different enough that you’re going to be able to stand out in that crowded space,” Drake said. “You’ve got to have an emotional appeal, and it’s got to be more than talking heads. It’s got to be compelling, and it’s got to be visual.”

(YouTube screenshot)

Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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