November 30, 2011

How to effectively use calls to action in nonprofit videos

Getting your supporters to take the next step when your video ends

This is part two of a three-part series on how nonprofits can create engaging multimedia stories that motivate supporters to take a desired action. Part two describes the use of call-to-action video overlays to boost ROI. Also see part one:

Creating compelling advocacy videos for nonprofits

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, foundations, cause organizations, social enterprises, brands, businesses and their corporate social responsibility (CSR) divisions, video producers, Web publishers.

Lauren MajorWhile the audience for online video continues to grow, the advances in Web video technology are changing at a dizzying pace, making it hard for nonprofits to keep up. There are several good online video platforms and third-party apps available to convert views into actions. YouTube’s call-to-action video overlay, third-party video apps and customized video domains or microsites offer great options for boosting the return on investment of your nonprofit’s video program.

YouTube’s call-to-action video overlay

The effectiveness of your message is cut short if you don’t use a clickable call to action that takes visitors to your site or Twitter page to make a donation or to take another action.

Most nonprofit Web videos make mention of their organization’s URL either verbally or with graphics edited into the video. But the effectiveness of your message is cut short if you don’t include a clickable call to action that takes visitors to your website, Facebook Page or Twitter page to make a donation or to take another desired action.

YouTube’s nonprofit program offers two such call-to-action video apps that can be easily implemented: overlays and annotations.

If your nonprofit is not already part of the Google for nonprofits program, consider applying. The free program offers many benefits and can become a center for creating effective calls to action and engagement:

  • Free or discounted version of Google Apps for your organization
  • Premium branding capabilities and increased uploads on YouTube
  • The option to drive fundraising through a Google Checkout “Donate” button
  • The ability to add a call-to-action overlay on your videos to drive campaigns
  • The ability to post volunteering opportunities on the YouTube Video Volunteers platform
  • Free Adwords advertising

Examples of video calls to action — in action

Here are a few examples of how nonprofits have incorporated overlays and annotations to drive a specific course of action.

This Angry Kid Greenpeace video is heartfelt and does a great job delivering its message. Unfortunately, the creators stop short by simply offering engaged viewers the opportunity to visit their website at the end with no actionable link:


The Darius Goes West video takes it a step further and adds a call-to-action overlay to visit Darius’ Twitter page as part of the YouTube player:

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November 17, 2010

Hey nonprofits, what’s better than a BIG donor?

Answer: Me!

Yep, I’d love to volunteer for your nonprofit for free.

Who am I?

My name is David Spark, founder of Spark Media Solutions, a custom publishing/social media firm. So many companies and organizations want to be seen as leading voices in their field, but they try to do it with marketing, branding, and public relations alone, which is not possible. To develop thought leadership, organizations must create editorial content, just like any other media outlet does in order to create voice. And that’s exactly what our organization does. We help companies build their industry voice.

Please feel free to look at my bio, my blog, and my business site.

I’d love to help your nonprofit be seen as an industry leader.

Why I want to volunteer for your nonprofit

  • While I’m very busy, I’d like to reserve 10-15 hours a month to volunteer for a nonprofit.
  • I’ve been on a couple of nonprofit boards in the past and I’ve really enjoyed the experience.
  • I’m eager to experiment with many different publishing and social media techniques.
  • I’m looking to work with a nonprofit to generate stories of what works and what doesn’t work in social media.

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January 12, 2010

5 questions for the head of eBay Giving Works


eBay shoppers donated $50 million to nonprofits in 2009 — a record

Beth KanterRight before the holidays, eBay released 2009 figures for its Giving Works fundraising program — and marked a historic record for total funds raised for non-profits through According to the report, the eBay community gave $50 million to nonprofits, a 17% jump over 2008 despite the ongoing recession. The program allows individuals to donate while using eBay.

I was lucky enough to do a quick email interview with Robert Chatwani, eBay’s head of Global Citizenship, to learn more behind the numbers.

1. Give me your elevator pitch

At eBay, we think about citizenship and sustainability in terms of People, Planet, and Communities. Our focus is on harnessing the reach and scale of our core businesses – eBay and PayPal – to create a positive impact. By fostering entrepreneurship for global sellers, keeping goods out of landfills through the sale of pre-owned products, and raising funds for nonprofits through sales on eBay, we’re growing our business and enabling millions of eBay users to participate by voting with their dollars. Plus we have 15,000 employees around the world who get to think about changing the world through their everyday work, which is really exciting. Continue reading