December 16, 2011

YouTube’s viral stars: The new nonprofit ambassadors


“It’s Time,” a nonprofit viral video from Australia, shows the power of YouTube for raising awareness.

Project 4 Awesome on YouTube: 5 years of online community organizing

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, social enterprises, cause organizations, NGOs, brands, businesses, Web publishers, educators, journalists, general public.

Guest post by Hunter Walk
Director, Product Management, YouTube

Hunter-WalkIn 2007, YouTube stars John and Hank Green, known online as the VlogBrothers, asked everyone on YouTube to upload videos for their favorite causes and charities on Dec. 17. This YouTube community driven movement became known as Project for Awesome — so many people participated that the videos actually took over the YouTube homepage in a “flurry of awesomeness.”

Last year Project for Awesome generated 10 million video views, raised hundreds of thousand dollars, and was the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter for 36 hours.

Now celebrating its fifth year, P4A is a shining example of how YouTube can help nonprofits of all shapes and sizes raise awareness, funds, and friends.

Leveraging the YouTube community to do good

Kevin Wu has been using YouTube to help raise awareness and build a middle school in Kenya with The Supply, a nonprofit supporting education

At YouTube, we have 800 million unique visitors a month. That is a big, engaged audience wanting to be inspired, informed, and entertained. As seen with Project for Awesome, when you talk to the YouTube community, they talk back to you and to each other. As in any community, the YouTube community has celebrated figures leading trends and movements. Savvy nonprofits are figuring out how to interact with YouTube stars to reach a new generation of supporters.

For example, YouTube comedian Kevin Wu, aka KevJumba, has been using YouTube to help raise awareness and build a middle school in Kenya with The Supply, a nonprofit supporting education. Through his second channel on YouTube, JumbaFund, Kevin donates 100% of the ad revenue to charity. The JumbaFund channel, currently at over 43 million total views, is solely dedicated to supporting the school. Continue reading

April 28, 2011

6 ways YouTube is helping out nonprofits

JD LasicaThe highlight of last month’s Nonprofit Technology Conference in Washington, D.C., for me came when Ramya Raghavan, YouTube’s News and Politics Manager, detailed all the programs and services that YouTube provides for the nonprofit community. At NTC, Google announced that nonprofits no longer needed to apply to each program individually — now an all-in-one application process was in place. Fill out an application form, answer a few simple questions and within 30 days you’ll be notified if you’ve made the cut. Qualifying nonprofits will be able to participate in Google Grants, Google Earth for Nonprofits, Google AdWords for Nonprofits and much more.

What was shocking, though, was that of the more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States, only 10,000 had bothered to apply for the YouTube nonprofits program.

Are you kidding me?

If you’re not participating, here are a half-dozen reasons why you need to get off your duff.

Video is a great way to tell your nonprofit’s story, Ramya said. “It’s the kind of connection that is very personal, very unique.”

YouTube gives nonprofits branded channels, Ramya said, “which means you can upload an image map banner and link back to your website, you can choose custom thumbnails for your videos, you can upload videos longer than 15 minutes — even a feature-length documentary — and you can put call-to-action overlays, or external annotations, on any video to drive action to your donation page.”

Watch or embed the 6-minute video on YouTube
Watch, download or embed the video on Vimeo

6 ways Google is offering free help to nonprofits

Ramya outlined six ways in which Google is offering free help to nonprofits:

1YouTube Insight is a self-service analytics and reporting tool that enables anyone with a YouTube account to view detailed statistics about the audience for the videos that they upload to the site. “You can see who’s watching your videos, their age, location, gender, number of views, and you can even see at what spot in the video a person has (stopped watching),” she said.

2YouTube GoodWork. Nonprofits that don’t think they have the capability to create a video can apply to this program, a partner with Cannes Advertising Festival, asking ad creatives to make ads for nonprofits, for free. The top five entrants will be flown to Cannes, France, to participate in a nonprofit showcase.

3YouTube Direct is an open source uploading platform that you can embed on your website, allowing your supporters to upload a video directly to your YouTube channel, which you can approve or disallow through your moderation pane.

4YouTube Moderator allows any YouTube user to collect commentary, questions or ideas on your YouTube channel and watch the best ones rise to the top. Bring a group of people together on a topic of your choice and leverage their collective wisdom to vote on the best video and text submissions.

5Call to Action overlays is one of the most powerful YouTube tools, letting nonprofits create a text call to action that’s superimposed over their video, asking supporters to make a donation, text a text2give number or visit a url.

6YouTube Annotations is a new way for you to add interactive commentary to your videos. You can use it to add background information about a video, create stories with multiple story threads or link to related videos or search results from within a video.

August 6, 2010

How to maximize your nonprofit’s impact with YouTube


Charity: water’s “World Water Day” video contains a call to action starting at about 10 seconds in.

By Jessica Haswell
Socialbrite staff

Nonprofits have long known that creating a YouTube channel can help tell your organization’s story. But did you know that YouTube offers a nonprofit program? YouTube’s program gives nonprofits a number of handy features to get your message heard.

One nonprofit that put the program to good use is charity: water, which raised more than $12,000 in one day through the use of an in-video ad overlay on their World Water Day video, shown above.

Features of the YouTube Nonprofit Program

What exactly does YouTube’s Nonprofit Program offer?

  • More exposure. Videos will be listed in YouTube’s nonprofit channel and Nonprofit videos pages, and you’ll have your own nonprofit channel, which can be fully branded to suit your organization.
  • New outreach and fundraising opportunities. Your organization can add Call-to-action ad overlays on your videos, and a Google Checkout “donate” button can be added to your organization’s YouTube channel to help drive campaigns.
  • Volunteer videographers. You can post a video opportunity on the YouTube Video Volunteers platform to find a skilled YouTube user to create a video for your cause.

To us, the most exciting feature of this program is the call-to-action ad overlay. You know how about 10 seconds after you start watching a You Tube video, an ad pops up at the bottom of the video? After joining this program you can now control the content of the ad overlay wording on all of your videos, giving you the ability to include a call to action: Link the viewer to your website, additional content, places to donate or other external sites. Cool, right? Continue reading