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Nonprofits on YouTube

Nonprofits are always fighting to find innovative ways to get their message across. The Internet has done a lot to improve visibility simply by way of getting web sites in front of viewers. This convenience was taken a step further when online donations came into play. Organizations have the ability to put a “donate now” button right on their homepages.

The Internet has brought along other opportunities. Many nonprofit organizations now have a MySpace page, a Facebook account, and CEOs are definitely LinkedIn. Many organizations are even Twitter-ing. It seems that whatever new networking/socializing phenomenon comes along next can be adapted to the nonprofit organization.

So, it should be no big surprise that nonprofits are getting in on the YouTube action. YouTube actually has a nonprofit program where they encourage and promote videos for, by, and about nonprofit organizations. The program allows an organization to create its own nonprofit channel, complete with custom colors and the ability to upload banners and other graphics. The channel is home to your videos and offers visitors the option of donating through Google Checkout.

These YouTube videos are an interesting method of viral marketing, as you are encouraged to partner up with like-minded organizations to promote one another. You can also embed the code in your web site or blog and can include a link in your email signature. Viewers have the opportunity to comment on your videos, too, so engaging in conversations in the comments section can help you make real connections with potential donors, clients, and volunteers.

There are some exclusions in the YouTube policy, so not all nonprofit organizations qualify. Also, the program is currently only available in the U.S. and the U.K.

From the site:

  • Organizations must be U.S.-based nonprofits with IRS 501(c)(3) tax status
  • May not be religious or political in nature
  • May not be focused primarily on lobbying for political or policy change
  • Commercial organizations, credit-counseling services, donation middleman services, fee-based organizations, and nonprofit portals are not eligible for the program
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