YouTube & Nonprofits

YouTube & Nonprofits

YouTube is the third most visited site in the world. It has 4 billion videos viewed every day (up 3 billion from May 2011).  One hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. Sound too good to be true? Check it out: And despite its relative age (YouTube first launched in 2005), it is still growing at a staggering rate.

It has also become one of the preeminent sites for news in the now, especially of a social nature. Take examples like videos surrounding Arab Spring, Kony 2012, and It Gets Better – these videos garnered millions of views and helped change public discourse. All through a video medium that is still oftentimes associated with its simple origins and bastion for cat videos.

Despite its lofty place in internet use, there is one industry that has not been using the tool to its full potential – smaller nonprofits.

A recent study showed that while 97 percent of large nonprofits use social media, while another study outlineshow smaller nonprofits are lagging significantly behind those with larger incomes. This usage trickles down further to YouTube, as the larger nonprofits as a whole have a higher adoption rate.

This despite the YouTube For Good program, which allows any 501(c)3 nonprofit (not just those of a certain size) the ability to brand their channel, drive fundraising through Google Checkout, and place a Call to Action overlay on videos.

The best example of smaller nonprofits taking advantage of the platform despite their lack of resources is the recently concluded Next Cause 2012< contest. Of the twenty organizations chosen, six organizations made less than $1.5M* in revenue last year, and thirteen made less than $10M. These are the organizations that are running on tight budgets, that easily could have dismissed YouTube as a platform with no real sense of return on investment. Instead they’ll have the opportunity to have a bigger impact and a better strategy of sharing their stories.

We’ll continue to track nonprofit involvement across all social media spheres, but YouTube is an interesting platform to watch. As YouTube continues to grow in terms of uploads, views, and reach, nonprofits of all sizes will have an opportunity to grow with them – another example of taking advantage of the tools available to have a real impact on social change.

*Research into recent income numbers was conducted via Guidestar searches of the organizations listed in the official YouTube blog post.

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