YouTube for Nonprofits - What Makes Video Marketing a Must

By Chloe Mark | September 2015

You likely have your nonprofit pretty established on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but what's one marketing outlet you might be overlooking? YouTube. Especially relevant to nonprofits due to "YouTube for Nonprofits," read on to discover some of the values of video marketing and how it can be specifically crafted around your development and campaigns. 


According to YouTube, "Nonprofits" is one of their fastest growing search terms, so stay ahead of the game and establish your page now.

Below, we list some of the best ways to utilize video for marketing an organization in general, but if you are a nonprofit, watch the video YouTube for Nonprofits to see examples of how it works for you specifically. The image below shows some of the tools to which nonprofits gain access:


YouTube's Creator Playbook Guide and MobileCause point to some of most important reasons to incorporate video in your marketing efforts as well as some of the best practices in doing so.

1. Don't just tell them, show them:

A real-life representation of your work through video is one of the best way to engage donors and volunteers; it gives them a concrete example of what their involvement would look like. A clip showing your organization and active volunteers directly engaging with people in need emphasizes that the viewers' involvement could result in real progress. It also removes some of the mystery behind where their money is going or what a day as a volunteer would look like.

2. Don't market/sell your work, be authentic:

Videos that are informative and entertaining get more attention than those that feel like a commercial. Keep your videos of higher quality and full of material that viewers would enjoy watching. Update your channel with frequent posts, perhaps revolving them around a publishing schedule to show you are active. Engage with current trends and topics to emphasize that you have a response to the issues. Consider asking questions to your viewers and requesting their input, showing that you are not just some distant entity, but that you listen to what they have to say. 

3. Add another place to show your face:

YouTube provides another platform for you to establish brand identity - you can customize your background and colors, add your logo, link to your site, and connect with followers. YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine behind Google - make sure that the face of your nonprofit is not only a search result, but also a relevant and engaging one.


  • Title: Craft clear titles with relevant and compelling words that state your cause and your action
  • Description: MobileCause recommends including a tagline in each of your descriptions to promote your focus. You can also include helpful links and ways for people to get involved. Be honest about what your video entails so that your viewers get what they sought out.
  • Tags: Include relevant keywords (especially long-tail keywords) and update them if there is a certain trend going on. You can be aware of what Google users are searching for by monitoring sites such as Google Trends.
  • You also can take advantage of an avatar and thumbnails surrounding your video to place your brand and content elsewhere. 
  • See examples of successful channels here in a review by NP Tech for Good.

4. Call viewers to action:

You can include a link from a video that directs viewers to your "sign up" or "donate now" page on your site. There is also a feature to add CTAs within your video. After watching, the hope is that they are convinced they should get involved so don't just direct them to your home page and make them search around for their next step.

A feature specific to nonprofits is the Google Wallet Donate section - it allows you to implement a "Donate Now" button right on your page as well as the "watch video" pages. 

With YouTube reaching 18-34 year-olds more than any other cable network (according to MobileCause), you have a very active audience that you can direct to action!

5. Keep it simple - videos can be affordable!

You can still use this tool on a nonprofit's budget, no fancy camera crew necessary. It can be as simple as using your personal camera for a quick status update, thanking your supporters with a webcam video, creating an Animoto of images from your event, or bringing a GoPro camera for an action-oriented example of an event.

You can also post videos that you didn't necessarily produce, but that are related to your cause, as long as you give the producers credit. Don't hesitate to reach out to the YouTube community to connect with other organizations, potentially collaborating on future projects. 


If you do want help on more quality video, contact ArcStone today and we can set you up with our in-house video producer, Nick. If you simply want help setting up an account and connecting it with your site, we can also help with that!

To stay up-to-date on nonprofit marketing ideas such as these, subscribe to The Nerdy Nonprofit for a monthly email from ArcStone!




Topics: Marketing Strategy, Nonprofit Content