Insights to Power Social Good

YouTube and You - Online Fundraising

Posted by Ethan Kotel on Feb 22, 2017 3:31:50 PM



Fundraising with the World's Largest Video Site


As more and more digital fundraising opportunities are introduced to the market, we here at mGive are dedicated to helping you stay on top of the latest and greatest ways to expand your nonprofit, tips for mobile marketing, and the most innovative fundraising ideas on the web.



Today, we're talking about video. YouTube, the big friendly video giant, has recently introduced a host of tools to help nonprofits raise money and cultivate supporters. These tools are simple, powerful, effective, and digitally based, just like those of us here at mGive, so it’s a natural step to start including YouTube in your online fundraising and digital marketing strategy! 

First, the facts. YouTube is one of the most visited websites in the world. They are a one-trick pony who has mastered their trick: providing the best platform for video streaming on the globe.

Over 4 billion videos are viewed per day on YouTube. Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month. During that month, over 3 billion hours of video are watched. Every single video you have on YouTube is another opportunity to attract new supporters. This is not an opportunity you can afford to squander.

Let’s dive in.

You might have never made a video for YouTube before, or you may not understand how video can help you with your fundraising efforts. Luckily, thanks to the tools detailed here, making videos and uploading them has never been easier.

Additionally, uploading videos to YouTube comes with the natural benefit of their being owned by Google. In fact, uploading videos to YouTube helps bump up your search engine ranking, and improves the reach of your ads. #Synergy.

Still not convinced? Remember that it takes 9-12 individual touch points in order to make someone care about your message. Video, however, transcends this formula, since videos are extremely effective at moving people towards your cause.

A good video can function as 2-4 individual touch points sent through other media. Indeed, a good video can inspire, inform, and engage the viewer all at the same time, hastening them towards supporting, volunteering, or donating to your cause much more efficiently than other types of communication.

Video is valuable, and when utilized correctly, can be an incredibly powerful tool for cultivating engagement.

For instance, think about what the right video can do for a nonprofit crowdfunding campaign. Project EPIC’s crowdfunding page on the Fundly platform includes a lead-in video that briefly defines the project, introduces the team behind the project, and shares the impact a successful campaign can have.


It’s not an overly complicated or flashy video, but it’s professional, to-the-point, and manages to pack in just enough emotion to help encourage donations. With that video as a lead-in, the campaign was able to raise $35,341, which was significantly higher than the original goal of $25,000.


The right video can truly make a big difference.  

On To Fundraising

YouTube has recently partnered up with Network for Good to introduce a new feature to their site designed to help nonprofits subtly but effectively fundraise on their own and other’s videos: donation cards


“Donation cards? What are donation cards?


Great question! Donation cards are a new, innovative, and simple way to monetize your videos, by allowing people to donate to your cause directly from your video. Additionally, you can ask other content creators to host your donation card on their video, so that their supporters can find, learn about, and contribute to your cause.

Screenshot 2017-02-22 at 2.12.29 PM.png

Donation cards take the form of a clickable line of text with an "i" attached (pictured above). The line of text is fully customizable and leads to a small, short donation form for your supporters to fill out.

After completing the form, YouTube and Network for Good take over, paying all transaction and processing fees so you don’t have to. In fact, 100% of all money donated through donation cards winds up in the hands of your nonprofit. This helps your donors rest easy, knowing that their entire donation is reaching you.

Check out this video to see donation cards in action!

Did you notice how the card was strategically placed in the video? It is best with donation cards to place them where they are most relevant to the content of the video, so that the viewer is hit with the call-to-action (CTA) when they are most engaged.

The pictogram (in this case, a leaf, pictured below) on the donation form can also be customized: you can upload your NPO’s official logo to YouTube’s database so that it will display on the donation card.

Screenshot 2017-02-22 at 2.10.52 PM.png

Do you already have videos up on YouTube, but are just learning about donation cards? Don’t worry, you can still add them retroactively! Pro Tip: a smartly placed donation card will turn a verbal CTA in any of your videos into a highly visible and effective interactive CTA.

With donation cards, you aren’t even limited to your own videos when it comes to fundraising. YouTube has implemented donation cards site-wide, so anyone who likes your cause can add your donation card to their videos. If you have relationships with any content creators, you can approach them and ask them to add cards for your NPO to their videos.

Pro Tip: if you don’t have relationships with any content creators, try searching keywords related to your cause! Any of the creators whose videos come up are potential relationships waiting to happen. Try sending out a few messages to content creators! They might be interested in helping to promote your fundraising efforts!

Your supporters can also engage with you through donation cards. Consider running a campaign where your volunteers create a video telling their story, exploring their journey with you and your cause, their role in your organization, and what their work means to them.

By adding a donation card to their story, viewers can move seamlessly from learning about your cause to donating to it, through the people you value most: your supporters. Every story you add to YouTube is another opportunity for new supporters to join you. Again, more videos means better SEO. There is no downside to sharing your stories online! 

Like data? YouTube has included a powerful analytics suite that will help you break down the age, location, and demographic data from your donation cards. Although you won’t own this data yourself, it is freely available for you to use, and can help you better target your fundraising efforts along measures of efficacy and ROI.

In short, donation cards are a great way to raise funds from your base, and represent a great opportunity to find and attract new supporters to your cause. A powerful tool like this is a card worth adding to your deck (Sorry I’m not sorry), and should be utilized across your digital media presence.


Creating World Class Content

But what if you don’t know how to make YouTube videos? What if you don’t have a camera, or don’t know anything about video editing? Are donation cards off limit to you?

Of course not.

YouTube has helped make it easier than ever to make videos with the advent of the YouTube Director for Business app, available on the App Store. Unfortunately, this tool is not available on Android devices just yet, but hopefully will be soon!


YouTube Director is a powerful little tool, designed to streamline the video shooting, editing and publishing process. With more than 130 built in templates, Director helps with everything from deciding on a video title to showing you where to shoot. Using the camera on your iPhone, Director can help you create a professionally shot video with no other purchases necessary.

But what about editing? Director helps with that too, with an easy to use GUI that makes editing videos faster and easier. Add voiceovers, flying text, and soundtracks straight from your phone. Use music from YouTube’s extensive music library (containing basically everything that’s ever been recorded), and create a good looking, well-shot video with minimal effort.

After editing, the only thing left to do is to insert your donation card, publish your video, and promote it: all of which can be done straight from your Director app.

Publish to the web from your phone, and start promoting your video with AdWords in one easy step. In fact, a Google AdWords expert will get in touch with you in order to help find the best way to promote your video online. Add a donation card to your video and that’s all, folks: you’ve got yourself one effective video advertisement.

But hold onto your seats, because Director gets even better with YouTube Director Onsite. This service is currently only available in seven cities, but hopefully will be expanding soon. But, if you’re based in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington D.C., or Boston, you’re in luck: when you spend $150 on ads hosted by Google, they will send a professional filmmaker to help you film your very own video ad.

Your filmmaker will be with you for 5 hours, joining you for a script-writing session and a 3 hour video shoot. Afterwards, you’ll get your very own logistics session, where an ad expert will personally help you set up and target your ad to make sure it reaches the right audience.

With these tools, YouTube has made it trivially simple to integrate videos into your fundraising strategy. Utilizing your creativity and the creativity of everyone else on the site, you can learn how to craft effective and meaningful videos, tell your story, and raise funds straight through YouTube.

These are all valuable tools, and will undoubtedly help increase your SEO and total donations, while adding yet another vector for new supporters, donors, and volunteers to find and engage with your cause.

Don’t miss out on this massively effective channel! Get started with donation cards and YouTube Director today.


Yours sincerely,



p.s., don't forget that we here at mGive are ALWAYS ready and willing to help you learn about, plan, and expand your mobile fundraising strategy. If you ever have any questions, about digital donations, Text to Give, or anything else, please don't hesitate to reach out!

Topics: Mobile Fundraising, Fundraising Ideas, Fundraising, mobile, Digital Marketing, Advertising

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