JuliusKielaitis /

January 26, 2016; The Next Web

YouTube plans to challenge Facebook for the title of being the go-to platform for online charitable giving.

Just recently, YouTube unveiled a strategy in which YouTube creators can designate an “IRS-validated 501(c)(3)” organization to receive 100 percent of the money donated by viewers, with Google covering the processing fees.

YouTube creators are developing an amazing array of content that not only amuses but also inspires and educates their viewers. With this new move, their videos are now potentially able to raise money for the creators’ favorite causes. Another possibility is that nonprofits could seek out YouTube creators to specifically request adding the nonprofit to their video donation card.

Nonprofits enrolled in YouTube’s program already have the option of a donate button on their YouTube channel. This new option allows the creators of videos to help charities and causes they have selected. A YouTube creator can designate up to five different charities. The card shows in the video during viewing, with the option for the viewer to scroll through a list of charities if the creator selects more than one.

All donations will be handled by the platform Network for Good, with neither YouTube nor the nonprofit receiving the donor’s contact info. If a YouTube creator has a donation card on their video platform, viewers only need to click it to make a donation.

Currently, this program is only available for YouTube views in the USA. Google will unveil the program across other countries in the coming weeks.

YouTube’s help pages offer suggestions for using donation cards. They recommend creators provide context for the donation card or cause. Key considerations for nonprofits to discuss before diving into the donation card program:

  1. What is the nonprofit’s brand on YouTube? Before seeking out partnerships with creators, nonprofits should determine what content and strategy best fits the overall nonprofit brand. Sarcasm and edgy humor? Fast-talking? Sincere, emotional pictures? Nonprofits should always know what motivates their specific audience and what their online brand is.
  2. What is the value to a nonprofit in receiving the donation and not the contact info of the donor? Social media campaigns that are successful are typically based on strong knowledge of the audience: their interests, their motivations, and their online choices. While many nonprofits would say that all donations are good, it should be determined if the time spent engaging YouTube creators and their followers is worth it when no database can be created from those donors. It is possible that the relationship stays entirely within the YouTube creator’s world.
  3. What if a YouTube creator selects a nonprofit and the nonprofit doesn’t want to be associated with that particular video or creator? Should or would the nonprofit still accept the donations?

Don’t fall into the trap of FOMO syndrome—fear of missing out. Do the research and determine what is best for your nonprofit in the long run.—Jeanne Allen