A Comprehensive Guide on YouTube for Nonprofits: What You Need to Know


As a nonprofit, it is always at the forefront to manage costs in the most effective manner. YouTube for nonprofits is a specific program that’s affiliated with Google to help nonprofits. YouTube has millions of users across the globe and is the single most widely used video-sharing platform. 

So, how do you harness the potential from this platform and leverage it to help your nonprofit create an impact? YouTube is after all a very good medium to amplify your cause through storytelling as it offers maximum outreach. We will be answering all of those questions and more through this blog. 

To read about our comprehensive article on digital marketing for nonprofits, click here.

1.  What is the YouTube for Nonprofits Program?

The YouTube for Nonprofits program is one of many initiatives that exist under the Google for Nonprofits umbrella. This program allows Nonprofits to access tools and resources that would generally be outside their scope. As a nonprofit, you also gain access to Google’s Social Impact Program and YouTube’s Creator Academy along with other tools to spread your message through visual storytelling and connect with supporters, volunteers, and donors across the globe. 

2. What are the Benefits of YouTube for Nonprofits?

What are the benefits of YouTube for Nonprofits?

2.1 Access To YouTube’s Creator Academy

YouTube’s Creator Academy features courses that are designed to provide information that helps you succeed on the platform. Access insightful courses on different aspects of how to run a successful YouTube channel. 

Everything from how to set up your channel to hacks on how to create the most impact is covered.  What you need to understand at the end of the day is that YouTube is the best teacher to help you succeed on YouTube. 

2.2 Link Anywhere Cards

Remember all those little interactive pop-ups that you see in videos and the links that you see at the end, those are called YouTube Cards. Now, usually, YouTube only allows you to link the videos present on the platform. But as part of the YouTube for nonprofits program, you can place a card with a  link to any external page beyond YouTube.  This enables you to drive viewers towards your donation page or any other external resources that you feel will benefit your cause. 

2.3 YouTube Fundraiser

This feature is not available widely as of now. It allows YouTube for nonprofits to embed a campaign right in your video, which makes it easier for viewers to donate to your cause. With the help of community fundraisers, you can rope in multiple channels to display your fundraiser. This will help you create a better impact for your cause by reaching a wider audience.  This tool is also great as it allows you to collaborate with influencers and massively increase your outreach. 

2.4 Dedicated Technical Support

The YouTube for Nonprofits Program has a specific support team to provide query resolution with regard to any issues you may have with the program. So, in case you run into any problem, there is always help on hand. 

3. Steps to Create a YouTube for Nonprofit Channel 

Steps to create a Youtube for Nonprofit Channel

3.1 Create a YouTube channel for your nonprofit organization or cause. 

The first step to becoming a part of the YouTube for Nonprofits program is to create your channel. Once you do this you can connect the channel to a brand account to allow multiple people to manage the account without the need to share login details every time. 

You can choose how much control other people have over your account by assigning different roles to profiles. 

3.2 Personalize your channel layout, art, and icon

This page is like a window for users to engage and then be influenced by your cause. YouTube is a highly visual medium, just like most social media and it is essential that you create a lasting first impression. Ensure that you create something that is instantly recognizable as this will allow you to connect better with your audience. Customize the art on your channel to give it a unique look. Clearly state what your mission is and what your brand stands for.

Your intro video that features on the top of the channel should capture your organization’s ethos and make the viewer want to continue to watch more videos.

3.3 Activate the YouTube Nonprofit Program

Since YouTube Nonprofit Program falls under the larger Google for Nonprofits umbrella. You need to first make your way there and sign in with the administrative account used by your organization. Once you sign in, all you need to do is click on YouTube Nonprofit Program and follow the steps there. 

3.4 Produce and upload quality videos 

There is a huge misconception within the collective community that you need a huge budget to create a good video. The truth of the matter is that there are plenty of creators who use just their smartphones to create, edit and upload videos. The trick is to make the best use of the resources at your disposal and upload value-driven content that will make an impact. This is where resources like Creator Academy and spaces come into play. 

4. How Do Nonprofits Use YouTube?

4.1 Awareness & Education

YouTube allows nonprofit organizations to raise awareness for the cause they support. Oftentimes there is a dearth of knowledge regarding the cause itself and if people don’t know what the problem is, they will not help out.  

Once you manage to get the word out there about your cause, you can then educate them. To create a community, it is important to move beyond just providing donations. Give people a list of actionable changes they can make and help your cause. 

For example, if you are raising awareness regarding the importance of recycling, educate them on how the plastic they use has a direct impact on their lives in the form of microplastics. Then provide them with a list of actions that they can take to minimize this. The goal is to sound approachable and not preachy. 

4.2 Promotion

As a nonprofit, hosting events and running promotional drives are excellent ways to spread the word about your cause. Create a show reel to promote your cause and influence people to become a part of your organization. Videos are also a great way to market yourself as the format is accessible and all you need is a share to get the word out. Becoming a part of this program can also help your cause feature on Google’s Social Impact program. 

4.3 Impact & Appreciation

People want to know where exactly they are putting their hard-earned money. Creating an impact video does precisely that.  Ask your community to send in videos, compile it with stats and show the lives you have touched. Thank the donors and let them know how their contributions are truly making a difference. 

4.4 Collect Donations

Of course, this is one of the main aspects of a nonprofit organization. You can use the YouTube Giving feature to add a donation button to your videos. This will allow people to directly donate to your cause from the video itself. 

All the transaction fees are covered by Google through their partnership with Network for Good. So, always remember to add the donation button to your videos. 

Case study examples of Youtube for Nonprofits

Case study examples of Youtube for Nonprofits

Charity: Water 

Charity: Water aims to improve access to water, hygiene, and sanitation in developing countries. They work with local partners to ensure that they are making a difference. With the Google for Nonprofits toolkit, they have managed to raise funds, increase awareness and reach new donors. 

YouTube allows them to document every part of their journey and allows their teams to send thank-you messages to donors. They create maximum impact with the help of personal stories of how access to clean water has changed people’s lives. 


Kiva provides financial help to underserved communities. They connect lenders and borrowers from around the world. They leverage YouTube to activate their community and constantly upload videos from their user base to show how even a small amount goes a long way in fueling someone’s dream. 

5. FAQ 

  • Can a nonprofit have a YouTube channel?

Yes, a nonprofit can have a YouTube channel. As a nonprofit, you can also decide to enroll in the Google for Nonprofits program which gives you access to benefits like G Suite for Nonprofits, Google Ad Grants, and more.

  • Is YouTube free for nonprofits?

Yes, YouTube services are free for nonprofits. It is a part of the larger Google for nonprofits program in which organizations who have created an account receive access to Google Workspace, Google Ad Grants, Google Earth, and Maps along with the YouTube for Nonprofits Program. 

  • Can a nonprofit monetize YouTube videos?

For any YouTube channel to be able to monetize, they need to have at least 10,000 subscribers. As a nonprofit, however, you can raise money on your videos with the help of donation links and fundraisers

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We work with clients from leading brands and industries such as B2B SaaS, nonprofits and more to develop profitable digital marketing solutions that are data-driven to support all kinds of business goals from widening user bases, gaining more traction for online engagement, to increasing conversion and helping businesses scale up. 

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