How to Get Your Organization Enrolled in the YouTube Nonprofit Program

If you’re a nonprofit dabbling in video, good on you. Online video is quite possibly the most powerful medium for delivering a message, and — as everyone from Invisible Children to the South Australian government’s rail safety program has demonstrated — it’s especially effective for nonprofits with a good story to tell.

YouTube recently rolled out a powerful, free suite of tools geared especially for nonprofits, many of which were previously available only to ad partners who paid money for them.

Head over to to check it out and apply for an account. You’ll need your 501(c)3 number handy. Note that you’ll be default-enrolled through the Google Nonprofits program, which will prompt you to create a Google Profile for your organization. (If you don’t have one already, I recommend create a new one rather than setting this up through your personal Google Profile).

The YouTube for Nonprofits package includes features such as:

  • The ability to live stream on YouTube. (Instructions)
  • The ability to place a call-to-action popup in the video player that links to elsewhere on the web.
  • Rights to fundraise through a Google Checkout “Donate” button.
  • Listing on the Nonprofits & Activism page.

And more cool stuff.

If you’re new to YouTube, check out the nifty Playbook for Good to see how other nonprofits have used YouTube’s features.

Of course, none of this will make your videos themselves better, but the program will help you use interactive functions of the world’s biggest video site (and second-largest search engine) to get your story viewed.


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