Promoting non-profit organizations on YouTube

Among numerous online or offline media platforms, the creation of organization videos may be the most powerful methods of creating a strong mental impression of the organization in the public’s mind (Brown 2005). Displaying the videos of the Non-Profit Organization (NPO) on YouTube is a common way to build up and promote the Organization.

YouTube is a powerful social media platform. It attracts over 167 million monthly active YouTube users in the United States in the first quarter of 2016 (Statista 2016). It’s also the most popular mobile music and video apps in the United States in February 2017 (Statista 2017). Using its great influence online, YouTube presented The YouTube Nonprofit Program in 2010. NPOs are able to tell their stories and connect with audiences through the program. Functions like donation card outreach tools and link anywhere cards can help viewers to donate easily and get extra information (YouTube n.d.).

Waters and Jones (2011, p. 255) suggest the promotion video should include ‘the organization’s logo and web address, various organizational representatives (e.g., board members, staff, celebrity spokespeople, volunteers, and clients), references to nonprofit topics (e.g., fundraising, volunteerism, programs and services), and specific calls to action for the viewers (donation, volunteer, advocacy efforts)’.

Besides making the best use of YouTube videos’ titles, descriptions and tags, NPOs should also put more focus on the comments below the video (Dennis 2014). Giving responses to those comments and feedbacks can build a better interactive interaction between the organization and viewers.

In my opinions, promoting a NPO is even more difficult than a business brand. People would pay more attentions to the background, purpose, missions and efforts of the NPO. Therefore, the introduction video must be clear. If you post a failed video on YouTube to promote the NPO, the organization will give an even worse image to viewers.

As a good promotion on the powerful platform is the key to turn viewers into donors or supporters, NPOs should be more careful on social media.


Dennis, Deana D., “Successfully Social: A Non-Profit’s Guide to Modern Social Media Marketing” (2014). Senior Honors Theses. 454. (Recommended Citation)

Statista 2017, Most popular mobile music and video apps in the United States as of February 2017, by reach, Statista, viewed 27 May 2017, <>.

Statista 2016, Leading countries based on number of monthly active YouTube users as of 1st quarter 2016 (in millions), Statista, viewed 27 May 2017, <>.

YouTube n.d., YouTube Charities Programme – homepage, YouTube, viewed 26 May 2017, <>.

Waters, R & Jones, P 2011, ‘Using Video to Build an Organization’s Identity and Brand: A Content Analysis of Nonprofit Organizations’ YouTube Videos’, Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 248-268.


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