When we first talked about YouTube’s
program for nonprofits, the program was only available to
registered nonprofits in the US and UK. Good news for Canadian and
Australian nonprofits — YouTube for Nonprofits has been expanded to
include Canada and Australia!
Now nonprofits in those countries, too, can apply to the program and
take advantage of free premium features like branded channels, custom
thumbnails, embedded links in annotations, longer video uploads, a
Google Checkout button to drive fundraising, and call-to-action
There are some restrictions to this program: your organization may
not be religious or political in nature, for example, and it may not be
focused primarily on lobbying for political or policy change. There’s a
separate program for educational institutions, YouTube EDU, which is
aimed at creating an educational channel of content from degree-granting
For more information about YouTube for Nonprofits, and/or to apply
for the program, visit www.youtube.com/nonprofits.
And while we’re on the subject of YouTube, here are a couple of
relatively new features you might not be aware of. (Found something cool that we've not mentioned here? Drop a note in the comments!):
YouTube Safety Mode
There are a number of good free
video-sharing sites for nonprofits, but there’s no question about
it — if your videos are going to be in only one place online, go get
the greatest mileage (and this ability) on YouTube. There is also no
doubt that some of the content on YouTube is… questionable, at best.
This has reduced its usefulness for many nonprofits, particularly
faith-based organizations, whose supporters are not comfortable with
all of the content they may see there. The recent announcement of
YouTube’s Safety Mode may go a long way to drop that barrier to its
use. Users can turn Safety Mode on and off from an options setting on
any YouTube page, or lock it on by default in their browser.
For more information about YouTube’s Safety Mode, visit http://help.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?answer=174084youtube.
YouTube Automatic Captions
Accessibility is everyone’s concern, of course, but particularly
important for many nonprofits. Any time you post a video, it’s good
practice to provide a text transcription of the content for the hearing
impaired, for those who use text-based technology, for search engines,
and for the convenience of your readers. When it comes down to it
though, surprisingly few videos — even from nonprofit organizations —
are accompanied by text, even when they’re embedded on a blog page. Or
perhaps it’s not surprising: one of the benefits of video is how
quickly you can get content online, and adding text can be
labor-intensive and time-consuming.
Did you know that YouTube will add captions to your videos?
what Google’s official blog had to say about the auto-captioning
and auto-timing features that are now available in YouTube:
[W]e’ve combined Google’s automatic speech recognition (ASR)
technology with the YouTube caption system to offer automatic captions,
or auto-caps for short. Auto-caps use the same voice recognition
algorithms in Google Voice to automatically generate captions for
We’re also launching automatic caption timing,
or auto-timing, to make it significantly easier to create captions
manually. With auto-timing you no longer need to have special expertise
to create your own captions in YouTube. All you need to do is create a
simple file with all the words in the video and we’ll use Google’s ARS
technology to figure out when the words are spoken and create captions
for your video. This should significantly lower the barriers for video
owners who want to add captions, but who don’t have the time or
resources to create professional caption tracks.
tools kick in here too — your captions can be translated
automatically into more than 50 languages. Translation programs are
much better than they used to be, but any time a computer is tasked
with dealing with human language(s) there are likely to be errors, and
that applies to the automatic captioning as well as webpage translation.
If absolute accuracy is critical to your message, you will need to
count on manually checking for and correcting errors. And the more
complex or technical the text, the more tweaking the text will be likely
to need. Still, it’s a step forward in the accessibility department
and a useful timesaver for many organizations.
For more information about YouTube’s automatic captions, visit http://help.youtube.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?answer=100079.
Annotation in YouTube Videos
Annotations let you add on-screen text to your YouTube videos.
Besides the ability to control what the annotations say, you can
customize the look and feel of the text boxes you create, and decide
when they will appear and disappear in the video timeline. You can even
add links to related YouTube videos, channels, or search results. And
if your organization is a member of the YouTube for Nonprofits program,
you can also add external links to your annotations — links to web
pages that are not on YouTube, such as your blog, campaign landing
page, donations portal, membership benefits page, or anywhere else
you’d like to send viewers for more information or to take action for
For more information about YouTube’s automatic captions, visit http://help.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?answer=92710
Learn more about YouTube for Nonprofits
YouTube has just celebrated its fifth birthday and, since its
acquisition by Google, new features are being released with some
regularity. Already the must-be-there site for online video sharing,
YouTube is increasingly important to online outreach for nonprofits and
If you’d like to learn more about YouTube and how your organization
can use it most effectively, check out See3’s excellent slidecast (a
slideshow with an audio track included) in which Michael Hoffman
discusses the technical,
strategic and creative aspects of YouTube for Nonprofits. Note that
this presentation was made before YouTube extended its nonprofits
program to organizations in Canada and Australia, as well as in the
United States and United Kingdom, but otherwise it’s very up-to-date and
full of great ideas.
(Don’t miss the section, at about the 07:40 mark, where Michael
touches on the increasingly important role of YouTube in search and how
YouTube itself is being used as a search engine. This is useful stuff
for nonprofits, and we’ll be talking more, in days to come, about how you can use YouTube
to help your nonprofit get found in search
engine results pages.)
What nonprofit organizations have you noticed on YouTube recently? How does your own organization hope to use YouTube this year?