8 Best Free Video-Sharing Sites for Nonprofits

Lori Halley 22 October 2009 14 comments

youtube screenshotThanks to low-cost cameras, and free or inexpensive software tools, there’s a place for video production within the budget of even small nonprofits and associations. And distributing your videos on the Internet has never been cheaper or easier to do, thanks to video-sharing social sites like YouTube. If your organization is sharing videos online to promote your cause, you’re on the right track:

According to an April 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, the share of online adults who watch videos on video-sharing sites has nearly doubled since 2006... Over time, online video has also become a bigger fixture in everyday life, garnering 19% of all internet users who use video-sharing sites to watch on a typical day.

"Video is the future," agreed Heather Mansfield in a post at Nonprofit Tech 2.0 last month (with an update to the social media stats on 10/23/2009):

  1. YouTube receives 120 million unique visitors from the United States each month. Compare that to Facebook’s 72 million 95 million, MySpace’s 71 million 66 million and Twitter’s 21 million.
  2. An impressive 79% of the total U.S. Internet audience view online video each month, moving to 88% by 2012.
  3. Consumption is high across all demographics: 76% of children and 44% of seniors watched online video. Issues of race and class do not play themselves out on YouTube like they do on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

YouTube may be the grandaddy of video-sharing sites — and yes, you’ll definitely want to be there, especially if your organization qualifies for YouTube’s special program for nonprofits — but it’s not the only video-sharing game in town. Wider video distribution can mean greater exposure for your organization in return for a relatively small investment of time and effort.

7 More Good Free Video-Sharing Web Sites

bliptv screenshotBlip.tv

Blip.tv rates highly for ease-of-use, yet offers a wide range of video upload and format options. For at least the past three years it has been consistently top-ranked among video-sharing sites by the leading tech media reviewers. Blip.tv supports Creative Commons licensing, and also distributes videos to a large number of other video web sites: see the FAQ for a list and for more information.


dogoodertv screenshotDoGooder.tv

DoGooder.tv was created especially for nonprofits by see3 communications, who also offer an excellent series of tutorials, the free Guide to Online Video. While it lacks the active social element of YouTube and others, DoGooder.tv lets nonprofits easily embed a hosted video on their blogs or websites without concerns about it appearing on the site next to other content that may be inappropriate to the cause.


revver screenshotRevver.com

Revver is a bit different from the other video-sharing sites on this list: When you upload a video, human reviewers will take a look and assign it to a category. Ads are placed automatically on each video that’s uploaded, and Revver pays a share of advertising revenue to the content creators. Have a look at the FAQ for more information on how this all works.


sevenload screenshotSevenload.com

Sevenload, out of Germany, has 20+ sub-sites for different countries and languages (the US/English homepage is linked above.) Sevenload bills itself as the “future of television” and is designed primarily to help users create and broadcast their own Internet shows through its web TV channels, although there’s a strong secondary focus on hosting and sharing photographs as well.


tangle screenshotTangle.com

Tangle is a Christian video-sharing site that is very closely modelled on YouTube in terms of its navigation and function. Tangle invites its users to upload and share videos, music, and photographs, as well as connect with a “prayer wall” and online Bible study group. Obviously, this would be a good choice for church groups and Christian faith organizations who prefer to distance themselves from some of the content on mainstream sites.


veoh screenshotVeoh.com

Veoh has a habit of interrupting its users with pop-up ads, which may contain content that’s inappropriate for some nonprofits — or may simply annoy you too much to want to use it! Still, Veoh’s high popularity with young adults (particularly in Japan and UK, as well as in the United States) earns it a place on this list as a possible venue for humorous “viral” types of videos.


vimeo screenshotVimeo.com

Vimeo is a high-quality video-sharing site created by and for filmmakers, video creators, and like-minded others. It’s easily the most professional in terms of technical standards, a respectful (moderated) user community, and quality of the uploaded content. Not for commercial use or third-party content.


This list is by no means complete, of course — there are literally hundreds of video-sharing sites of various types and sizes — but one or more of these seven (plus YouTube) will get you well started.

Yes, it will take some extra time to submit your video(s) to a number of different sites — never mind whatever time you may choose to invest in the social networking components — but a free video submission tool like tube mogul can help by posting your video automatically to multiple sites, including most of those on this list, and track your stats too.

Choosing the Right Video-Sharing Sites for Your Nonprofit

Among the many free video-sharing sites online are a good number of topic-specific sites with a tight topical or geographic focus, and many international sites that have been created to share videos produced in languages other than English. Some of those topical sites may be able help your organization to find a very targetted audience for your message, so you may want to do a quick Google search to see what’s out there that may right for you.

Most video-sharing sites have some technical restrictions on what you can upload — file size, duration, format of the uploaded video file, etc. — as well as varying standards for the kinds of content that can be uploaded to their servers. Technical restrictions are normally set to meet the needs of the most active users, so a small nonprofit that posts the occasional video is not likely to run into many problems.

Do check over the Terms of Service for each site, as well as the front page and recently popular videos, to make sure it’s an appropriate site for your nonprofit to join. (TechSoup has an oldie-but-goodie article, Understanding Video-Sharing Sites’ Terms of Service, to help you assess the licensing terms, privacy policies, and content guidelines under which each site operates.)

Finally, look for a variety of easy sharing and social bookmarking options, social networking functions on the site itself, and the ability for users to embed your uploaded video on their own blogs and websites. Many video-sharing sites also act as social networks — with “friends,” “favorites,” and comments — that can help you make connections with potential supporters and bring more attention to your videos and your organization. Look for those video-sharing sites that have the most user activity around your specific issue or cause, to help you prioritize which sites are likely to give the best results for your nonprofit.

What video-sharing sites, tools and tips do you have to share? What’s been working best for your nonprofit?

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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Thursday, 22 October 2009 at 8:40 PM

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  • Twitter Trackbacks for Wild Apricot Blog : 8 Best Free Video-Sharing Sites for Nonprofits [wildapricot.com] on Topsy.com  said:

    Thursday, 22 October 2009 at 1:39 PM
  • Bou The Caribou said:

    Thursday, 22 October 2009 at 3:25 PM

    In the beginning, I used Tube Mogul to upload video to a variety of sites. Now I only use one video site because I want to concentrate more on participation and community building than just posting videos. I found it difficult, given my time resources, to truly contribute to more than one video community, especially since I also participate in other networks such as facebook and twitter.

    I chose to go with YouTube. Here are some of the reasons why:

    Audience - as you said, YouTube still by far has the largest audience.

    Measurement - YouTube's insight tool provides great metrics that keep getting better.

    Interactive - the annotation tool enables you to add some very creative interactivity to videos.

    Closed Captioning - you can add subtitles to your video that will then be translated by Google into many other languages. Hopefully as time goes on the auto-translations will become more accurate. It can help make your videos more accessible to the hearing impaired and those who do not speak your language.

    SEO - YouTube videos seem to rank higher than others on Google...hmmm maybe because they are owned by the Big G.

    Distribution - the new cameras and mobile phones now all seem to have some sort of built in YouTube compatibility.

    Hope - I hold onto the hope that soon YouTube will make it's Non-Profit and Promoted Video programs available in Canada. Right now the former can only be used in the US and UK and the latter only in the US. I also hope that since YouTube is owned by Google, YouTube will continue to be upgraded on a regular basis making it better and better.

    Okay and finally, one other item to consider. Google recently purchased On2, the makers of the Flash Video compression technology. Does this mean Google might tweak the technology to give YouTube the best flash video and audio playback on all platforms?  

    BTW: Thank you for another great post. It gave me a lot to think about.

  • Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

    Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] said:

    Thursday, 22 October 2009 at 4:27 PM

    Absolutely, Bou. If you can only do one (and we all know that spreading too thin is a huge risk in social media!), it is best to make that one YouTube. Thanks for a great contribution to this discussion - and especially for the reminder to look forward vis-a-vis accessibility requirements, integration with mobile technology, and the (probable) evolution of Google-owned property! I too hope to see the YouTube nonprofits program (and likewise, Google Grants) to more countries soon. Haven't heard any rumours about that, but we can hope!

  • Wild Apricot Blog said:

    Friday, 23 October 2009 at 4:39 AM

    Blog Action Day started in 2007 as the initiative of just two people. Look how it’s grown! This year, some 9,400 blogs in 150 countries are spreading the word about climate change to almost 13 million readers. There are good lessons and ideas here for

  • Timo Luege said:

    Saturday, 24 October 2009 at 12:29 AM

    We are focusing on YouTube as well. The reason: the size of the audience. We have managed to be featured on the YouTube homepage a few times and there is simply no other video site that can give you that amount of visibility.

  • Allan Leonard said:

    Friday, 30 October 2009 at 8:46 AM

    I would love to use YouTube, but <10 minute video upload is a real barrier. This limit is removed for non-profit organisations it recognises. I applied but alas was denied (YouTube said I didn't have a large enough market share, i.e. too small an organisation; so much for us small non-profits!).

    Only other serious contenders thus Vimeo.com and Blip.tv. Both offer excellent products, and I use them both. But I rely on Vimeo.com by default. Easy upload, no time limits, customisable embedding and channels (very cool).

    Anyway, I have found best methods for attracting eyes are regular relevant blog posting, creation of Facebook Page, and targeted advertising (Facebook and Google).

  • Reality Check said:

    Tuesday, 10 November 2009 at 10:11 PM

    Bou The Caribou, and Rebecca make interest points. Still, I'm not fooled. Who other than those 'employed' by the organization owned by Youtube lists in point form the advantages of using it. I find it sad that advertising has found its way into forums too such an extent. Perhaps that should be a topic for discussion instead of the prevalence of video...

  • Lars Hansson said:

    Wednesday, 10 February 2010 at 10:15 AM

    I just signed up with www.mejuba.com. Unlimited storage for both videos and pictures and it's completly free. No monthly limits or qoutas.

    Photos and videos are stored in their original formats and sizes and are kept unmodified for backup.

    I also like that you can geo-tag your stuff so it shows up on a map. And you can search for stuff on the map - that's cool!.

    As the only site i know of it uses a Windows Explorer like navigation with folders - super eacy to use - even has drag and drop!.

    I can highly recommend it.

  • Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

    Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] said:

    Wednesday, 10 February 2010 at 12:35 PM

    Thanks, Lars - good tip!

  • Bou The Caribou said:

    Saturday, 20 February 2010 at 10:55 AM

    FYI: YouTube's nonprofit program is now available to Canadian and Australian nonprofits!


  • Wild Apricot Blog said:

    Tuesday, 23 February 2010 at 6:38 AM

    Good news for nonprofits: the YouTube for Nonprofits program is now open to qualified organizations in Canada and Australia, as well as the US and UK! And while we're talking YouTube, here are a few relatively new features there that you may have missed..

  • Ed said:

    Monday, 15 March 2010 at 3:47 PM

    Is there a video sharing site which allows you to keep your vidoes private?  That is, only those to whom you send a link can see them, vice being open to the general browsing public?  I know YouTube has their "25 names" listing, but that limit can easily be reached.


  • Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

    Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] said:

    Monday, 15 March 2010 at 3:52 PM

    Good question, Ed. I'll look into it and see what's out there - and perhaps someone else will already have the answer and chime in with it, in the meantime.

  • Deanna said:

    Saturday, 08 October 2011 at 10:36 AM
    to answer Ed's questions, Vimeo will let you keep your videos private. We are a trade association and offer recorded trainings to our members. Vimeo lets us upload the videos, keep them private and embed them into the members' section of our WA website. There is a setting where you can only view them from designated sites.

    It's been working for us - we're pleased with the process so far.

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