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July 07, 2009

New YouTube Feature May Be Missing Link For Non-Profits Using Video

Summary:

YouTube.com "Call-to-Action Overlay" allows non-profits to link videos to their own websites.

This feature is free for nonprofits.

YouTube "Annotations" allow organizations to create video "hotspots" - linking viewers to other videos or providing them with additional information.


Charity-water  

YouTube released a new feature widely last week that should make a huge difference for nonprofits big and small: "Call-to-Action Overlay."  This handy new feature allows nonprofits to add a semi-transparent box with call-to-action copy that links viewers off YouTube and lands them on your petition or donation page. The nonprofit Charity:Water has already used this medium effectively - notably raising over $10K in a single day.  As TechCrunch's Jason Kincaid points out, the video was placed on YouTube's home page, which undoubtedly played a role in its success.  To be honest, I'm actually a little surprised that it didn't raise more money given the exposure that it had, but I digress.

Okay, so your nonprofit may not make millions right off the bat, but for nonprofits with effective, viral videos, this could be the missing link that gets people to your site to donate or take action.  You should be aware of another footnote before you get too excited.  This feature is only available for members of YouTube's nonprofit partner program and people/organizations running pay campaigns to promote their videoes.   If your nonprofit hasn't already signed up for YouTube's nonprofit program and it posts videos on YouTube, now is the time!

In the meantime, there are other similar tools that you can use to increase the effectiveness of your videos.  YouTube supports "annotations," which allow you to highlight sections of the video or add in "notes."  You can then link the note or video section to other videos (on YouTube) for free. 

Happy videoing!

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