Nonprofit Technology
Membership Management

How to Use YouTube for Nonprofits: 5 Tips to Engage Members

Published by in Membership Management

Did you know that 71% of Americans use video-sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo?


Video can actually be incredibly effective for membership organizations and nonprofits who need to tell their story.  Online video puts multimedia broadcasting into the hands of organizations that don’t have the money to buy television or air time.

YouTube does not charge you to post an unlimited number of videos, which makes video sharing a cost effective and simple method of getting your message out there.

It also has a Nonprofit Program that provides any qualified organization with free premium services, including donate buttons, call-to-action overlays, live-streaming, and goal tracking.  In order to access the program you have to meet the Google for Nonprofits eligibility criteria.

But is YouTube really going to be a useful way for you to communicate? How well does it connect you with other people and spread the message your organization is trying to share?

These five tips will help you get the most out of YouTube for your association or nonprofit:

1. Tell stories visually.

40% of people respond better to visual information than plain text.  If you post a video on Facebook or another social media outlet, you will get more viewers than if you post a wall of text.  If you have a story to tell, why not film someone telling it, instead of writing it down? Include images of the places you’ve been and the people that you’ve helped—what better way to truly show what your organization does?

People are undeniably attracted to videos—viewers spend 100% more time on pages that contain them.

2. Follow other nonprofits/organizations that you’re interested in.

When you subscribe to other organizations’ channels or favorite other organizations’ videos, you can actually end up driving more traffic to your own YouTube channel.  This is because if you like someone else’s channel, there’s a higher chance that they will subscribe to yours.

You can also use YouTube as a way to find other content to post to your Facebook and Twitter accounts (making sure to adhere to the 3:1 ratio). This makes posting on your other social media accounts much easier and saves you the time of searching for content to post.

3. Share your videos.

You have tons of options to share a video on YouTube; from automatically posting it to any one of the popular social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, to email, or even sending it directly to one of your YouTube friends.  On top of that, you can embed your video content on a website or blog (and not just videos; playlists and channels as well).

Leah's post 1

Leah's post 2

4. Upload testimonials to share with other potential members.

Showing the good work and the member benefits of your organization can be best done by letting your actual members speak for themselves.  YouTube allows you to upload videos of your members talking about your organization’s benefits and the good work that you do.  This is a powerful story to share with potential members and other people in the community.  The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce has a video of member testimonials to show others what a great organization they truly are.

5. Upload presentations and slides from your events for those unable to attend.

Your organization can keep your members and staff up to date on any meetings or presentations that they missed by filming the meetings then uploading the slides to YouTube.

Many organizations, such as The Nature Conservancy, really use YouTube well to upload video presentations about their organization and its benefits.

What other ways does your organization use YouTube for nonprofits to engage members? Have any additional tips?  Add them in the comments below!

Looking for Nonprofit software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Nonprofit software solutions.

About the Author

Leah Readings

Leah Readings

Leah Readings is a Software Analyst for Capterra, a company that connects buyers and sellers of business software. She specializes in church management software along with several other software directories. When she’s not helping software buyers, she is, among other things, reading, writing, and spending time with her family and friends.


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Comment by Sharvette Mitchell on

Really great suggestions!

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