5 Reasons Why Small Nonprofits Should Start a YouTube Channel

If you’re a small nonprofit, you should start a YouTube channel. Initially, there are a lot of reasons not to do this. You might have a small staff, so you don’t have the people or expertise to create videos. You already have a lot of work on your plate, so you don’t have the time to invest. And you’re likely on a tight budget, so you don’t have the finances for video production.

But those challenges are exactly why you should invest in YouTube for your marketing and fundraising. I’ll explain this more in the article. Here are 5 reasons why small nonprofits should create videos on YouTube for growth.

  1. You can reach a new audience that is primed to learn and act.
  2. You can demonstrate your expertise and authority.
  3. There’s low competition, not a lot of nonprofits are doing it.
  4. It doesn’t need to be high production value – authenticity will benefit you.
  5. The content itself can be repurposed into many forms and actually saves you time.

Now lets jump into each of these reasons.

1. YouTube Will Help You Reach a New Audience

For any nonprofit to grow its supporter base, it needs to find new audiences. You have your standard marketing platforms – website, email, and social media – to reach people who are on those platforms.

YouTube is another platform with people who might not use those other digital mediums as much. Within YouTube, there’s a demographic of watchers who love educational videos. They’re learners and will binge entertaining content that teaches them about various social issues. This is the niche that your nonprofit can really shine by education this demographic on the issues that your nonprofit works in.

And this demographic of learners are prime audience to be supporters and donors. Because if they’re watching a video on your specific issue, they care about that issue and are more inclined to act. And the channel that best educates them on that issue is the channel that will earn their trust.

2. Nonprofits Can Demonstrate Their Expertise on YouTube

In marketing and fundraising, you usually have to keep your messaging brief. There aren’t a lot of platforms to really go in-depth. But on YouTube, you can take more time to explain issues and you have audiences that are committed to watching. Many informational and educational channels have videos that are 5-10 minutes long, and some of the most popular ones have videos up to 30-40 minutes.

Photo by Mikael Blomkvist

There are a lot of individuals and media companies creating broad educational content, but as a nonprofit, you can bring more credibility on a particular issue. That’s because as a nonprofit you can show firsthand knowledge and expertise on a topic instead of just repeating existing data. And you have the ability to showcase real solutions from your work.

3. There’s No Competition From Other Nonprofits on YouTube

Educational videos are a growing niche within YouTube. There are lot of individuals doing great journalistic work or providing in-depth explainers. And large media companies are producing them too. So isn’t it going to be hard to compete?

No, because as a nonprofit, you bring a level of credibility, authenticity, and expertise that individuals and media companies don’t have. And no other nonprofits are doing it. Most nonprofits have a YouTube channel, but they’re using it wrong. Other nonprofits are just posting promotional videos about their work, and you may be tempted to do the same thing. Even big nonprofits do it.

But here’s the thing – no one cares about that. It’s not what’s they’re on YouTube to watch. If your nonprofit can create in-depth educational videos on your issue, you’ll be ahead of the majority of nonprofits on YouTube, and you’ll capture the attention of new audiences that value your expertise and authority.

4. It Doesn’t Take Much Work to Create YouTube Videos

It will still take a good amount of work, but not nearly as much as you think. If you’ve watched successful YouTube videos, particularly good educational ones, you might be intimidated by the production value. There are drone shots, B-roll, animations, and special effects – it feels like a lot. But it doesn’t have to be.

There are also a lot of videos where there is literally a guy talking and drawing on a whiteboard that get millions of views. It’s about the educational value, how understandable it is and how engaging it is. You could literally have someone on your team just teach something for 5 minutes, or a field staff explain a complex situation.

Photo by Lagos Food Bank Initiative

Some titles and background footage might help, but it’s not necessary to start. It just needs to be helpful and authentic. There are some tactics to make videos more engaging, but that can be developed over time. Just get started with what you can do.

5. Content Nonprofits Create on YouTube Can Be Repurposed

One of the main hesitations of creating video content is the amount of time that goes into it. But that effort also helps generate other forms of content.

A video often starts with a script, and that same script can be expanded into a blog article. The intro and premise of that video script can be used in an email newsletter that links to the full video or blog article. The video itself can be cut up into multiple small clips to post on social media. And the main points or snippets of the video can be turned into graphic carousel posts as well.

It takes a mindset shift to go from creating content in silos for each platform to creating content as part of a multi-channel strategy.

Start a YouTube Channel Today

The ideal time to start a YouTube channel for your nonprofit would’ve bee 10 years ago, but the next best time is today. Everyday that you’re delaying your YouTube, you’re losing ground to a potentially new audience of supporters.

It can be intimidating at first, but just get started. You can improve along the way. If you’d like help with starting or elevating your nonprofit’s YouTube channel, here are 3 ways I can help:

  1. Present to your staff the need and strategy for a YouTube channel.
  2. Develop a strategy for YouTube content creation, along with consulting and coaching along the way.
  3. Create custom videos for your YouTube channel and other marketing platforms, at a fraction of the cost of having an in-house team.

It starts with a free, no-obligation, 20-minute discovery call to talk through your needs. Book one now:

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