YouTube is the #2 search engine (second to Google.com) where people find information in video form online. There are also many amazing nonprofits on YouTube that have over 100k subscribers, but subscribers aren’t donors.
The question is: how do you raise money on YouTube as a nonprofit? YouTube actually has two main donation tools with different registration requirements. The most common is through the Google For Nonprofit YouTube program which allows nonprofit channels to integrate donation links into cards, end-screens, and Channel links.
The second is MUCH more exclusive and involves qualifying for a YouTube Giving Fundraiser. This is the most effective way to raise money as it allows people to donate directly through the YouTube Platform and not leave the site.
There is also the general YouTube Partner Program that allows any qualifying channel to monetize their content with ads, links, and super chat during live broadcasts. We have broken down all of these below because there is a lot to unpack, here is the official YouTube Fundraising FAQ.
1. Google Nonprofit YouTube Program
Linked Donation Cards & End Screens
What it is: This is managed through Google For Nonprofit program Google.com/nonprofits. Once a channel is approved as a nonprofit, links may be added through cards and end screen call-to-actions.
Eligibility: In order to be a verified organization, you can Not be:
- governmental entity/organization
- hospital or healthcare organization
- school, academic institution, or university (Google for Education offers a separate program for schools)
In order to be a Google for Non-Profit account, you need to:
- Be a registered nonprofit entity in your own country
- Agree to the Google for Nonprofits Terms
Effectiveness: Clicks on cards and end-screens tend to be in the low 1% range depending on the video’s popularity and retention. The links are flexible and allow links to be sent to most donation platforms. More resources on setting up donation cards.
Screenshot of donate:
Example of donation card with link
Channel link to donate
What it is: This invites your viewers to your page and to click the donate button. They voice their support and help nonprofit channels on youtube by giving money to help them in their cause.
Example of Red Cross YouTube Channel with donate in top right
2. YouTube Partner Program
Super Chat & Ads
What it is: The YouTube Partner Program is open to all creators and is the main way channels use native tools of YouTube to monetize their channel through ads and super chat. Once qualified a channel can use ads and super chat for live streams to raise money. Note that for nonprofits the super chat is a much more effective tool vs trying to create enough impressions for ads.
Step 1: The YouTube Partner Program is a collection of policies that allow you to earn revenue from YouTube as long as you meet the minimum eligibility requirements.
- Follow all the YouTube monetization policies.
- Live in a region where the YouTube Partner Program is available.
- Have no less than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the past 12 months.
- Have no less than 1,000 subscribers.
- Have a linked AdSense account.
3. YouTube Giving Fundraiser
What it is: The YouTube Giving platform allows for a direct, on-platform giving button to appear alongside videos. This keeps the user on YouTube and can also be used for live streams and live chat interfaces.
Eligibility: Apply and qualify your channel to fundraise with YouTube Giving allowing direct on-platform donations.
- Channel is located in the United States, United Kingdom, or Canada.
- Channel has at least 10k subscribers
- Channel is a part of the YouTube Partner Program
- Channel is NOT designated as made for kids
Effectiveness: Very effective as it is built into the actual screen and connects to payment options.
Screenshot of donate:
Example of donate button on YouTube