Do You YouTube?
Shannon Murphy, the press secretary at Strong American Schools, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that advocates for education-policy reform in the U.S., says the YouTube Nonprofit Program is helping her organization expand in ways that other methods of constituency building and donor engagement cannot.
“It is enabling us to really build an online community of supporters,” Murphy says, adding that the program “allows us to connect with folks in a way no leaflet or piece of literature ever could.”
Murphy says SAS’s “ED in ‘08” campaign recently made it to YouTube’s “most watched” list with a public-service announcement featuring rap mogul Kanye West dissertating on problems afflicting the American school system.
The YouTube Nonprofit Program might be most beneficial when it comes to motivating young people to engage with issues and take action. That is exactly what YouthNoise, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that works to empower young activists, is betting.
“For our purposes, direct mail isn’t going to be that effective,” says Kerri Fjeld, the business and development manager at YouthNoise. “Our market is young people, and they feel more comfortable checking us out on YouTube.”
Fjeld points to the popularity (based on the number of hits it received) of a video interview with Chi Cheng of the rock band Deftones about the importance of political involvement as evidence that the YouTube Nonprofit Program is an effective way to propagate her organization’s message.
“We’ll be a lot more successful with our demographic with this [program],” Fjeld says. “YouTube is unlike other mediums: It gives us the ability to touch people and get our message out in a more direct way.”
For more information, go to http://youtube.com/nonprofits