YouTube Introduces Donations, Joins Facebook & Twitch in Video Fundraising

Matt Masur
10/11/2018 . 5 mins

Live video streaming is exploding as one of the best ways to market and communicate today, and the big video platforms are continuing to evolve. They’re constantly rolling out improvements and new features to their live video offerings.

YouTube has joined other video platforms in implementing donation abilities for fundraising. The video-sharing website recently announced the beta launch of a tool that will allow charities and nonprofits to feature a “donation button” when they live stream or upload a video to the YouTube database. The donation button will look like a large, bright colored button that will appear right next to or below video as it plays, making it impossible to miss, and allowing charity and nonprofit live or pre-recorded video audiences to send donations quickly and easily.

Video has played a big part in fundraising for quite some time. On one of the most popular crowdfunding websites, GoFundMe, video has regularly been a main component in a successful crowdfunding campaign. It’s so important that some other crowdfund sites won’t let you launch a campaign without a video.

Unlike crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe, which allow charities, those in need, or anyone with a good idea to create a fundraising page, YouTube is limiting the launch of their donation button to charities and nonprofits. The big thing to note is, during this initial period, YouTube is covering the cost of transaction fees that typically come out of online donations. Normally, these unavoidable transaction processing fees deduct a bit from the amount a person donated. For a limited time, YouTube is making it possible for all donated amounts to go directly to the nonprofits and charities.

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Other video platforms have similar donation options. Facebook Live has offered this type of functionality for well over a year now. While Facebook started out only offering the feature to charities, now celebrities, businesses, and other organizations that have a Verified Page on Facebook can use the donate button feature.

Facebook describes this feature in more detail:

_Donate button in Facebook Live has launched on iOS for verified Pages. This feature will be gradually rolling out to admins of verified Pages in the US. This gives public figures, brands, businesses, and organizations new ways to fundraise on Facebook for the nonprofits they support. _

_Personal fundraisers will enable people to raise money for themselves, a friend or someone or something not on Facebook (e.g. a pet). _

Twitch allows all their users who fulfill a short list of requirements to accept donations. On Twitch, viewers buy a virtual currency called “Twitch Bits,” and they can give those Bits to the live stream channels they support. Those channels can then cash in the Bits for real money. Twitch channels can also offer paid “subscriptions.” With a subscription, viewers might get access to video archives, special chat privileges, or other things the channel offers. Many on Twitch have used their revenue functionality to fundraise for a cause, but the majority of Twitch streamers who generate revenue do so to support or supplement themselves.

Video on a crowdfund page, regardless of the platform, is important to tell the story and explain the purpose. Live streaming video, as opposed to pre-recorded video, is an amazing way to help promote a campaign and draw attention to it. Using a multi-streaming, multi-publishing tool like Switchboard Cloud, you can go live on every platform you can think of, simultaneously. That can help get the message about your campaign out to the masses. Whether or not you find yourself eligible to have that fancy new “donate” button on certain sites now, you can easily include a donation link in the text of your video, on every platform. You can also just tell people where to go right in the video, saying something like, “Call now, or go to this website to donate.” With live streaming video, you have the ability to host your own modern-day telethon for your cause anytime you like.

Many organizations have found great success in using live video to help drive participation — and ultimately donations — for their big public events, across video platforms. Many of the organizations that hold walks, runs, dinners, and other big public events draw people to them by going live from the event. Live video grabs the attention and sparks the interest of potential donors who hadn’t been reached by other marketing methods, or who simply forgot to send in money they meant to donate previously. The great part about live video is that it remains useful even after the event in the form of archived video. This allows people who missed a great live event to watch it later on, and be inspired to donate at that time, with no extra effort on your part.

Whether it’s via YouTube, GoFundMe, Facebook, Twitch, or another site, live video is an amazing friend to those who depend on donations to fund their organization.

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Written By Matt Masur

Matt Masur is an award-winning tech entrepreneur who focuses on content creation, digital marketing and live streaming technologies.

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