June 29, 2012

YouTube Gives Video Makers New Ways to Support Causes

Charities will soon have a new way for their supporters to use videos to help raise awareness and money on their behalf.

YouTube said Wednesday it is allowing video makers to link directly from videos to pages on the fundraising and petition sites,, and

In addition to those four sites, YouTube in April began allowing links to the sites and, which use crowd-sourcing techniques to seek donations.

Jessica Mason, a YouTube spokeswoman, said the company decided it was important to give nonprofits and their supporters the opportunity to have more ways to raise money and awareness through videos that are posted on the site. "The idea is to take platforms that are already using the power of crowds and make it easy for any YouTuber to support a project," Ms. Mason says.

The new feature will be particularly helpful for small and medium-size organizations that lack the resources to produce their own video messages, says Matt Slutsky, director of strategic partnerships at YouTube's new effort will allow supporters to create and share their own videos in support of their favorite causes and provide a more direct way for those who are inspired by those videos to take action.

Mr. Slutsky says groups often don't make it easy for their supporters to spread the word about them on video.

"The most important thing to do is ask," says Mr. Slutsky. "A lot of people don't necessarily think about themselves as activists or advocates. We're all about bringing new people into the fold of organizing around the things they care about."