YouTube Helping Nonprofits Do Good

Some of my friends can spend hours on YouTube. They may start on one video about parents stealing their children’s Halloween candy and could end on another video of Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez lip-syncing and dancing with their friends. How they travel from one side of the YouTube world to the other always baffles me. I don’t have this innate skill or the patience to peruse YouTube for hours. I find most of my favorites are the trending videos, band updates, and some Jenna Marbles comedy. I am also subscribed to a few nonprofit organizations on YouTube and knew there was a special search section for nonprofits, but completely underestimated YouTube’s dedication to these organizations.

YouTube recently launched YouTube Next Cause, a program  to help nonprofit organizations do the good that they’re already doing –  but even better.  After an application process, 20 organizations were selected for their commitment to change and their previous use of YouTube as a platform. These chosen few will attend a day long summit in San Francisco on April 2. The summit will serve as an opportunity for consulting and training, all in hopes to make their organization stronger and more effective.

This is a part of a larger program, YouTube’s NextUp Program, aimed to promote talent already on YouTube, not necessarily to find the next big thing. YouTube will invest money in some of its selected partners, in addition to providing them with resources in disciplines like videography and production.

And here I was thinking YouTube was just a place for cute cat videos. Man, was I wrong. So many other social media tools can be used for nonprofits too. It’s so cool to think about the support that one organization can provide for another. That sure seems like an effective way to create change – bonding together and satisfying one group’s set of needs with another’s set of resources. The size, growth, and passion of the communities that can be built amaze me. And all the communities, the change, and the action all start with small stories like the ones spotlighted in YouTube’s Next Cause program.

So much for getting any work done – I know what I’ll be watching while I procrastinate for the rest of the week. Check out these 20 awesome organizations’ videos.

Tweeting for a Cause

United Way Color

As the main focus of my eco-friendly internship I am assisting with and updating the  social media accounts for United Way of Washtenaw County.  As an intern with Ingenex, I am currently focusing on the Twitter and facebook accounts for this excellent cause.  United Way, as a whole, has roots dating back to 1887 and has been assisting with community needs by helping to cope with challenges throughout the Great Depression and World War II.  The organization has had several different names over the years, but has maintained the goal of building communities and motivating people to help others.


United Way of Washtenaw County began around 1920 when the Arbor United Charitable and Community Service was organized.  For over 89 years UWWC has worked to improve community standards collectively by directly impacting critical issues.  UWWC partners strategically with local non-profits that provide human and health-care services in order to actively assist with high-priority issues in the community.  UWWC re-evaluates each of its partner non-profits with each years campaign to ensure that they are on topic, financially stable, and reporting benefits to the Washtenaw community through their efforts.  To see this years community partners for United Way Washtenaw visit their website.

Each Year United Way launches an active campaign around Labor Day, incorporating local employers and over 1,000 volunteers, which runs through the end of December and .  United way accepts donations year-round, but the largest concentration of promotional efforts to improve the lives of everyone in the community is during these annual campaigns .  This years campaign for UWWC focuses on on improving five critical issues for Washtenaw County:  shelter and housing, health-care, early childhood care and education, alleviating hunger and aging in place.  The campaign slogan is Give, Advocate, Volunteer.  Live United.


If you are interested in volunteering, donating, or just learning more about what United Way Washtenaw does visit them on Twitter, facebook, and their website!  Live United!