YouTube Adds Charity Fundraisers Through New Pilot Programs

Google subsidiary YouTube is looking to help its content creators and channel owners bank on their star power to raise money for nonprofits with the introduction of three new pilot programs testing the feasibility of new charity-specific donation tools. The first of the new creator tools are simply called “Fundraisers” and “Community Fundraisers.” Those allow the creation of a fundraiser that occupies a new interface next to any video uploads or live streaming feeds on the web version of YouTube. For mobile, the fundraiser panel goes below the video. Meanwhile, the new UI includes a description of the charity effort and nonprofit organization. A button sits at the top for donating, while a progress bar shows how much has been raised and the overall goal as well as how many days are left.

However, as the names imply, the Community version of Fundraisers allows a group of channels to host the event with the donated funds and goal showing the collective effort rather than the funds gathered by a single channel. The two ‘Fundraisers’ are being rolled out now and are already available on channels such as Hope For Paws and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In the meantime, YouTube is also set to start rolling out “Campaign Matching,” which will let those who organize the two above-mentioned features to also accept matching pledges as part of those campaigns. To spur further participation from viewers, it will effectively add a UI element highlighting pledges matched by other creators or brands. That way, those who are viewing a video as part of a campaign can see how much has been matched and watch the number go up more substantially when their own contribution is matched. Campaign Matching (beta) will roll out within the next several weeks.

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There’s currently no timeframe laid out for the new programs to leave beta and they’re only currently open to select creators and US-registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. YouTube is also hoping to boost efforts further by paying transaction fees for the first part of the beta in order to ensure that all proceeds go to the charity organization. If everything goes smoothly, the company also indicates that each new feature will roll out more widely over time. Beyond those new features, however, the company has also announced the full rollout of a new and related version of the already available Super Chats feature. Called Super Chats for Good, that lets content creators add a Super Chat to their live stream or Premiere videos just as they normally would. However, the funds from the new variation on the tool will now be donated completely to a qualifying US-registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit of their choosing.

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