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Using YouTube To Donate To Charity

The video platform's new "donation cards" let creators turn views into charitable contributions.

Posted on January 26, 2016, at 2:28 p.m. ET

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YouTube is now a donation platform. On Tuesday, the video service rolled out a new feature that allows viewers to donate to charities and non-profits chosen by the creators posting videos to its platform.

Charities will receive 100% of the money donated to them, with YouTube covering any associated fees. They must be US-based with an IRS 501(c)3 validation to participate.

The feature, called "Donation Cards," works like normal YouTube pop-up cards, but instead of suggesting you subscribe to a particular channel, these cards prompt you to do something more high-minded. They offer viewers the option to donate to a charitable organizations in $5, $10, $20, or fill-in-the-blank increments. If your bank account is already linked to your YouTube account via YouTube Red, the process is simple and close to instantaneous.

YouTube isn't the first tech platform to implement such a charity-minded integration. In 2013, Facebook launched its own donate button, but it only supports 37 organizations. YouTube claims to process donations for any registered and eligible U.S. non-profit.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.