Inspired: To give and to receive

A group of kids in South Bronx has me thinking about Greensboro.

In this video posted to Barak Obama’s You Tube Channel, high school students from all racial backgrounds talk openly about race and hope–not usually two topics in the same conversation.

Something else caught my eye as I watched the video on the Barak Obama You Tube Channel. The presidential candidate’s channel has a “make a contribution” link embedded in the template.

That button trumped the feeling I felt a few years ago when presidential candidate John Kerry sent out personalized emails to solicit donations. This giving option defines a new kind of fund-raising: through attraction, not promotion. You’ll hear kids in the video say they’re seeking out Obama’s words on yahoo and You Tube.

Local non-profits and foundations, such as Action Greensboro and the Greensboro Community Foundation could use a similar template. Using video to the tell the stories of the communities these agencies are helping, the donation button could provide a quick, easy option for anyone to get involved.

It could work for non-profit agencies, too, such as the Lyndon Street You Tube Channel. And as more musicians, writers, and other creators leave labels and publishers behind to raise their own funds, a’ la NPR, this model could work as well.

Question is, do you have to be a presidential candidate to get a “make a contribution” button?

Update: The answer is no. The contribution feature, called “Google Checkout” can easily be added to any You Tube channel. All you need to do is set up a Google Checkout Account.

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