Since its inception, organizations and individuals looking to change the world have used YouTube to rally an audience around a cause. Working at YouTube, we love seeing inspiring videos shared around the world everyday. “Good” videos have in turn inspired us to build tools to make it easier to run a campaign on YouTube and turn video views into action. We’ve made a 30-page “Playbook for Good” full of best practices to help you make the most inspiring and impactful cause videos possible and the videos just keep getting better and better.

That is why, for the fourth year in a row, we joined with See3 Communications to run the annual DoGooder Video Awards to recognize the year’s best nonprofit and cause videos. This year there were four different categories. And, for the first time, we accepted videos from creators looking to change the world one view at a time, not just nonprofit organizations.

The finalists chosen in the first round were all excellent examples of how far "cause video" has come since we first launched the YouTube Nonprofit Program in 2007. Nonprofits (and other DoGooders) are becoming increasingly savvy with online video; they're making funny, creative, episodic, and interactive cause-related content. They’re turning video views into awareness, petition signatures, donations, volunteer hours, and more. The four winners were chosen from more than a dozen finalists by public voting. Here they are:

Best Nonprofit Video Award: Follow the Frog 



The Rainforest Alliance’s “Follow the Frog” is a humorous tale of a well-intentioned epic misadventure, showing that sustainability-minded consumer choices can be more effective for change than vigilante conservation.

Change Agent Award: 350km message for women with ovarian cancer



After losing his mother to cancer, Raf Bauer set out on a 350-kilometer walk across Scotland to raise awareness and funds for Target Ovarian Cancer.

Funny for Good: No Joke. Choice Matters. Everywhere.



Pathfinder International’s “No Joke. Choice Matters. Everywhere.” comically portrays the difficulties many women face when trying to access reproductive health care. While presented in a comical light, the video outlines actions to help women for whom a lack of access to health care is no joke.

ImpactX Award: END7: How to Shock a Celebrity



The Sabin Vaccine Institute’s “How to Shock a Celebrity” successfully brought attention to seven Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) and helped generate funds to end these diseases by 2020. The campaign used video to, first, grab attention and then present a solution that donors could easily fund. The video translated into donations that averaged 20 cents per view. At more than 220,000 views, that’s quite a few vaccines, considering it only takes 50 cents to provide one person with treatment and protection against all seven NTDs for up to one year.

You can check out all of the 2013 finalists here.

Jessica Mason, YouTube for Good, recently watched African Men. Hollywood Stereotypes. [mamahope.org]