YouTube - YTVideoVolunteers's Channel_1257861393731I sure do love it when the world of online video collides with a good cause.  Luckily for me, that seems to be happening more and more lately.  In fact, it’s downright encouraging to see so many charities and nonprofits embracing viral marketing and blogs and social networking.

YouTube is running a great Thanksgiving promotion to raise awareness for Feeding America (formerly known as America’s Second Harvest), a nonprofit organization responsible for helping to feed more than 25 Million Americans each year. There are thousands of member food banks in cities all over the country, with Feeding America serving as a sort of umbrella that ties them all together.

This year, they’ve teamed with YouTube and actor David Arquette to create a unique video-related contest designed to raise awareness for the many member food banks served by Feeding America.  The contest is specifically aimed at aspiring filmmakers.  Participants are encouraged to find a local organization near them that is supporting and serving the hungry, and then write and create a 3-minute promotional video about that organization.

Videos can then be uploaded at the YouTube Video Volunteers page found here.

Naturally, there’s a video—starring David Arquette—that explains the promotion, and you can watch it now:

The top three videos, as determined by the YouTube community, will be featured on the YouTube home page at the end of the month.  Not a bad prize for anyone hoping to make it in life as a filmmaker or online video creator.

See, doesn’t that make you smile?  There’s something about seeing online video being utilized by businesses and organizations that just fills me with optimism.  Throw in the fact that it’s a nonprofit in this instance, and that the whole concept of this promotion is centered around doing good and feeding the hungry… and that seals the deal.

Any business struggling to kick start their online video marketing efforts need only to look at contests like this one to get some inspiration, especially if you’re a nonprofit.  You don’t always have to do all the work yourself.  There’s a built-in community of video producers—millions strong—online, and the chances are good that many of them would gladly offer their talents for a cause or business they can believe in.  Sometimes the best strategy for viral video creation is outsourcing.