Use livestream fundraising to create an immersive virtual experience for your community and create dynamic interactions with your mission.
In this blog, we discuss what livestream fundraising is and how to build a successful strategy around it.
Livestream fundraising is an exciting and growing opportunity.
With people stuck at home, an increasing number have tuned into platforms like YouTube and Twitch to watch others play video games, put on makeup, provide craft tutorials and so much more. This has gifted content creators with both a larger audience and a unique opportunity: Hosting live streams where they can raise money for a specific (and usually audience-requested) cause.
Let’s take a look at how it works.
What is livestream fundraising?
First, let’s address the first part of the term: livestream, aka streaming.
Streaming is the concept of watching a video in real-time (as opposed to saving a file and watching it later). So, a live stream is a live video broadcast in which the person (or people) hosting the stream can interact with the audience in real-time. This immediate interaction between the streamer and audience creates an intimate and highly active level of engagement.
Combine this with a fundraising initiative and you get powerful results.
Livestream fundraising (also sometimes referred to as charity streaming) will create more exposure for your cause, deepen supporter engagement, diversify your revenue and improve overall fundraising.
So, how do you build a livestream fundraising program?
How to build a successful livestream fundraising program
#1. Grow & Engage Community of Streaming Fundraisers
A successful livestream fundraising program starts with your fundraisers.
There might be people who are already streaming for a similar cause or would be willing to stream for yours.
So, reach out to your existing community. Make the ask and encourage your supporters to become champions for your cause. Find passionate content creators and start building relationships. This will take time, but it’s the most important part. You have to invest in your community before they can invest in you.
Here are some tips for getting started:
- Promote streaming in your outreach to existing supporters.
- Start small with a group of trusted fundraisers who are willing to try new things.
- Ask supporters to stream their regular fundraising efforts.
Keep track as you go of who’s streaming for you and check in with them often. Also, make sure you are having authentic conversations with supporters where they are. Making genuine personal connections will bring everyone closer to your mission.
However, creating a community of streamers is much more than just making the ask and expecting them to handle everything from there. You need to give them the tools to livestream fundraise on your behalf.
#2. Provide Talking Points to Streamers
When streamers “go live,” they become spokespeople for your cause.
It’s up to you to arm them with the right talking points and information about who you are and what you stand for. Supporters will be more successful when they have engaging content to share.
Here’s what you can do:
- Develop a one-sheeter of your organization’s story, mission and current needs for the streamer to refer to.
- Provide compelling mission-impact stories so they keep their audience focused on your cause while streaming.
- Create short, 30-second videos that show the impact of a donated dollar.
#3. Create Your Own Livestream Fundraising Schedule
Your fundraisers will stream according to their own schedule on their platform of choice, but it’s a good idea to also layer in how you will be streaming as an organization.
So, pick a platform (or two) and develop a cadence.
Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and Snapchat Stories are great places to start because they can be shorter segments and don’t require high production or long attention spans. If you want to host a longer stream, use Twitch or YouTube.
Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Create mission-impact stories to show supporters where money is going and how it’s helping
- Promote regular giving days
- Announce special campaigns to raise a specific amount
Once you’ve identified your platform(s), developed content ideas and built a schedule, be sure to promote your channel and streaming schedule so people know when to tune in.
You’ve built a growing community of streamers, provided helpful resources so they can successfully fundraise on your behalf, and developed a schedule for your own streams. How do you take your program to the next level?
#4. Integrate Streaming with Other Efforts
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) campaigns are an increasingly popular option for virtual fundraisers. Your organization provides the means to fundraise, but it’s up to the participants to come up with creative ways to raise funds.
DIY campaigns are engaging because they can accommodate almost any fundraising idea that a supporter dreams up! So, encourage all your DIY fundraisers to stream what they’re up to.
Anything from personal challenges and everyday activities like cooking and crafting can become livestream fundraising opportunities.
While you can’t host a live, in-person group event right now, you can host engaging virtual events.
Some of these virtual events are entirely reliant on livestreaming, where you turn a typical virtual audience experience—like a gala, telethon or benefit concert—into a live stream that people can watch at home.
Other virtual events can be supplemented with livestream fundraising, creating a more engaging and exciting experience.
For example, if you’re hosting a virtual endurance event like a ride, incorporate livestreaming so participants feel more connected. Stream special opening and closing ceremonies. Encourage participants to stream their individual rides. Combine streaming and stationary cycle gear so participants can actually race each other!
Now more than ever, you want viewers at home to feel like they're part of your events and campaigns, not just spectators. Livestream fundraising is a great way to engage with them in real-time.
#5. Involve Corporate Partners
Lastly, don’t forget to involve your corporate partners in livestream fundraising efforts.
Here are a few ideas:
- Co-host a stream or series of streams with your sponsors.
- Encourage companies to host streams on special fundraising days or virtual gatherings to increase employee engagement.
- Create friendly competition between a company’s departments, or even between different companies.
Your corporate partners care about your cause – that’s why they’re your sponsor. Give them ways to get more involved, share mission stories, engage their employees, families and friends, and get value out of your partnership with livestreaming.
Livestream fundraising has become a necessity for organizations that want to build and maintain a thriving community of fundraisers. The most successful livestreaming programs we’ve seen are the ones that connect streaming efforts to fundraising pages, allowing for a seamless experience for fundraisers, teams and organizations alike.
Give your fundraisers the best user-experience with DonorDrive Live Fundraising™: The industry’s only enterprise livestream fundraising platform.