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Donor Participation Project

Introduction to Live Streaming for Fundraising: The Tools and Platforms

Live streaming is an emerging way for nonprofits to connect with new audiences and raise funds. While the concept may seem foreign, live streaming simply means broadcasting video in real-time over the internet. For fundraisers, live streaming presents an opportunity to engage with donors directly and raise money through an interactive experience.

To get started with live streaming, you need a few tools.

OBS, Streamlabs and Stream Elements are popular free broadcast software options. They allow you to stream from your computer by combining different media like webcam footage, screen sharing, graphics and audio. These software programs connect directly to streaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn Live. Each platform has a different audience demographic, so choose what is right for your base.

Twitch is popular with gamers, so it works well for charities in that space. YouTube and Facebook have broad audiences, while LinkedIn Live may suit charities targeting professionals. The platform you choose will depend on your needs, but you’ll want to create an account, learn the interface and promote your live stream to viewers. Some platforms like Twitch also integrate extensions like Tiltify and Donor Drive that allow viewers to donate directly.

To make an engaging live stream, consider adding extras

like a Discord chat for viewer discussion, on-screen challenges and rewards with donation targets, and guest appearances from board members or program participants. Work with a streaming consultant if needed. They can advise on best practices and even operate your broadcast software during the live stream.

While live streaming may be new territory, it allows you to connect with audiences that prefer to consume content and donate digitally. With the right tools and preparation, live streaming can be an innovative fundraising approach for forward-thinking nonprofits. Overall, expanding into this new medium will help future-proof your fundraising for the increasingly digital world.

View the full recording of this session in ourĀ Resource Library.

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