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Broadcast your nonprofit's messages, announcements and news out on Facebook Live.

Facebook Live is a new feature that’s connecting people more than ever by sharing live, real-time videos with friends and followers, also known as livestreaming. Facebook Live is great for making announcements, giving a behind the scenes look at your nonprofit or even engaging directly with your supporters. There are many ways your nonprofits can leverage the power of Facebook Live to spread the word about their mission and fundraising efforts, but first, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the most out of the feature.

Understand the basics of Facebook Live

Before diving into the ways your nonprofit can benefit from Facebook Live, make sure you have a good understanding of how to use it. It’s important to note that you can only record Facebook Live moments with a smartphone, not a PC or laptop.

  1. Download and open the Facebook app, then select the “Live” button in the status bar where it says “What’s on your mind?”
  2. Write a description about what you’re posting. Create something short, catchy, and informative enough so that your supporters, donors and followers have an idea of what your video is about.
  3. Choose an audience by selecting the "Geo Controls" button and narrow your preferred audience. This feature is only available to nonprofits with an official company or organization Facebook Page. It’s okay if your nonprofit does not have access to this yet, so skip it if you haven’t created a Page yet. (Learn more about how to create a Facebook Page here.)
  4. Tap the “Go Live” button to start the broadcast. A three-second countdown appears before you go live. A red button at the top will indicate that you're live streaming.
  5. Engage with your audience by reading their comments and responding live. During your broadcast, those tuning in are able to comment and react giving you opportunities to start a conversation.

Ways your nonprofit can use Facebook Live video

Now that you know the basics Facebook Live, you can start to look at the many opportunities to highlight your organization.

  • Q&As. Because Facebook Live has so much potential to engage with your audience, this is the perfect format to answer any questions your followers may have. Prepare in advance by having a few questions ready to answer, but also respond to questions as they come in through the comments.
  • Announcements. If your nonprofit has a new branch opening, wants to announce a winner of a fundraising raffle, an upcoming volunteer training or any other exciting news in the works, you can easily let your followers know through a Facebook Live video. Include an announcement campaign to expand the reach of your nonprofit.
  • Fundraising. Facebook Live also has a “Donate” button, making it easier than ever for your supporters to help your cause. Facebook Live allows you to attach a fundraiser to the video, which will then be linked to the “Donate” button — this way, anyone watching can easily access a Page to donate money to your fundraiser. The "Donate" button can be added by anyone, meaning other people can direct their friends and followers to your fundraising page. (Learn more about how to get access to fundraising tools here.)
  • Broadcast an event. Whether you’re having a benefit, rally or conference, Facebook Live allows you to take your supporters there virtually. This engagement helps your constituents to get excited about future events your nonprofit will host or encourage them to support your organization in other ways.
  • Behind the scenes. Go behind the scenes and capture the everyday going's-on at the office, or capture an exclusive peek during the fundraising preparations. This gives your supporters a chance to see what your organization has in the works and gives them a unique perspective of your team.

Getting the most out of Facebook Live for your nonprofit

  • Prime your live video. Before going live, make sure you post a status, tweet, or send an email notification a day in advance and the day of, to let your followers know exactly when you’ll be going live. This will ensure that they have your livestream on their radar and will give them something to look forward to.
  • Prepare your broadcast. Be sure to have an outline of what you’re going to livestream. If this does not apply to your topic (ex: a live event), then be sure to have some talking points written out ahead of time. Additionally, if you’re the person being broadcasted and are nervous, it will help to do a fake broadcast in front of a small group of friends to shake off the nerves.
  • Check your signal beforehand. To avoid dropping in and out of the live video, make sure your wifi or signal is strong. You can even consider using a hotspot so that you get enough bandwidth for your video.
  • Nail your title and description. Be sure to make your title concise and clear so that your audience knows exactly what they’re tuning into. If you want to go into more detail about the video, the description section is the perfect place to add more.
  • Have fun. As important as it is to be informative, it’s just as important to remember to have fun. Your audience wants to see authenticity, so don’t take your livestreams too seriously.
  • Extend the conversation. The conversation with your audience shouldn’t end when your live video does. Every video should end with an invitation for your followers to reach out if they have any further comments or questions for you. Make sure to be responsive to every follow-up.
  • Promote post-production. After the livestream ends, be sure to continue promoting it by sharing the video across social media channels. To gain more exposure, encourage coworkers and supporters to share the video.


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Disclaimer

MissionBox editorial content is offered as guidance only, and is not meant, nor should it be construed as, a replacement for certified, professional expertise.

Disclaimer

References

Huffington Post: Facebook Live Video for Nonprofits by Caroline Avakian

NPEngage: Facebook Live for Nonprofits by Jennifer Grantham

Facebook: Nonprofits on Facebook Live

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