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Introduction to Livestream Fundraising

Many organizations are using livestream engagement to expand their reach into a new generation of potential donors.

We wanted to give a quick introduction on what livestream fundraising is, why it’s gaining traction in the nonprofit sector, and some practical advice on developing a livestreaming strategy that attracts both streamers and donors.

What is livestream fundraising?

When live-streamers use their platform to solicit donations on behalf of an organization, that’s known as livestream fundraising.

Consider it an answer to the extremely popular question — “how do we get millennials to donate?” By connecting fundraisers with popular influencers, livestream fundraising can bring nonprofits new streams (pun intended) of revenue.

There are four major types of livestream fundraising:

  1. Do It Yourself (DIY) is inexpensive, hands off engagement where streamers are prompted to raise funds for an organization.
  2. Solo means that organizations need to reach out and connect with an individual streamer to synchronize schedules, goals, and promotions.
  3. A marathon relay consists of multiple streamers in various locations that band together to “raid” the next streamer for continual coverage.
  4. A special event also involves multiple streamers, but at a single location, and tends to generate high viewership but for a hefty price tag.

While organizations need to decide what is the best fit, all of these tactics are solid ways to achieve instant donor engagement, build community, and increase transparency.

How to get started

Getting started with livestream fundraising requires both some research and outreach. Here are some practical tips to get started:

  1. Start locally, perhaps with student groups, and meet streamers where they are, such as conventions or Twitch Meetups. There also are charity stream teams, such as Good4Gaming.
  2. Analyze potential donors and recognize how they interact with the streamer. Streamers and their audience have constant, daily interactions. While viewers want to support their favorite streamer, they also most likely want to support their favorite charity as well.
  3. Give viewers incentives to donate. For example, a $10 donation might earn them an access code to an ebook, keyring, or shout-out on stream. Some streamers might incorporate a funny challenge, such as eating a ghost pepper or dressing as a penguin.