Live Streaming Essentials: 9 Tips for Virtual Events

Live Streaming Essentials: 9 Tips for Virtual Events

Telling your story and keeping your mission and vision relevant are a top priority to engage supporters – especially in this new, virtual world. The power of live streaming allows nonprofits and event organizations to build connections with remote supporters and humanize your mission. 

And it’s important now more than ever to cut through the noise and stand out online. Everyone’s attention is becoming increasingly fragmented, and we need a way to connect people to our causes since they can’t connect in-person.

But, if you’re like most event organizers, the idea of live streaming can seem a bit overwhelming.

Don’t worry! We’ve assembled these top tips that any nonprofit on any budget can use to bring live streaming to your next fundraising event. We’ll cover:

  1. What kind of virtual events work well with live streaming?
  2. How can you use live streaming to create excitement?
  3. How else can you leverage live streaming?

What kind of events work well with live streaming?

  1. What kind of virtual events work well with live streaming? 

Live streaming is a powerful tool. Why? Because you can broadcast from anywhere, to everywhere. Let that sink in! 

Live streaming gives you the opportunity to expand your network, connect supporters to your mission, and keep fundraising. The first step is to choose what kind of virtual event you’d like to introduce live streaming into. Here are some of our favorites:


Your nonprofit has probably heard a lot about peer-to-peer fundraising, also known as social fundraising lately. Using Ambassadors, social networks, or team-based fundraising is a powerful way to bring people together in a shared experience, remind current supporters they make a difference, and educate and inspire people about your mission. It’s also an effective way to raise dollars for your cause! 

Adding live streaming to your virtual peer-to-peer event is an easy strategy to engage supporters online and amplify your reach. Think about these two strategies:

  • Virtual launch party: Host a launch party for your peer-to-peer campaign! Get your supporters excited for the activities to come, spark some friendly competition with fundraising challenges, and provide your participants with fundraising tips and tricks for a successful campaign.
  • Virtual celebration: Thanking your donors is an absolute must. What better way to say thank you than to come together for a virtual celebration after a peer-to-peer campaign? Announce the winners of your challenges, highlight the top fundraiser or team, and tell your supporters how their participation will make an impact.


An auction is only as successful as the number of bids that you get in. More bidders = more bids. More bids = more proceeds for your cause. It’s easy math! 

Live streaming your auction can help take your event to the next level by bringing in more supporters and amplifying the competition! When live streaming from your silent or online auction, utilize the strategies:

  • Highlight hot auction items
  • Call out bidding wars
  • Identify items with no bids
  • Promote high ticket items
  • Give reminders for when the auction will close

 Galas & In-Person Events

For many nonprofits, in-person events are second nature. It’s all about the connection, the emotion, and how your donors feel leaving your event.

But how can you take your knowledge on in-person events and use it as you shift to live streaming? The ease of the transition may surprise you!

Live streaming, accompanied by virtual fundraising software, is the perfect tool to engage with guests at a virtual gala.

Think about what aspects of a live event really “wow” your donors and translate that to your virtual event. In order to take it to the next level, consider:

  • The timeline of events
  • The visual effects
  • The lights
  • Upbeat music
  • Announcements from the VOG
  • Keeping up the energy!

How can you use live streaming to create excitement?


2. How can you use live streaming to create excitement?

What’s a fundraising event without some FUN? Live streaming takes your event to the next level by generating excitement and bringing your audience together. These are our go-to methods for using live streaming to create excitement.


Liven up your fundraising by incorporating friendly competition. Tools like leaderboards and fundraising thermometers will inspire fundraisers to go the extra mile and inject an element of competitive fundraising.

There’s nothing quite like seeing your donation tick up a little higher or seeing your name across a leaderboard knowing that you’re making a true impact. These tools are sure to help you reach or exceed your goals.


Imagine this… your live-streamed fundraising event is off to a great start. Guests are connecting with your mission and you’re watching the fundraising dollars roll in! Make sure your event ends as strong as it started by unlocking the power of gamification. 

By adding gamification to your live stream, you connect your supporters with one another and your cause (and ultimately help drive the success of your fundraising event.) Gamification comes in many forms, but here are a few of our favorites:

  • Thermometer: Use a thermometer and make sure your donation goal is clearly defined and visible. People love working towards something and celebrating when these goals are achieved.
  • Social Media Challenges: Have your donors snap a photo of where they’re watching the live stream from and post it, along with your event hashtag, on social media
  • Text messaging: Leverage event text messaging throughout your live stream. Make announcements, ramp up the excitement, and stir up some fundraising competition.
  • Fundraising Challenges: People love a good challenge. Spark the competitive side of your supporters with various fundraising challenges. It’s a win-win for your organization and your supporters.

Social Media

The ideas are endless for how you can use social media and texting tools to grab attention, increase engagement and ensure fundraising success! Whatever you choose to do, be sure to get a social media plan in place for your event. Think about different ways you can encourage guests to participate.

  • Start a social media challenge
  • Use creative hashtags
  • Encourage watch parties

Get creative – and don’t forget to like, comment, and share your supporters’ posts!

How else can you leverage live streaming?


3. How else can you leverage live streaming? 

Let’s not forget – you aren’t just limited to live streaming your fundraising events. There are plenty of other ways to tap into this multi-media strategy. 

Behind the scenes 

Nothing connects supporters to your nonprofit’s mission quite like getting a behind the scenes look at how your nonprofit seeks to fulfill that mission. Here are our top 4 strategies for using live stream to give a behind the scenes look at your mission.

  • Give a tour of your space
  • Highlight your volunteer’s work
  • Interview beneficiaries
  • Show your team planning your next fundraising event

Volunteer meetups

Live steam can also be used for volunteer meetups. There’s no doubt that volunteers are the backbone of nonprofit organizations. Make sure they feel connected no matter where they are by implementing virtual meetups via your preferred live stream tool.

Donor appreciation events 

Donor appreciation events with public displays of gratitude are valuable in maintaining strong supporter relationships.

People love to be recognized for their contributions to social good, so be sure to highlight their actions in a public way after you’ve thanked them privately. Demonstrations of your appreciation for their support will be sure to strengthen your relationship with your community.



Live streaming has the power to strengthen your connection with your donors and strengthen your donors’ connection to your mission. When you add it to your next fundraising event, behind the scenes look, or volunteer meetup, it builds excitement and brings people together – therefore bringing in fundraising dollars for your mission.


About the Author:

Kelly Velasquez-Hague brings over 20 years of fundraising, nonprofit management, and sales/marketing experience to her role as the Director of Content Marketing for OneCause. As a member of the OneCause sales and marketing team, Kelly manages all of the company’s content strategy and execution. She is passionate about empowering great missions and loves that her current role allows her to continue to help nonprofits reach new donors raise more funds for their cause.

Kelly Velasquez-Hague