Fundraising for streamed events

Whether you're broadcasting a Zoom gala, or running a more involved livestream, your donations can go through Fundraise Up.

With Fundraise Up, your website stays your one-stop shop, preventing donors and viewers from clicking away just to make a transaction. For traditional online giving, it's as simple as adding our Elements to your existing headers + pages, and you're done!

Nowadays, many galas and charity drives are being presented with video, chat, and interactive accompaniment, and these platforms often offer the same compromise that other donation forms do: redirect to our page instead of yours. Streaming platforms offer integrated functionality, and there's merit to that, but what you lose in using their pages is control (in that you have to add yet another platform through which donations are router) and speed. 

Using your Fundraise Up account, you may be able to avoid the stream platform trap by:

 


Making an event landing page to show an embedded stream

Layout

First, you'll want to make either a page on your regular website or a micro-site just for this event. Every website builder is different when it comes to defining columns and what goes in which column, but essentially every live-streaming experience is the same layout-wise, in that it has:

  • a two column layout for desktop + horizontal tablet, with
    • video on the left,
    • any accompanying chat on the right,
  • and a one column layout for phones + vertical tablet, usually done via styling by moving the chat below the video when the browser width is below X pixels wide.

So, when driving fundraising via a livestream, there's really 2 good choices that respect people's expectations of how to navigate a livestream experience:

  • put the fundraising button in the chat column, either above or below the chat,
  • move to a three column layout, with columns for fundraising form, video, and chat.

In both cases, you'd likely have a goal meter running as well, either on the page below the columned layout, or embedded in your stream video if you've got a more sophisticated streaming setup. 

Embeds

Most live-streaming providers include instructions on how to embed their video player, chat pane, and sometimes a combined video+chat experience. Here are a few popular ones, with documentation:

  • Vimeo is likely the best all around, as they can be streamed to from Zoom, and their embed instructions are very straightforward. It is worth factoring in that they do require a premium plan or higher to make use of their live streaming features. 
  • Youtube, which can also be easily streamed to from Zoom, has instructions on how to embed video in general, and there's a good amount of community instructions on Google on how to embed chat. However, they do have some platform restrictions on which accounts can embed livestreams. 
  • Facebook, also Zoom-friendly, has instructions on how to embed live + recorded videos and how to embed comments (which acts as their chat). 
  • Twitch has solid help articles for all their embeds, though they are provided in more of a developer-friendly view than a friendly narrative explanation. It is often easier to embed their video and chat separately, as the separate ones can just be done with HTML but the combined embed requires adding additional standalone Javascript tags to your page.

 


Deciding which Campaign to drive

Once you have a landing page that has your stream event embeds on it, it's time to decide how viewers should be encouraged to donate! Before putting buttons and meters and widgets everywhere you need them, it's vital to decide:

  • what Campaign should viewers donate to,
  • what Designations should be available to them, to provide further choice if needed,
  • and what information you'd like to gather from viewers as they make donations.

The key here is speed. If a viewer is watching your streamed event, they are much more likely to make multiple gifts over the course of the event, especially if there's live gift recognition and a place to see progress towards the event's goal or goals. So, this is not the place to require mailing address or any other extraneous information. 

 


Adding our Elements to the event landing page

Your landing page should likely be using some of two types of Elements: those that take donations towards your event's Campaign, and those that show donations/Campaign progress. We have an article with general instructions on how to use Elements, and this area will help us outline any special considerations.

For button + form Elements that take donations:

  • It's best to be clear about which buttons will actually send donations to this event's Campaign. As such, you'll either want to hide your global header/sticky buttons that just go to your general Campaign, or redirect/substitute them on this page so that they point to this event's Campaign. 
  • Streams introduce a lot of user controls. There's a row of buttons for the video player, there's a send button for the chat, and there're other extraneous buttons to help them log into the streaming platform or adjust their settings. So, it's vital to put your Elements that take donations in clearly marked places and not right up against the video/chat controls.

For meters, counters, and other Elements that show donations:

  • At present, these don't auto-refresh at any defined interval. As such, your options are:
    • Insert the Elements directly onto the event landing page, and instruct people to refresh the page if they want to see updated totals.
    • Insert the HTML for the Elements on a standalone, totally blank page of your website, with <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="X"> added to the <head> section of that page, and X standing in for the number of seconds you want between auto-refreshes. This would allow you to:
      • iframe the standalone page into the event landing page where you want them, and/or,
      • use your streaming software to show those pages as a little in-stream widget, so your video as watched everywhere would have the Element embedded. 

 


Reviewing our suggestions for hosts + moderators

  • Our Elements can be used to show broad information, but it's good to have a moderator watching the Donations tab filtered for the Campaign being driven. If you're feeling fancy, or working with an outside moderator, you could even use Zapier to put just the info about received donations they need to know into a Google Sheet.
  • Gift acknowledgements tend to be best as unobtrusive but clear breaks in programming. Every 15 minutes, that designated moderator can chime in and say a few thank yous + shout-outs!
  • While speed is of course the most important, it's also crucial to say thank you in the way a person would like to be thanked. As such, consider offering a Custom Question for "Acknowledgement Name", "Public Name", or even "Username" if you're using a platform like Twitch which shows usernames in the chat.
  • If you are showing chat or comments, you need moderators. It doesn't matter if the moderators are on-staff or volunteer, but if you do use only volunteer moderators, there should be at least one staff member available to the moderators to help resolve crises or communicate with the event coordinator as needed.