Posted by Pamela Kilzer

Lights, camera, action! If your nonprofit organization uses social media, you’ve probably heard about one of Facebook’s newest and most popular features: Facebook Live Video. Facebook Live allows individuals and pages with a Facebook account to livestream video, meaning it occurs in real time on followers’ newsfeeds. Nonprofits especially can utilize this tool for live engagement with donors and volunteers through a platform fit for their lifestyles. 

Video has become increasingly prevalent online as the most shareable posts on Facebook and the fastest route to gaining a new page follower. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg even stated, “I wouldn’t be surprised if you fast-forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video.” 

So how can your nonprofit get involved in the action? Check out this step-by-step guide for setting up Facebook Live Video and some ideas to get started.

1. Get verified.

As of right now, only individual profiles and verified pages can use Facebook Live. Verified pages have a blue or light gray checkmark next to their profile name, such as the American Cancer Society

Luckily, Facebook has a pretty basic verification process. See how to verify your page and gain credibility with followers and potential donors while livestreaming video. (And if you don’t already have a Facebook page for your organization, you can create a page by following a few simple steps.)

2. Set up a plan.

Before beginning Facebook Live Video, remember: Once you start broadcasting, you’re broadcasting. Keep in mind viewers expect live videos to have mistakes, so be light-hearted and show a more realistic side of the organization. However, you should still have purpose and a plan for what content you cover in the video.

Pick a topic you think people will find interesting and build a storyline around it. Write compelling points for the video, though not necessarily an entire script. Establish objectives, who will be involved in the process and what to accomplish. Tell a story for viewers, encourage engagement and prompt viewer likes and comments. Keep the livestream flexible and in-the-moment, but don’t go into it blind.

3. Generate ideas.

There are plenty of ways a nonprofit organization (NPO) can utilize Facebook Live Streaming Video to its advantage.

For instance, The Humane Society of the United States livestreamed a video of one of their caregivers feeding a baby raccoon.

Or the The New York Public Library showed a live video with pro-literacy petitioners outside City Hall.

Consider these simple ideas when developing your strategy for Facebook Live Video.

4. Start broadcasting.

Once you have a plan in place and an idea for what to shoot, it’s time to start broadcasting live! Computers do not offer Facebook Live, but mobile devices do. The feature works through the Facebook app, so no worries about downloading and learning a new social media platform.

Here are a couple tips for streaming your first broadcast:

Once the livestream closes, Facebook will automatically save the video to your NPO’s page for future viewings. You also have the option to save the video to the phone’s camera roll for other sharing options. Remember: While you can edit the description, keywords and tags of the video after posting, you cannot edit content, so be prepared.

When it comes to storytelling on social media, Facebook Live takes engagement to a whole new level. Facebook Live Video offers fast, dynamic and real-life visual storytelling for your NPO to appear transparent and trustworthy. By utilizing this key tool Facebook provides, your nonprofit organization can gain followers and constituents while growing its cause. So get out there, and get streaming!

Want to take your nonprofit organization’s video marketing and social media to the next level? Firespring offers helpful materials, webinars and seminars on how your nonprofit can market itself to further its cause. Find out more by calling 877.447.8941 or email