11 Tips to Get Your Nonprofit Live on Facebook

John Haydon is one of the most sought-after digital marketing experts for nonprofits and charities. He has helped hundreds of nonprofits achieve their best marketing and fundraising results. John is a trainer, coach, consultant, speaker, and author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies.


Facebook Live is taking the newsfeed by storm! This (relatively) new live broadcasting feature lets any person, brand, or nonprofit live-stream events, reveals, celebrations, and more.

The Humane Society, The White House, the MET, and many smaller nonprofits are broadcasting news-as-it-happens, museum tours, and even feeding time for baby raccoons!

Hesitant about broadcasting your cause with Facebook Live?

Although Facebook Live is simple to use (just tap the live broadcast icon while publishing an update from your mobile device), many nonprofits are understandably hesitant about this new form of unscripted content marketing.

That’s because using Facebook Live to broadcast your cause begs at least 4 questions:

  1. What are we going to talk about?
  2. How should we respond to commenters?
  3. How long should we broadcast?
  4. Will anybody actually tune-in?

If you have clear objectives and a plan that makes sense, you can use Facebook love to boost engagement with your supporters.

Here are 11 tips to make your Facebook Live broadcast successful:

Facebook Live Tip #1: Don’t freak out

Mistakes will be made. No matter how much you prepare, every now and then something goes wrong. This is especially true when trying something for the first time like Facebook Live.

  • You will feel nervous – everyone feels nervous the first time they’re on video.
  • The feeling will pass after a few broadcasts.
  • You will survive. Even if everything goes totally wrong, you will still live.


Facebook Live Tip #2: Get your feet wet with a small group

If you are going to make mistakes, it’s best to do it in front of people you trust, like friends.

  • Conduct a dry run with a small test group
  • Check the video and audio quality
  • Make sure lighting is good
  • Practice calling out peoples names and reading comments
  • Ask viewers to follow
  • Test out other Facebook live features


Facebook Live Tip #3: Pick a SPECIFIC topic people WANT to discuss

Obviously want to pick a topic that people want to discuss. The more specific and relevant your topic is, the better.

  • Trending topics or news
  • Frequently asked questions about a specific topic
  • Provide an insider’s view behind the scenes
  • Research other popular themes that work on Facebook and Twitter
  • Also, cute puppies



Facebook Live Tip #4: Live broadcast your next event

Many of your supporters won’t be able to attend your event, but they would love to participate via Facebook live, if possible.

For example, the New York Public Library broadcasted a special story time in front of City Hall.


Facebook Live Tip #5: Tell people WHEN you’re going live

Facebook live isn’t that exciting if no one shows up. Make sure your core supporters show up when you go live.

  • Post an update on your page the week before and the day before
  • Include the date time and topic in a Facebook cover
  • Send an email to your email list
  • Share your broadcast date / time in your email newsletter
  • Tweet about it immediately before you go live


For the other half of John’s Facebook Live tips, check out his blog –>


facebook live

John Haydon

June 30, 2016

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