Eight Facebook Live Ideas for your Nonprofit

Most of the content 10 years ago was text, and then photos,
and now it’s quickly becoming videos.
— Mark Zuckerberg

Social media is increasingly being driven by video content. Video offers nonprofits a big opportunity to connect with their audiences and authentically tell their stories. Last week I covered the basics of doing your first Facebook Live for your nonprofit. This week we’re diving into content!

 What makes for a great Facebook Live? Here’s 10 ideas to get you started:

1. “From the field”

Show your donors the impact of where their money goes! This is a great opportunity for nonprofits that work internationally as flying your out donors out to see your work can be extremely costly. They’ll love getting a peek into your work in action. Does your nonprofit sponsor clean water initiatives in Ghana? How cool would it be to bring your audience to the unveiling of your latest well? Does your nonprofit sponsor school kids in India? Bring your donors to their graduation Live! 

2. Q and A’s

What questions do you get most frequently? Put on a live Q&A to answer them and encourage your audience to tune in and ask questions in real time! Does your nonprofit put on some kind of a training program? Answer questions prospective applicants might have Live on Facebook! It’ll be easier for them to tune in than to attend an info night in person. Does your nonprofit have a volunteer program? Host a mini orientation night on Facebook. Check out Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann’s Live Q&A for a great example.

3. Meet the team

Who are the charming, passionate, talented people who run your nonprofit every day? Introduce them to your audience! This would be a great idea if your nonprofit is currently hiring or seeking volunteers. Give potential employees or volunteers a chance to meet the awesome people they’d get to work with!

4. Big announcements

Are you launching a big new initiative? Announce it Live! Be sure to build up anticipation beforehand by posting reminders and sign-ups to tune in for the big reveal. In my last post, I covered more info and links on how to do this.

5. Animals

It’s no secret: animal videos do great on social media. If your nonprofit works with animals in any capacity, you’ve got gold content for Facebook Live! Check out this Live Video from The Humane Society of the United States. Over 200k people tuned it to watch this baby bird feeding.

6. How-to’s & tutorials

What kind of specialized knowledge does your nonprofit have to share? Are you a community garden? Host a Facebook Live in the on planting garden starts for your summer garden. Does your nonprofit do advocacy work? Bring on an expert to talk your audience through calling their senator’s office for the first time.

7. Policy updates

If your nonprofit does advocacy or policy work, consider hosting Live updates around breaking news. You don’t need to be asked to be interviewed by a news station - you can bring your unique point of view on current events directly to your audience in real time. Bring in an expert to debrief a recent policy change in the news and encourage your audience to ask questions during your broadcast. Greenpeace USA recently hosted this Live video with Greenpeace expert Tim Donaghy answering questions about Exxon CEO and Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson.

8. Event sneak peek

Are you hosting a big event and seeking to mobilize your audience to turn up? Maybe you’re hosting an art show fundraiser—host a Live video as you’re setting up the artwork, giving your audience a glimpse into what they’ll find at the event.

As you can see, there’s all sorts of content that works well for Facebook Live. So what should you avoid?

  • Your powerpoint presentation at a conference. Do you want to tune in to this dark, grainy broadcast? Yeah, me neither. Keep things up close and personal!

  • Your board meeting. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
  • A general organization update about various things you’ve been up to. Keep your videos specific. Set expectations by letting your audience know exactly what they’re tuning in for.

If you’re wondering if something would be good content for a Facebook Live simply pause and ask yourself, “How does this benefit my audience?” Does it inform? Entertain? Encourage? Equip? If it doesn’t provide substantial value to the people you’re trying to reach, scrap it. (This goes for anything you post on social, not just video!) Remember, your social media should never be used as a megaphone for your organization. It’s a tool to engage your audience. That’s why they call it social media. If you want to engage, you’ve got to offer value first.

Have you done a FB Live for your nonprofit yet? Comment below and add your tips!