With many nonprofits, associations, schools, and foundations hosting fundraisers online or virtually, there are new components to consider – like video! Integrating video with your fundraiser doesn’t have to be super involved. All you need is a decent smartphone. Tripods or nice cameras are helpful but by no means required.

Corpus Christi “Live Online” Auction is a great example of how one school utilized video to bring their event to the living rooms of their donors.

Here are some different ways to get started with your video fundraiser:

1. Livestream

Use Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Instagram Live, or any Livestream platform. Schedule a window of time that you will live stream your virtual event. We recommend no longer than one hour for a live stream.  

  • With YouTube Live, you can embed the stream right in your GiveSmart homepage 
  • Use Live Concerts / DJ sets / Performances to keep the content light and interesting 
  • Have the Chat feature open, call out donors as they say “hey” on the chat or have donors tell their connection with the mission 

2. Pre-recorded Video 

  • Advantages: Can fix any problems prior to going “Live”; easier to troubleshoot and use PowerPoint or pre-recorded videos; can post the video anytime. 
  • Pre-record videos and embed into within items page for live auction items 
  • Can still be interactive, by taking pauses and presenting bidding, etc 
  • Disadvantages: Can’t use GS Displays for donation appeal; can’t do live bidding; no interaction with guests/viewers 

3. Combo: Livestream with pre-recorded video 

  • Use pre-recorded video of testimonials, heartstrings videos 
  • Livestream the auction, but switch to Displays when asking for donations or during a Live Auction to show where higher items are currently bid 


Content contributed by our Customer Success Managers, Laura Barlow and Melissa Gordillo.

Related Resources:
Webinar: your pivot to a virtual fundraising event
Checklist: pivot to a virtual fundraiser
Nonprofit success stories, online fundraising

Brandon Stec is the Director of Marketing at GiveSmart and an Indiana University graduate who's worked across sports and tech over the last decade. Brandon has sat on several boards of Nonprofits in Chicago and Kansas City. He resides in Chicago with his wife, son, and dog, Mango, and is a published author.
Brandon Stec