Apr 3, 2020

3 ways to host a video fundraiser


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


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What our clients say

We needed a platform to make sales online and to track and display ads for our sponsors. GiveSmart was perfect. We ended up making close to $15,000 more than we had hoped for. Definite better ROI than we anticipated. The interface is easy to use and provides plenty of options to get help if needed.

Michelle M.

The Rotary Club of South Whidbey Island

Using GS has created ease in auction bookkeeping, payments, and generating post-event thank you/tax letters. While we were online during COVID, our interactions with our GiveSmart via phone, email, and zoom were seamless. A representative always got back to us within the day. I would recommend GiveSmart to anyone doing a large online event.

Julie G.

MicroFinancing Partners in Africa

GiveSmart is highly flexible - you can use it for [a] simple registration and check-in, to full-scale galas with complex order forms, onsite upsells, live auctions, seating management, and more.

Jamie F.

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

GiveSmart is easy to use and ideal for virtual events and can be used for in-person events to manage the silent auction, seating charts, and check-in to the event. Being able to use the platform for unlimited events within the contract year is very useful and being able to add other users and volunteers for different levels of access is helpful as well.

Dawn L.

Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County