7 ways nonprofits can use Periscope

Benevolent organizations can always use help raising awareness and funds. Here are methods for putting the live video streaming app to work toward those goals.

To get donations in this social media age, nonprofits must do more than stick a jar on a store counter with a note that says, “Please Give.”

Simply creating a Facebook page to boost awareness won’t do the trick, either.

Periscope, a live video streaming app, can help nonprofits increase awareness and raise money. Here are seven guidelines PR pros should suggest:

1. Share the vision.

Periscope is an ideal channel for explaining why your nonprofit does what it does.

In a recent Periscope broadcast, social media strategist Mark Shaw suggested using a live broadcast to share the organization’s history, for example.

2. Show how the nonprofit makes a difference.

It’s difficult for prospective supporters to get involved if they aren’t clear about what the organization does. Use Periscope to show how the organization helps those it serves, as well as the community at large, social media consultant Drew Gneiser says on his blog.

Use Periscope to explain to supporters where their money goes.

“People are sick and tired of donating money and never hearing or seeing the difference it actually makes,” Shaw says.

An organization’s avid supporters also have stories to tell. Why is someone running a marathon on an organization’s behalf? Why is someone hiking the Appalachian Trail for its benefit? Explaining the “why” in those stories can increase awareness and support.

3. Connect with current and prospective supporters with Q&A.

Periscope makes it possible to conduct live Q&A sessions with program participants, organizational leaders, program directors and celebrity ambassadors, says Carolyn Avakian of Socialbrite.

The chat feature lets those watching via the Periscope app (as opposed to watching on the Web) comment or ask questions during the broadcast.

4. Take people behind the scenes, even for the “boring” stuff.

What nonprofits see as run-of-the-mill may be interesting to those who aren’t in that organization’s trenches every day.

“You might be surprised how a tour of your offices will get people excited,” Gneiser says. “All the parts of your nonprofit that have become ordinary to you are probably brand new to your fans.”

5. Share what you want people to do.

Whether you’re seeking food donations, volunteers to drive the elderly to medical appointments, a boost in attendance at a gala or runners to participate in an upcoming 5K, use Periscope to tell people what the organization needs.

Beyond that, show them what they might miss if they don’t participate.

6. Broadcast your events.

Help people feel connected even if they can’t attend in person.

Make that $500 per plate gala accessible on Periscope, and put a staff correspondent in charge of showing viewers around and chatting with honorees and guests, Avakian says.

Doing so can spur enthusiasm for next year’s event and could increase attendance.

7. Announce news and milestones.

Did the organization win an award? Receive a grant? Add a program? Wrap up a contest? Then use Periscope to make that announcement.

Press releases are great, but feel-good news doesn’t always make it into print. Take those announcements to Periscope so supporters can congratulate you, ask questions and tap their phone screens like crazy to show their love and support through Periscope hearts.

What other creative ways can nonprofit organizations use Periscope, PR Daily readers? Please sound off in the comments section.

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