periscopeAt the start of the summer, I wrote what a game-changer Periscope was going to become for nonprofits and businesses. If you want to read what I said then, click here.

Sure enough, I came across several articles about Periscope and how organizations are leveraging it to great effect. If you don’t know about Periscope, you have to check it out. In a nutshell, Periscope is an app that you can download. It’s a live stream video platform. “Scoping” is what they call the live streams.

Twitter developed Periscope and you don’t need to build another social media group of supporters and followers. Periscope plugs right in to your Twitter followers.

The possibilities are endless for nonprofit and business brands. They can live stream right into Periscope (and Twitter) a conversation with their CEO. They can live stream a race or event to supporters who are unable to attend. And, since this is on social media, not only are followers able to see it, but so is the whole world.

Organizations that are doing fundraising campaigns, such as shoe drive fundraisers, can live stream their shoe collection events. Nonprofits can scope a discussion with donors about philanthropy and why they support a certain cause. Nonprofits can also assemble a group of lower gift donors to “tour” their site and services so supporters can see what they do from the comfort of their home or office.

I’ve started to read and talk with nonprofits that are using Periscope and here are some things to keep in mind based on their experience and ours with the platform:

  • Virtually any event, talk, conference can be scoped. You’re only limited by your imagination and creativity.
  • Make sure you have practiced before hand to live streaming an event. We did two “practice” scopes that we did not promote until we got the hang of it.
  • When you turn on the camera, be ready. You want to be sure the person who is filming has good video and your followers don’t want to see you figuring it out. In other words, know in advance if the camera needs to be closer. You want to be close to the action. Know if you need a tripod or if will someone be filming it with a smart phone or tablet?
  • Promote your live stream. We created social media banners and posts about it that we are promoting across our varying social media platforms. At first you may only get one or two people who see your scope. But, like anything, you have to get the word out there, make it interesting and it’ll grow.
  • Make sure you use the correct #hashtags so people can find you on Twitter. We use several, but when we promote our scoping events, we use #Funds2Orgs and #shoedrive, for example.
  • Make sure each time you scope that there’s a story. While the first few times people watch Persicope for the live streams out of curiosity, you’ll quickly find that they want to engage. It’s no different than in any other form of marketing. You want to tell a compelling story.

Finally, on-camera personalities need to be ready for anything. Make sure your moderator or speakers are prepared to answer questions and make comments based on engagement. Remember, your supporters can type in questions or comments that appear onscreen. Periscope is about full engagement.

It’s a brave new world out there!



Author of “The Rise and Fail of Charities In the 21st Century: How The Nonprofit World Is Changing And What You Can Do To Be Ready”.


© 2015 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.