Prepare for your charity stream

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If you're a seasoned livestreamer and have already chosen your challenge, create your fundraising page now

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Get ready for your first charity stream. The chances are you have most of the equipment you need already, and setting up accounts with streaming platforms is effortless. But we'll take you through everything you need to do ahead of your charity stream, including some handy tips on how to promote it. 

What equipment do I need to charity stream?

The equipment you need to charity stream is easy to get hold of, and you'll need to test it all before you go live.  

Internet

You'll need a good internet connection. Whether you're using WIFI or 4G, you'll need it for the duration of your charity stream. 4 to 6 megabits per second is usually classed as a good internet connection, and you can check with your service provider what connection you have. 

Devices

For livestreaming on social media, you will need a laptop or a smartphone with a built-in camera and microphone. Most modern smartphones now have sophisticated cameras and microphones which are more than enough to run a charity stream. 

Optional tools

If you would like your stream to look more professional or if you are planning on streaming gaming, you may need to have a microphone and a higher quality webcam. You will also need to download streaming software, like an encoder, so that your footage looks crisper. 

Lighting is important when running your charity stream, and a simple way of ensuring this is by sitting near a window. You can purchase a light bounce or reflector screen as a low budget way to make sure you make the most of natural light. If you are streaming in the evening, a simple desk lamp can help illuminate your video, or a ‘ring-light’ can be purchased for anywhere between £20-£120. 

For more information about live-streaming on a budget, check out this guide from Vimeo

Which is the best platform for me?

This depends on the audience you are trying to reach. 

Livestreaming to friends and family

If you are planning on livestreaming your charity stream to friends and family, we recommend using either Facebook or Instagram. Use the platform where you have the greatest number of friends or followers as this gives you an automatic audience. Alternatively, if you have an active Twitter account, it may be worth considering livestreaming from there. 

Livestreaming to a wide audience

Another option is YouTube, and this can be handy if you are looking to reach a wider audience beyond your friends and family. As YouTube is owned by Google, it can make your charity stream more findable to audiences if you have been promoting it. But if this is your first charity stream, we recommend choosing the social media platform you have the greatest following on. 

Livestreaming to other streamers

Twitch is a dedicated streaming social media platform and its popularity has grown over the last year. Twitch has typically been the go-to platform for people wanting to stream themselves playing video games. But because COVID-19 has meant we've all been staying at home more, people have been using Twitch to livestream music events to replace cancelled gigs. If you are planning on gaming for your charity stream we recommend you use Twitch as this is where an interested audience will be. 

Platform how-to guides

Facebook Live lets you livestream events, performances and gatherings on Facebook. 

  1. Tap the Live video icon at the top of your News Feed. 
  2. You can select a broadcast type (example: Lip Sync Live) or tap the Magic Wand icon to add an effect. You can also add an effect after you've started your broadcast. 
  3. Tap the 'Raise Money' button at the bottom  
  4. Search for Cancer Research UK 
  5. Tap 'Start Live Video'. 
  6. Tap 'Finish' when you want to end your charity stream. 

To go live in a group, go to your group and tap the Live Video icon. To go live in an event, go to the event and tap Say something... then tap Live Video. 

When you go live, a Donate button will be visible at the bottom of your Live video. This allows your viewers to donate directly from the video as they watch, or after you post the video to your Page. People will also be able to see how much money has been raised. 

  1. Visit the Facebook desktop site and select the status bar 

  1. Click on the ‘Live Video’ button 

  1. This will now take you to a Live Video Studio, where you can connect your camera and microphone, edit the video description and tag the game you are streaming 

  1. Click the 'Raise Money' icon in left-hand side description box. 

  1. Search for Cancer Research UK 

  1. Once you are all connected, you will be given the option to ‘Go Live’. 

 

To go live, compose a Tweet, then tap “LIVE” which brings you to a pre-broadcast screen where you can frame your shot. When you’re ready, press “Go Live” to start broadcasting. 

Once you’re live, anyone on Twitter and Periscope can join your charity stream.  

  • Tap the Camera icon in the top left of Feed or swipe right from anywhere in Feed. 

  • Scroll to Live at the bottom of the screen, then tap ‘Live’ 

  • To the left of the screen, you will see a ‘Fundraiser’ icon which is a love heart. Click this and search for Cancer Research UK. 

  • When the broadcast begins, you’ll be shown how many people are supporting the fundraiser and the amount of money raised, in real-time. You can also tap on “View” to see a further breakdown of the donors, including the individual contributions, in case you want to give them shout-outs in your video — something you can also do in real time by tapping 'Wave'.  

  • Tap a comment and tap 'Pin Comment' to pin it so that viewers can see it more easily. 

  • When you're done, tap 'End' in the top right then tap to confirm. From there, you can tap the Save icon in the top left to save it to your camera roll, or share it to IGTV

How to set up a Twitch account 

  • Head to the Twitch website and select "Sign up" 

  • Create a username, password and enter your email address 

  • You will then be sent a verification email with a 6-digit verification code 

  • Once you have verified your email, you’ll be asked to pick a few interests in order to provide you with content that you’ll enjoy on Twitch 

  • Your account is now complete and you may begin streaming. 

 

How to start streaming using your Twitch account 

  • Download the streaming software by selecting "Download here" 

  • This will take you to the Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) website. Follow the instructions to download the software specific to your PC or Mac 

  • Accept or change the video settings according to your preference 

  • Copy your 'Primary Stream Key Link' from your Twitch account when prompted. Paste this into the OBS software 

  • Apply the settings and you are ready to do your charity stream 

  • Select the profile icon in the top right corner to go the Creator Dashboard. Here you will find videos full of tips for first-time streamers. 

First, you'll need to enable livestreaming. 

To livestream on YouTube, you need to have no livestreaming restrictions in the past 90 days, and you also need to verify your channel

  1. Head to YouTube 

  1. From the top right, click the Video icon and then 'Go Live'  

  1. If you haven't verified your channel yet, follow the prompts to do so 

  1. Enabling your first live stream can take up to 24 hours. Once enabled, you can livestream straight away 

Next, you'll need to choose a way to stream.  

There are three types of streams: mobile, webcam, and encoder. Choose the one that's best for whatever you’re streaming. 

1. Mobile 
 
Good for vlogging and quick updates from your phone or tablet. 
 
You’ll need 1,000 subscribers, and a phone or tablet with a camera. 
 
Learn how to mobile stream. 

2. Webcam 

Quickly live stream from your computer using a webcam. 
 
You’ll need a computer with a webcam. 
 
Learn how to stream with a webcam. 

3. Encoder 
 
Encoders let you stream gameplay, overlays, and use hardware like preamps, mics, and cameras. This type of stream is commonly used for gaming, sporting events, concerts, and conferences. 
 
Learn how to stream using an encoder

Firstly, you'll need to enable livestreaming. 

To livestream on YouTube, you need to have no livestreaming restrictions in the past 90 days, and you also need to verify your channel

To livestream on mobile, you need at least 1,000 subscribers. 

  1. On your phone or tablet, head to the YouTube app. 

  1. From the top right, click the Upload Video icon and then 'Go Live'. 

  1. Enabling your first livestream may take up to 24 hours. Once enabled, you can livestream straight away 

Next, you'll need to choose a way to stream. 

There are three types of streams: mobile, webcam, and encoder. Choose the one that's best for what you're streaming. 

1. Mobile 
 
Good for vlogging and quick updates from your phone or tablet. 
 
You’ll need 1,000 subscribers, and a phone or tablet with a camera. 
 
Learn how to mobile stream. 

2. Webcam 

Quickly live stream from your computer using a webcam. 
 
You’ll need a computer with a webcam. 
 
Learn how to stream with a webcam. 

3. Encoder 
 
Encoders let you stream gameplay, overlays, and use hardware like preamps, mics, and cameras. This type of stream is commonly used for gaming, sporting events, concerts, and conferences. 
 
Learn how to stream using an encoder. 

 

How to stream on Twitch

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How to promote your charity stream

Maximise donations by attracting people to your charity stream. Just follow these easy steps

  • Promote your charity stream around a month in advance
  • Tell your friends and family and share your fundraising page with them
  • Post about your charity stream regularly on social media, but not every day
  • Ask your friends and followers to share your charity stream social posts to maximise reach
  • Share why you're raising money for Cancer Research UK with your followers
  • Tag Cancer Research UK in your social media posts so your followers can find out about the work we do
  • Set a donation target and share it with your followers

The legal stuff

Since you'll be livestreaming content publicly, there's some legal stuff you need to remember.

Every streaming platform has a set of terms and conditions. Each platform’s rules are slightly different, but they will generally require you to avoid:

  • Saying anything that might be considered offensive or derogatory about a person or group of people 
  • Talking about or filming other people in your charity stream unless they understand what you are doing and they agree to it
  • Using someone else’s music, video or other creative content without permission. So if you want to use this type of content, you should get consent from the relevant rights owner(s) first. Some platforms provide music you can use for free. For example, Facebook provides music that you can use on their platform but nowhere else. View Facebook's free music

Each platform will have its own additional rules and standards of behaviour as well, so it is important that you read these terms and conditions and comply with them during your livestream. If you don't it could lead to the cancellation of your charity stream or stop you from using your account - amongst other things.