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GO LIVE! How to Embrace Live-Streaming Video Platforms for Volunteer Programs

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Free, live-streaming video platforms like Facebook Live, Twitter’s Periscope, and YouTube Live allow users of smartphones or tablets to live stream something they are viewing in person so that people off-site can view and share in it, too, in real-time – events, speeches, announcements, celebrations, and more.

The keyword here is live. Viewers watch the video at the same time it’s being filmed. While videos are recorded on Facebook and available after the live event (just like on YouTube), the draw for Facebook viewers is that they can view the event as it is happening, in real time. As with other Facebook posts, they can even join in by commenting.

Could Facebook Live and other live-streaming video platforms be used to celebrate volunteers? Welcome new volunteers? Educate and train volunteers? Recruit new volunteers? “Sure!” argues Jayne Cravens, an internationally-recognized volunteer management researcher, consultant, and trainer. In this e-Volunteerism feature, Cravens outlines some captivating ideas for how to embrace live-streaming video platforms to benefit volunteer engagement, noting that you can even “plan out” your video ahead of time. “It doesn’t have to be entirely spontaneous,” writes Cravens. “It just needs to feel that way.”