How “alive” are your camp's livestreams?

You’ve probably noticed that livestreaming video has become very popular. This trend includes Jewish camps - we’ve noticed an uptick in compelling uses of livestreaming content by Jewish Camps with great results; I’ve posted a couple of examples at the end of the blog. Want to know what works with livestreaming, and how to make it work for you? Let’s take a look at what a million people are watching this week.
Have you played HQ Trivia yet?
HQ Trivia is a live, mobile-only trivia app that allows people across the world to compete for cash prizes (for free). Since its launch in summer 2017, it has grown quickly so that more than one million people login simultaneously to try their luck twice each weekday.
Why has HQ Trivia been so successful...and what does it mean for YOUR organization?
Well, the chance for real money can’t be discounted. However, the winners normally take home a relatively small amount of money - $15-30 for each person who successfully answers the 12 multiple-choice questions.
I believe there are other factors at work that have made HQ Trivia so popular. And those factors can be used to help you and your organization’s live video content, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other platform:
  • It’s fun. The most popular host is a standup comedian, Scott Rogowsky. He – like the other HQ Trivia hosts – intersperses jokes and sarcasm between questions to keep you tuned in.
    • ​​For YOUR livestreams, ask yourself: Is your content entertaining? Can you deliver it in a fun way that respects the intelligence of your audience?
  • It’s personal. The hosts usually kick off the broadcast with shout-outs to a handful of the thousands of participants. It could be a hello to a first-time player or a happy birthday to participants playing on their special day.
    • ​​For YOUR livestreams, ask yourself: How can you personalize the content so that – even if a large audience is watching – the participants feel like you are speaking directly to them?
  • It’s about the audience. The very sparse app interface includes the livestream and a lively chatroom of participants. Plus, much of the language in the broadcast includes the word “you.” YOU will walk away with some cash. YOU are part of the HQ community. This game is for YOU to play.
    • ​​For YOUR livestreams, ask yourself: Is the content relevant to your audience?
  • It's timely. The host often references things happening in the world. It could be wearing a “Happy New Year” hat on New Year’s Eve or mentioning the bitter cold in the Eastern US. Either way, the host talks directly to the audience about things that will be of interest to the audience at that time.
    • ​​For YOUR livestreams, ask yourself: Can you make the video timely and relevant for your audience so they take the time to stop and watch?
  • It's planned. The HQ Trivia broadcasts aren’t perfect (at least a few have had technical difficulties). And they would not be considered highly polished by most observers. But there is clearly planning put into each broadcast. Some of the jokes are ad-libbed and the results can’t be determined in advance. But they have a script that helps them keep the content fun, personal, timely, and about the audience.
    • ​​For YOUR livestreams, ask yourself: Have you spent some time planning the content so that it meets your goals, even if it is just basic content streamed from someone’s cellphone?
Looking for examples? This livestream of a camp blessing from URJ Camp Newman after a fire destroyed the camp is relevant, timely, and full of emotion. This virtual campfire from  JCC Ranch Camp (which predates live video on Facebook and Twitter) is relevant for their target audience – Ranch Camp alumni spread across the country. And In the City Camp ran a successful livestream during a snowstorm in the Atlanta area while their campers were home from school! This article from Socialbrite also contains specific tips for using Facebook Live to raise money.
Bottom Line: Livestreaming video is a great way to engage your audience online. Consider these tips to make it as successful as possible.

Written by Kevin Martone. Kevin is the Technology Program Manager with JCamp 180. His focus area is in applying technology (database management, communications) to support fundraising and outreach efforts. Kevin leads JTEC (JCamp 180 Training in Effective Communications) and co-leads Data2Donors, a program to help camps prioritize their database for improved Alumni outreach and fundraising.

Who we are: JCamp 180 is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF). Our goal is to significantly enhance the long-term effectiveness of nonprofit Jewish camps in North America. To meet this goal, we provide affiliated Jewish camps with consulting services, annual conferences, shared resources, professional development, and matching grant opportunities. Find more at