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How to embed and host a YouTube livestream on Givebutter
How to embed and host a YouTube livestream on Givebutter

Information on using YouTube as your platform for hosting a livestream on Givebutter.

Alyssa avatar
Written by Alyssa
Updated over a week ago

To embed a YouTube livestream on your Event, you'll first need to configure your livestream settings, then add your YouTube livestream (or pre-recorded video) URL.

You cannot add livestream video to a Form or Page campaign, but you can easily change the type of an existing campaign. You can also add livestream video to an Event campaign with an auction!

Setting up your livestream ⚙️

  • In your dashboard, choose the Event campaign you'd like to add a livestream to.

  • Select the Event tab. At the top of the page, ensure you've selected either a Digital or Hybrid event type. (You cannot add livestream video to an In Person event.)

event type
  • Scroll down to the Livestream section. Livestream on Givebutter will be selected.

  • Select YouTube from the dropdown list.

  • Enter your Livestream URL or the URL for your pre-recorded video. YouTube Shorts are also supported.

  • Choose when you'd like your livestream to go live.

    • Manually control – Turn the livestream on and off using the Start and Stop buttons located in this section.

    • Schedule – Set times for your livestream to automatically start and stop. Your Givebutter page will automatically show and hide your livestream at the designated time without requiring visitors to refresh the page.

When you go live from most platforms, viewers will see the cover photo automatically switch over to your livestream – whether you started it manually or at a scheduled time, your guests won't need to refresh the page.

When you go live from Youtube, viewers will need to click the play button in order to view your livestream.

Adding a livestream URL 🎬

You will need to activate Go live before your event – set up is required!

  • From inside your YouTube account, click on Create and then click Go live.

an arrow points to go live
  • Enter the details, customization, and visibility of your livestream. The information you'll be asked to enter is made up of multiple pages. Make sure you set visibility to Public or Unlisted – do not use the Private setting.

an arrow point to the public radio button
  • On the Stream Preview window, where you should see a large thumbnail at the top of the window, click Share.

share link
  • Copy the Video link that appears at the bottom of the Share window.

copy link

Do not paste this Share URL directly into Givebutter - it won't work.

  • Open a new tab in your browser, paste the copied URL, then hit Return/Enter on your keyboard. Once the page loads, it will generate a new, valid URL.

  • Copy the new URL that is generated. This is the one you'll need for Givebutter.

Using pre-recorded video 🎥

To use pre-recorded video in place of a livestream, you'll need to first upload a video to YouTube. On your YouTube video's page, you can copy the URL directly from your browser's address bar. That URL will be in the format YouTube Shorts links are also supported.

You can also locate a sharable URL by clicking the Share button under a YouTube video.

youtube share button

Video privacy

For either livestream option, you'll want to make your YouTube video/stream Unlisted (only viewable via Givebutter) or Public (anyone can find and watch via YouTube). To change your video visibility settings, follow YouTube's instructions for changing video privacy options. If the video setting is Private viewers will be unable to see the video.

private video screen

A quick way to verify your visibility settings is to open an incognito window in your browser and paste in the video's URL. If you are able to watch the video, you shouldn't run into issues.


I'm getting a "Playback on other websites has been disabled by the video owner" error from the embedded video.

This occurs when a video has its "Allow embedding" setting disabled. To enable embedding, go to the Content tab on YouTube, and click on the pencil icon of the video. Scroll to the bottom and click Show More. Scroll to the License section and click the checkbox for Allow embedding. Remember to save!

embed checkbox

Can I host a livestream with multiple hosts and screen sharing on YouTube?

This isn't possible on YouTube directly. To include multiple hosts or screen share on a livestream, we'd recommend using Zoom and porting your livestream to Youtube.

Can I test my livestream before my event?

Yes! You can go live at any time – no notifications are sent out. If you'd like to test your livestream without the risk of anyone accidentally seeing it on your live campaign page, you can always create a test Event campaign to become familiar with the functions before the day of your public livestream.

Are supporters notified when a livestream starts on Givebutter?

No, it functions like a standard event – reminders are sent out 24 hours and 1 hour beforehand, and only if reminders are enabled.

What's the difference between using a video as the campaign Cover Photo and using a pre-recorded video as a livestream?

While both options provide a similar result, a scheduled livestream event creates a sense of place, urgency, and community you won't get with an embedded video on your campaign page. A livestream will also be labeled as such on the public page, and you can toggle between your livestream video and cover photo to suit your event timings.

Can I host multiple livestreams during my event? Can I use multiple streaming platforms?

Yes, however you cannot use multiple livestreams simultaneously on one Event page. You are able to change your livestream information (including platform and URL) whenever you like, even if it's during your event.

Can I add a livestream directly to the auction page/tab on my campaign?

Not currently, no – the livestream will be located on the main campaign Overview page. Please see the feature request for embedding a livestream on the auction tab!

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