Contributor / Interviewer Guidelines & Tips

Think of the best interviews you’ve seen on TV or YouTube. They generally have a life of their own and often revolve around a story. We can’t always create an engaging and entertaining story, but we can set the wheels in motion to increase our odds. Humor and fun also increase our odds.

Thanks for being a contributor or co-contributor for Giving Forward’s GoodBuzz. The content you create and help promote helps your selected nonprofit, as well as nonprofits selected by readers/viewers of your content (who often pick the same nonprofit, especially if they arrive from your social media share).

Just like Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, every contributor has a handle or channel. You can do stand-alone content or interviews/conversations, even multi-guest panels.

With the advent of Zoom and other alternatives, GoodBuzz can feature interviews that would otherwise have been unlikely or even impossible.

As the “interviewer” (it’s more of a conversation) it is helpful to research your guest(s) if you don’t already know them and have a rapport. Reading their bio and checking your “socials” to see what’s up is an easy and quick way to familiarize yourself with the guest. The GoodBuzz / Giving Forward team is at your disposal and in some cases will:

  • help find you guests
  • do a “backgrounder” with links to relevant topics
  • have coordinated with the guest or their publicist to get a sense of topics
  • have set some talking points with the guest via email for you to use

Not every conversation is the same, and that’s part of the fun. We never know where your conversation might go. Be ready to have the guest as you questions back. That makes the conversation more natural.

We aren’t live (at this point in time). So, if you or your guest are uncomfortable with part of the conversation, we’ll edit it out.

General Tips:

  1. Do the research: The GoodBuzz team can put together a “backgrounder” for you, or you can use social media, Wikipedia, IMDB and other websites to do some research.
  2. Start the conversation before the interview conversation: You or the GoodBuzz team will likely have discussed talking points prior to the Zoom (or in-person) interview
  3. Start with the “softball” questions to warm up the conversation just as you would with a conversation at a social gathering or a date. You are more likely to get a really fun and possibly exclusive story if they warm up to you.
  4. Ask open-ended questions. DO NOT ask yes or no questions.
  5. Let them talk. You may already be itching to ask a follow-up question. Do your best to actively listen and use body language and eye contact to let them know you are interested. Try to remember the follow-up question you came up with 10 seconds into their three-minute story and then decide whether to use it at the end of that story or move on.
  6. Find the right cordial tone.

Great tips come from Katie Couric and Larry King. Of course journalists are sometimes asking hard questions where we are generally asking easy ones.

Some elements that are fun to put into conversations and stories which we might propose to guests ahead of time are:

  1. Historical stories:
    1. highschool
    2. first job
    3. big childhood moments that shaped the guest’s life
    4. embarrassments or fails that ended up motivating the guest
    5. childhood heroes and current heroes
    6. misconceptions people have about you
    7. misconceptions you’ve had about other folks until you met them
  2. Fellow celebrity run-ins if they have a funny or entertaining element to them. This includes actors, musicians, sports stars, or influencers. (The advantage of the celebrity run-in is that we may be able to get that celeb to share socially since it’s about them and for a good cause.)
  3. Future plans and aspirations
  4. Their celebrity wish list: Who would you want to run into at a party?
  5. Their favorite nonprofit and why

Not all content can be entertaining, but those tend to be the favorites. A big win for us and the nonprofits we help is when something newsworthy is discussed during your conversation. Then we might get coverage in the press or within social media.

The GoodBuzz team will typically post one shorter, snackable part of the conversation with a link to the full conversation.

While we welcome “difficult conversations” and important topics, we try to stay away from negative stories unless they have a moral to them. Try to think whether the conversation would end up on John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” or not. We can certainly tackle topics he might not, but if we tackle hard topics we want to make them educational and inspirational.


  1. Should I promote the content when it’s posted?
    • Yes, especially after logging in to your Giving Forward account (the top-bar on GoodBuzz) Your nonprofit should already be selected. That way anyone clicking on your link starts off at GoodBuzz earning ad revenue for your nonprofit. As a registered contributor, your content also earns points for your cause. 6-points as the contributor and then the content consumer’s choice is set to the same cause until they register and change it. All 12 points will often be going to your cause.
  2. Should I ask the guest to promote the content?
    • Yes. They should register in the top-bar prior to sharing and that way all their followers will arrive with your guest’s chosen cause as their default (until the new visitor registers). 6 points will go to the consumer’s cause, most often set by your guest. You and your cause get the other 6 points for the view.