Now that we have seen a major shift with the future of large events, it might be time to create a new fundraising model for your nonprofit.
Online auctions and virtual events are now at the forefront of fundraising strategy and it looks like it’s here to stay. Fortunately, people of all demographics are more comfortable than ever using online meeting portals and donating through websites— making virtual events a viable option for nonprofits to reach their fundraising goals and to encourage more donors to join their community. To incorporate more online fundraising into your strategy, we suggest getting started with these virtual event ideas, tips, and best practices.
Virtual Event Program Ideas
Start off your virtual fundraising event with an ice breaker that brings everyone in your online audience into the “room.”
It can be humorous, a compelling statement, an activity, or an introduction of a celebrity supporter, followed by an invitation to join in on the conversation through a live chat room. Make it interesting enough to grab their attention, with a hook that will keep them engaged.
Interaction between your virtual audience can come in a multitude of ways. Chat rooms, bidding, polls you can instantly report on, trivia, or friendly competition. Mention names that come up in the chat rooms to underscore your engagement with the audience.
Donating to an important cause is the reason why your audience has chosen to join your virtual event, so don’t overlook the importance of conveying a message of need during your program. Let your donors know exactly how much they are needed to make your mission succeed.
Embracing the creative
A virtual fundraiser is shorter, that’s true, but you shouldn’t skip out on the fun or informative entertainment that will drive your audience to make a donation. Get creative with your message and include video, actors, action, or other memorable moments in your program. You could introduce them to a beneficiary or in-the-field team member, or share information they can use at home in a similar way you’ve implemented it into the work of your nonprofit.
Requiring undivided attention through a computer screen is a lot to ask of your donors, even when it was their choice to join you. Pick a moment halfway or two-thirds of the way into the program for a stress reliever for your guests. Then, use the moments after the respite for another appeal for funding.
At a typical in-person fundraiser each guest would leave with a fun gift they can enjoy at home. You can duplicate this fun takeaway by offering discount codes or a link to a site where they can sign up for a special experience. This is a great way to get sponsors involved while keeping your audience engaged all the way to the end of the program.