With the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly all Nonprofit fundraising went online. However, even experienced fundraisers are asking how to improve virtual nonprofit fundraising events. Here are some guidelines for getting the most out of these kinds of events.
Careful planning is a must for virtual fundraising events. It is new territory for even old fundraising hands. Missing details is too easy in the virtual environment. For example, one Nonprofit staged their event with the regular meeting version of a popular online meeting software. It wasn’t until registered guests were logging onto the event that the horrified hosts realized the version only allowed a maximum of 25 attendees.
Nonprofits want every event to go smoothly and deliver a certain “wow” factor. The aim is to minimize distractions and maximize donated revenue. With the added complexity of online technology, following a do-it-yourself approach might be too risky. An ever-growing number of vendors offer services to cover both the technical and creative aspects of virtual fundraising events. Even though it adds cost, a high-quality virtual event may bring in enough funds to cover the extra cost and then some.
One big advantage of virtual events is the potential to attract donors who otherwise would not have attended an in-person event. For example, some donors pass up Nonprofit galas because they don’t have the time or think it would be too expensive. These same donors may be more enthusiastic about a virtual gala where they can attend online and donate more modest amounts.
Virtual events should not be the same length as in-person versions. Attendee attention spans are shorter for online events. A rule of thumb is to schedule half the amount of time. It is too easy for attendees to drop off the online meeting before they can make their maximum donations.
Virtual technology allows attendees to interact with the event through chat functions and social media integrations. Also, specialized tools like online auctions will further engage participants and drive revenue.
Recording and posting the event for future viewing provides another revenue opportunity. Supporters who could not attend should be sent a link to the recording to view the festivities and encouraged to donate. Making an edited “highlights” reel might make for a more efficient communications vehicle.
Following these tips can help planners answer the question of how to improve virtual nonprofit fundraising events.
Rather than just investing in IT tools and resources, consider investing in “Service Experts” that work directly with you in effectively deploying tools to achieve your Mission.
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