How to Transition a Live Fundraiser to a Virtual Fundraising Event

Live Fundraiser to a Virtual Fundraising Event

Written by Tim Grable

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May 18, 2020

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In the wake of the 2020 pandemic, public events have been severely impacted. Many organizations are exploring new avenues in which they can carry out their fundraising efforts during Covid 19.

Thankfully, fundraising has always had a second home on the internet. And now, in times of crisis, many fundraising efforts can be transitioned seamlessly to an online platform.

If you were planning to organize an in-person fundraising event, then rest assured; all your work is not in vain. In this following article, we will show you 5 ways in which you can continue your project and even give it new life to raise money in times of crisis.

Be sure to read on, as we offer you four tips on how you can transition a live fundraiser to a virtual fundraising event.

Live Fundraiser to a Virtual Fundraising Event

1) Should You Cancel Your Event? No!

Your initial event plan may have been affected, but this doesn’t mean you have to cancel the event. Do not issue the cancellation to the audience and instead be open about the fact that the event will transition online.

If it’s needed, you can even postpone your event to a later date, to set things in order.

However, be sure to continually communicate with the audience during this transitional period, because going cold on your donors usually creates unrest among them.

There are many other things to add, but we do hope it reinforces the idea that the first best thing you can do for your event is not to cancel it and to embrace the idea of going online altogether.

2) The Format of Your Virtual Fundraising Event

For a long time, online fundraisers have been divided into two main categories:

Live-streamed event – A type of event where viewers can tune in to a live video feed of a specific activity. This type of event is perfect for recreating a live fundraiser experience.

Fundraising campaign – A fundraising effort where the audience accesses a web page where they can find extensive information about the campaign’s cause and how they can help it.

Live Virtual Auction – Just like in-person auctions, live auction items usually are your high-profile, high-priced items. These items will generate the most excitement from your donors during your fundraising event.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign – This is one of the most effective types of virtual fundraising. The first step is to ask your staff, dedicated donors, board and active members of your community to help kick off your fundraiser. The benefits you will see include a creating sense of community which helps you raise more money.

Ideally, you will want to incorporate elements of each categories in your fundraising effort. This way, you make sure your event is richer in content and that it offers your target audience a more robust experience.

3) Find the Right Online Platforms

Once you are fully committed to the idea of going online for your fundraiser, you will have to find the right platforms to fit the scope of your virtual fundraising event .

We cannot tell you which platforms to choose, that’s up for you to decide, but we can tell you that you will need to pick the online platform which best enacts the idea you have for your live event.

For example, if you choose to broadcast video, you will need to search for platforms where your event’s activities can be aired on the video format, and your audience will be able to tune in to view.

Another aspect to consider is the donation process. Be sure to find a platform which simplifies, but also offers a secure way in which the audience can make their donations.

4) Adapt Live Fundraiser Activities for the Online World

You may not be able to fully translate all the ideas you had for your in-person event, but the chances are that you can faithfully recreate most of your event program in an online setting.

Most fundraisers have some type of entertainment.  A large number of social activities transfer very well to an online format. For example adding a virtual comedy show can lighten up your fundraiser and encourage your donors to give.  The comedy of Bob Stromberg connects with non-profit audiences in either a physical or virtual fundraiser.

Bob Stromberg: Virtual Demo

It is entirely your choice, and it depends solely on what kind of experience you are going for your virtual fundraising event.

But what we can suggest is to do something which will exceed your audience’s expectations. You can opt to have a virtual entertainment segment as part of your event’s activities.

A virtual magic show, or a captivating presentation are just some entertaining activities that carry over well from a Live Fundraiser to an online environment.  Eric Jone has appeared on television in 19 countries spanning 5 continents and has wowed dozens of nonprofits all over the globe with his Breathtaking close-up magic.  Armed with sleight-of-hand, Eric dazzles his audiences with his digital dexterity. He uses these tools to deceive, entertain and astonish his audiences with his mind-blowing illusions. Ordinary, everyday items become objects of fancy as Eric delicately handles them. Coins multiply, cards fly, and audiences stunned.

Eric Jones: Virtual Magic

5.  Hire a Professional for the Details

When you transition a live fundraiser to a virtual fundraising event, it is best to hire a professional to take care of the virtual details. As zoom fatigue grows with donors, they are less forgiving with low-quality virtual events and technical problems. If you want to engage your community and keep their attention, your online program needs to be TV broadcast quality.

Did you know that we offer NonProfit organizations TECHNICAL PRODUCTION & STREAMING for their virtual fundraisers?  We can provide full sound, lighting, staging, backdrops, cameras, graphic design, scripting and streaming!

A few expert services we can bring to your Webinar/virtual event:

• Full Technical and Streaming Production
• Entertainment/Speaker Ideas/Talent Contracting & Coordination
• Streaming Producer (that’s with you every step of the way)
• Emcee/MC Contracting & Coordination
• Full Graphic and Video Content Creation and Execution
• Enhanced Options: Sponsor Gifts, Special Deliveries, Catered Meals, Ideas, Creation, Contracting and Logistics

Give It a Shot

While your initial fundraising plan might have been impacted, it doesn’t mean that the entire effort is ruined. Instead, by going online, you’re setting up your event for an even higher potential than it may have had.

And while you’re at it, why not diversify the experience and add a bit of entertainment in the mix?

Comedy is a sure-fire way to reach your audience’s hearts, and we can help you find the right entertainment solutions for your event.

Be sure to give us a call at (615) 283-0039 or email us, and we will gladly assist you!  The Grable Group is the top booking agency for virtual events and nonprofit fundraisers.

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