How to Maximize the Potential of Your Virtual Fundraiser Gala

Virtual Fundraiser Gala

Written by Tim Grable

Tim Grable founded The Grable Group. The Grable Group is an international event and entertainment company. In addition to managing the schedules of our speakers, comedians artists and entertainers, we handle their literary, commercial, film/TV, social media and licensing opportunities.
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May 3, 2020

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In 2020, many online services have seen a surge in popularity, as nowadays, a majority of people’s daily activities are taking place on the internet.

Besides that, the troubled times brought forth by the pandemic have given people renewed interest in humanitarian activities. All of this leads to an environment where virtual fundraiser events are prolific.

If you are looking for some innovative and fresh ways to spruce up the potential of your fundraising event, then you have come to the right place.

In the following article, we will show you a few practical ways and how you can maximize the potential of your online fundraiser and turn it into a smashing success.

Virtual Fundraiser

1) Give Your  Fundraiser an Identity

Before you prepare to give your fundraiser an online presence, one of the first things you need to do is to give it personality. Giving your event a clear-cut identity that helps people to distinguish it easily.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the theme of the event?
  • What type of audience is the fundraiser aimed at?
  • What issues are you addressing through your fundraiser?

You will need to have a clear answer for each of them to better shape your online fundraiser’s image. This helps your event have a clear-cut goal, target audience, and overall identity.

And having a well-established and cohesive online presence will make is easier to find and support your fundraiser on the internet. There are many dedicated online communities or organizations which are willing to support fundraisers that align with their interests.

2) Integrate Popular Fundraising Strategies

Many popular strategies used for in-person events can be transitioned seamlessly to an online environment, and we argue that they can be even more useful.

What we can do is to suggest a few donation strategies you can apply to your fundraiser:

  • Donation blitz. Where the organization makes a periodic newsletter appeals to donors, during the event, and after the event has passed. This strategy is very effective in drawing recurring donors to your virtual fundraiser gala.
  • Donation matching. Partner with an organization that is willing to match dollar for dollar of what your community manages to raise to a certain sum.
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising. It is a strategy in which your entire network can get involved, by having everyone open individual donation pages – it is effectively a fundraising campaign comprised of smaller fundraising efforts. This has an incredible reach to audiences because the fledgling pages are great at spreading the word, and eventually, more people can be drawn to your primary cause.

Depending on how you integrate these strategies as part of your event, you are looking to boost the potential of your online fundraiser gala significantly.

An intrinsic advantage of shifting your fundraiser on the internet is that you can use multiple online services or software to streamline the experience for your donors.

3) Add Donation Incentives to Your Virtual Fundraiser Gala

Donation incentives are a way to repay the goodwill of regular donors or others that have gone above and beyond by donating a substantial sum.  They are also a way to make your virtual fundraising event a bit more interesting as they gamify the donation experience.

Through incentives, you are giving the campaign a higher appeal to donors because they are getting something in return – a tangible reward with actual utility or a token that they can make them proud of doing a good deed.

Virtual Fundraiser Gala

If you want to go this route, then be sure to choose a set of rewards that increase in value according to the sum that is being donated.  You can start by giving smaller rewards such as gift cards, vouchers, and then going up to offering physical rewards.

Consider approaching a sponsor or past donor to match donations.  Matching funds come close to magic, these types of offers can bring in 10% to 50% more revenue for your fundraiser.  You will see increasing response rates without a decrease in your average gift. In fact, sometimes average gifts  increase with match offers.

4) Offer Cool Swag for Virtual Attendees

One way to engage online participants is to send virtual event-branded swag. You can design using your brand colors, logo, sponsors, and other fun touches. It is best that aesthetics come first and branding second. Virtual swag can take on many forms, a link to a sponsor’s website to claim a gift, discounts, or downloads. People often attach memories to food and smell. Indulge your donors with chocolates or other snacks.  

Do you think a swag bag is just a gift? Providing a swag bag is an opportunity to keep your non-profit’s name and fundraising goal in your donors’ minds after your event.  Offer your sponsors the opportunity for additional visibility in conjunction with give-a-ways. Ask your corporate sponsors to record a short video about why they support your organization and what your cause means to them. They can also communicate with your donors about the swag they are sponsoring. 

5) Give People an Experience They Won’t Forget

Online fundraising has, by far, some of the biggest potential to raise money for your organization. And if you want to try any of these ideas for your fundraising event, then be sure you do it the right way.

We can suggest even to book a professional performer to enhance the virtual fundraiser’s experience. A comedian’s or speaker’s years of on-stage experience transfer well to an online environment.

Which are you in need of, comedy or life advice? You choose. Or you could get a 2 in 1 deal with speaker and comedian, Bob Stromberg. From stories to shadow puppets (yes, you read that right), Stromberg is certainly a Renaissance man in the 21st century entertainment business. From comedy to keynotes, you can know that whatever you choose from him will be life changing and memorable.

Bob Stromberg will hit the mark with his powerful performance arsenal of standup comedy,  storytelling, and yes… even hand shadows, which the London Metro described as, “Stunning!” Bob’s unique, timeless, comedic style engages audiences in uproarious laughter, inspires with simple truth and always leaves people wanting more.

Bob Stromberg: Virtual Demo

What about a mind-blowing and hilarious live entertainment experience like you’ve never seen, as Las Vegas’ #1 comedy magician streams interactive and exciting illusions directly to your virtual fundraiser via Zoom. Your host for this one-of-kind magic experience is Mac King, the Las Vegas legend who, with his quick wit and captivating magic, has wowed audiences for more than 20 years. Penn & Teller have called him “the greatest comedy magician alive today.” Now, for the first time, King invites you into his real-life home for a sidesplitting, interactive LIVE streaming experience. Leave what you think you know about magic at the door as Mac King’s House O’ Magic brings incredible entertainment that will keep your donors buzzing for days.

Mac King: Virtual House -O -Magic

Joe Castillo is the keynote speaker, best-selling author, artist, storyteller and finalist from America’s Got Talent who has developed a new way of telling stories with his hands in the sand.   In both live keynote programs & virtual presentations— he will keep your audience engaged, inspired, and mesmerized.

SandStory is a unique way of storytelling that uses sand art, a light table, and music as a medium.  He has been seen live on all 7 continents, over 43 countries, and into 35 different languages. Joe Castillo has raised over 6 million dollars for charity, and Joe Castillo can bring his unique combination of story and visual art to your next fundraising event. Sand art will enhance your fundraiser and bring value to your donors.

Joe Castillo: Non-Profit & Fundraising Demo

People love to cook and eat.  Cooking fans know today’s top Celebrity Chefs through their popular TV shows.   What about Virtual Cooking Entertainment? The people attending your virtual fundraiser can meet these top celebrity cooks up-close and personal! Your event will become an experience your online audience will never forget.

Virtual Cooking Class with Bobby Flay!

Need Help Putting it All Together?

Have you seen other online events have technical problems? Are you overwhelmed with the thought of coordinating and producing the details of a virtual event? Do you want one point of contact to handle everything?

A few expert services we can bring to your virtual fundraiser:

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

With the help of a professional, the fundraiser will be more attractive. Your donors will be glad to have their goodwill repaid through exciting and entertaining activities.  The more branding, awareness and exposure you are able to give your sponsors, the more valuable your sponsorship is to their company.   This will result in  an increase in future Sponsorship Dollars.

At The Grable Group, we have tailored our services to fit all kinds of virtual events.  If you are looking to book an entertainer, a virtual meeting moderator, an emcee for your event or a company that produce your event,  then we have the right professional for you.

Be sure to reach out to us at (615) 283-0039, and we will gladly assist you!

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