If you look at any event over this past year, odds are they’ve turned virtual in some way or even just cancelled. Fundraisers and galas are no exception to this and there are a number of organizations who have already chosen to take their galas and fundraising opportunities to the “Zoom” screen. When executed properly, they have proven to be successful not only in terms of registration, but in money raised for their cause as well.
If you’re considering making your next fundraiser virtual but are worried about “Zoom fatigue”, there are a couple things you can do ahead of time to ensure a success final event. See below for a few helpful tips to make sure it’s a great success:
Make a good first impression
The quality of your presentation can be a huge value add. Using a professional virtual event production company is the first step in having a successful virtual fundraiser. Although it may be tempting to cut costs by doing the virtual event in house, the benefits of having a production company outweigh the negatives. A professional team means that you won’t have to worry about unforeseen problems such as, live connection issues, low sound quality or broadband connectivity issues.
Have a compelling story
When formulating your fundraising event, it is important to remind the audience what your organization does. Crafting your event to highlight community members impacted by your organization as well as administrators and staff that work within your organization gives you audience a personal connection. You can also work with a video and editing team to create visually appealing elements to help tell their story using pre-recorded content.
Showcase your event
It is essential that your virtual gala or fundraiser is streaming in the right places during the event and lives in an easily accessible place. During the event you should look to stream it either on a micro site or your company’s website, but adding platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, & Twitter can be extremely helpful in expanding your audience potential and contribute to a successful fundraiser. This can result in gaining more donations and new donors for life.
Create a unique audience experience
You can make a virtual event more memorable by bringing in entertainers and other interactive elements. For instance, there are some production companies that allow audiences to engage with other users and give them a shoutout on the streaming page when they make a donation. This brings a fun element to the screen and a chance for host/auctioneer to shout out an audience member for their contribution. Donors are acknowledged in the moment of their giving which makes them a part of the event instead of just a viewer. Other ideas you can implement include having a chat, reception, or Q & A.
Make it EASY to donate
How do you do that you ask? Though there are a BUNCH of ways for people to donate during a virtual event, the key to success is SIMPLICITY! Organizations tend to have complicated payment pages where they ask a lot of questions or feel the need to have a long thank you paragraph before they ask for the credit card number. For virtual events where they have texted, the majority of donors will only pay right away if the page is extremely simple.
If you’re in the process of planning an event or even just thinking about it for some time in the near future, these tips can give you a great head start on how to prepare. As events will continue to be in virtual formats until in-person events are deemed safe, we can expect these tips to be applicable and relevant as 2021 progresses.