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St. Petersburg, FL 33701

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Virtual fundraising has become an acceptable strategy for organizations over the past several years, even before the coronavirus pandemic emerged. The transition involves the use of several resources and tools that help in holding fundraisers virtually. Organizations obtain their donations via live summits, which boost their campaigns for the purposes of giving and receiving on both ends. The process also maximizes the use of valuable time for organizations and significantly increases its revenue through simple steps that they can take.

Tips to make fundraising successful

1) Consider the length of the fundraising campaign

When holding an online fundraiser, you should consider keeping the fundraiser live for a longer time span. The live online fundraisers should be flexible enough to adjust the timelines a bit. The best strategy is to make the length short enough to encourage urgency and maintain attention, but also long enough so that it can accommodate various time zones and schedules.

2) Encourage your attendees to invite more people

Remember to encourage your supporters who attended your past in-person fundraisers to take part in the new virtual form, as well as asking them to consider inviting additional people. It's an excellent way to spark friendly competitions through the use of the right incentives and ensure your fundraisers reach more people.

3) Your planned fundraisers should target a specific audience

Your virtual fundraisers should be targeted to specific people you consider to be the audience that will most appreciate your specific non-profit organization's work. Think about whether this audience includes millennials, older people, those with a higher income, or their specific location.

4) Sell top tickets for extra donations

Holding virtual fundraisers doesn't mean that you are limited to only asking for a one-time donation. Budgets may be tight for your supporters, but you can come up with something creative as a way of asking for extra donations from the attendees who are able to do it.

How to get the word out

1) Create an event page to grab attention

Many people learn about fundraisers through fundraiser pages. You can use some simple online tools to make your page stand out and entice more people through eye-catching graphics, engaging clips, and professional pictures of the main workshop leaders, speakers, or performers. It will help if you include all details of the information that are essential such as:

  1. Agenda
  2. Sign-up links
  3. Information about sponsors
  4. Event dates and times
  5. Secure payment options
  6. Speaker bios

2) Use email marketing

Social media marketing has currently taken over the world, and email marketing can be one of the most effective strategy used by businesses. You can send emails to announce the start of the new fundraiser and emails to announce its wrap-up, as well as any exciting updates along the way. Try including a special discount through a given code while the fundraiser is going on.

3) Inform people to invite their friends

Word of mouth is a powerful way to inform large groups of people about what's happening. Ask the previous attendees to help you share the information and encourage other people to register for the online fundraiser.

4) Use Social Media platforms to leverage information

Millions of people are using social media platforms, and it is one of the best ways to inform people about your fundraiser. You can use social media to track RSVP’s, post about updates and events, create hashtags, and share pictures and videos.

Mistakes to avoid

1) Lack of Planning for Live Sessions

You want your summit to engage everyone, so you need to keep peoples’ attention, not be zoned out or bored. Strive to keep the sessions long enough to provide necessary information, but brief enough to keep attendees interested and connect to more people.

2) Unwanted Pitches

Unexpected pitches put people off when they are there for a certain cause. You will risk harming your organization’s reputation and could threaten future fundraising efforts. People attending are expecting the meeting to bring them value, and engaging a sales pitch is not a good idea. You can do that during a different summit that doesn't involve your current objective of raising funds for a cause.

3) Lack of Organizing and Planning Beforehand

Avoid leaving anything until the last minute because you might come across several issues with going virtual, and you don’t want to run out of time to sort them out. The performance and quality of the online summit will be affected by your amount of planning as well. You need to organize everything beforehand, beginning anywhere from two to three months before the actual date you want to go live with the fundraiser.

4) Choosing a non-suitable Platform

Technology has grown so much that there are now a range of platforms and services that you can use to hold an online live summit. Ensuring that you choose the right one will make things much easier for you. Look at the pros and cons of each platform and use the one that best suits your needs. You need to ensure that you are using a platform to provide you with all the support you need to finish the summit.

5) Choosing unwanted Sponsors

You might need sponsors depending on the size of the fundraiser that you would like to hold. You can easily find sponsors, but make sure they are the right sponsors for your particular cause. Be tactical in this area because you need the right people on board to ensure a smooth result on everything.

Types of events that work best for virtual fundraisers

1) Talent show

Hold a talent show with different virtual performances; record an introductory video and compile a variety of talents. Create a platform on which the public can choose a winner in several categories, such as most humorous, best overall performer, or the most talented teen.

2) Gaming tournament

You can set up online games that are popular and require a small fee for entrance. Organize and stage ultimate tournaments for a championship. A small prize can be given to the gamers who participate.

3) Online gala

Dressing up is always enticing to supporters, and it would be great to hold an online gala that will allow the attendees to show their elegant wear through video conferencing.

4) Online auction

Fundraiser summits can be done successfully through auctions, whether silent or live. Anyone from anywhere in the world can have access to the fundraisers; hence your reach can be broadened. That means there will be more attendees for your organization. You can set up a catalog and procure items that your followers would like to bid on.

5) Cooking class

A cooking class can be a great way to improve people's skills in that area, have fun, and learn something new. If you are able, a good tip would be to invite a professional or locally-known chef to teach the attendees several steps to make a home-cooked meal.

6) Art class

Art is a skill that an individual can pick up as a hobby or a new craft when they are at home. An online art class to raise funds would be an excellent idea. You can develop options for your attendees to learn how to draw, paint, or sculpt. At the end of the class, you could even sell the finished artworks by auction to raise even more money for the cause.

This week we were honored to meet up with Cole Foust, LGBTQ+ Youth and Transgender Program Coordinator at Metro Wellness & Community Centers, to get a tour and see the progress being made at the newly renovated center in St. Petersburg and find out whats happening at the LGBTQ Welcome Center in the Grand Central District.

The changes at Metro Wellness are already looking amazing and you can see the additional reach this organization is making in our communities. Cole explained all the outreach programs, health services, testing, counseling and so much more that Metro currently offers. There are so many programs we learned about from Transgender support groups, youth support and education, and even sensitivity training that Metro can provide to organizations in the business community.

The LGBTQ Welcome Center offers a much more relaxed environment to serve various communities especially for the Youth andTransgender support groups, meet-ups and events. Cole mentioned that seniors are able to get together for activities like card games. This is one of the primary reasons we chose this organization to raise money for this pride season, LGBTQ youth are still at higher risk for bullying and teenage homelessness. Shockingly even in 2018 LGBTQ young people are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ youth and may be more likely than their heterosexual and gender-conforming peers to experience abuse, bullying, and mental health problems.

Metro Wellness is an invaluable resource within our community and across the entire Tampa Bay region so in addition to showing your pride by sporting a fabulous Phoenix3 pride shirt to raise funds for the LGBTQ Welcome Center, there are great needs for volunteers and supplies for various programs they have continually going on. We invite you to reach out and get involved!  For more information please check out their site here!

Happy Pride and thanks for helping raise awareness and support!

There is no dispute, YouTube is the king of internet videos. 300 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and there is an average of 3.25 billion hours of video watched every month on YouTube.

If your video needs eyeballs, YouTube is the place to find them.

YouTube also offers options for advertisers who are looking to capture a piece of these views.

When uploading videos, content creators have the option to allow ads to be placed in front of their content or not. If they allow it, if YouTube shows an advertisement before their video, they make money. The highest payed YouTuber, PewDiePie, a Dutch videogame blogger, made over $12 million in 2016.

Recently though, YouTube advertising has lost a lot of major corporations who were spending big money with the platform.

The reason is the limitations YouTube places on the business being able to control where your advertisement is seen.

When you upload a video for YouTube advertising, you can target the ad to an extent. You can choose the category of the video, and/or demographic information about who you were looking to target. You cannot target specific YouTube channels or pick and choose which videos display your ad.

To put it frankly, if someone in your target area is looking at a video in a category you selected, your ad is eligible to be shown, regardless of how offensive or distasteful the video it is shown before may be. To make matters worse, since a portion of what you have spent on the advertisement goes directly to the YouTuber, someone without this information could make the claim that your brand supports whatever is shown in the video.

At the time of writing, AT&T, Volkswagen, Johnson & Johnson, McDonalds and Verizon were among the companies who have pulled out because their videos were shown before offensive content.

YouTube is working on a way to filter out videos that may be deemed offensive, but it has been slow going. There was a recent controversy because the filter YouTube was testing excluded LGBT content as offensive.
The question remains though, should businesses continue to advertise on YouTube?

There are a lot of positives to YouTube advertising.

Like we mentioned earlier, YouTube is the place for videos. Facebook video ads are dirt cheap because they want to undercut YouTube, but one of the main issues with Facebook video ads is their default setting is to have videos muted in the feed which means the user must unmute them if they want to hear the audio in your video ad.

However, YouTube ads are relatively inexpensive as well. The average YouTube ad will cost you between .10-.30, but you can get that down to potentially between .07-.15 with the correct audience targeting. Another perk is YouTube ads are Pay Per View. Viewers have the option to skip video ads after five seconds. If your video ad is 30 seconds or longer, the video must pass the 30 second mark for it to count as a view. If it is 29 seconds or shorter, you are only charged if the entire video runs.

The bottom line is, for the average YouTube user, this issue is a non-issue. People aren’t going to switch to Vimeo, DailyMotion or any other website because advertisers are pulling out. All the content they want is on YouTube.

If you are a small or medium size business with a targeted market, I would recommend exploring the option of YouTube advertising despite the current controversy. The one thing to keep in mind with a hyper-targeted market is, regardless of which video the ad is being shown in front of, there is a set of eyes from someone in your market who specifically selected that video to watch and you now have their attention.

At Phoenix3, we can help with everything from Video Creation to YouTube Advertising. Give us a call today and see how we can guide you through the process!

Phoenix3 Marketing has moved to a new location! We can now be found at 2600 Dr MLK Jr St N #502 • St. Petersburg, FL 33704.

In 1986 Steve Jobs hired one of America’s premiere graphic artists to create a logo for his NeXT Educational Computer Company. The relationship that was to develop has since become something of a legend in the story of modern advertising and design. 30 years later, the story still speaks to the creative potential that is realized when a client trusts in the ability of their designer to develop meaningful solutions.

As the story goes Jobs asks Paul Rand, designer of some of America’s most iconic brands including ABC, IBM, and UPS, to develop a range of options for him to choose from for the new company. Rand’s response:

“No, I will solve your problem for you and you will pay me. You don’t have to use the solution. If you want options go talk to other people.’”

It’s hard to imagine this conversation today where creative decisions are rarely left to the designer who was hired to make them. No doubt, many have come to view design as a mere service industry devoid of its own voice in client relationships. Another icon of American advertising and design, Tibor Kalman, famously laid out this lament in his 1998 manifesto entitled Fuck Committees:

“Magazine editors have lost their editorial independence, and work for committees of publishers (who work for committees of advertisers)… Film studios put films in front of focus groups to determine whether an ending will please target audiences. All cars look the same. Architectural decisions are made by accountants. Ads are stupid. Theatre is dead.”

Surely this reality has only worsened over the 18 years since Tibor’s infamous rant. This is what makes the story of Jobs and Rand so exceptional. It is a rare one. So are visionary leaders and ideas, but maybe the conditions have to be just right. Imagine for a moment some of the proposals that almost never were because of misguided artistic oversight:

History provides countless examples of why design does not work by consensus. There are going to be hurt feelings, anger, love and everything in between. However, those are the very things good design is meant to activate. They are the indicators of having created something unique and meaningful. Ultimately, something nobody hates is also something nobody will love—something nobody will even notice.

I say all of that to say this: trust your designer. Give them the space to challenge expectations. Afford them the creative freedom that’s prerequisite for bold ideas. Remember that they are trying to speak to your audience and not necessarily to you. This is what they are paid to do and they believe in it.

As creative professionals we also have a responsibility to defend our role in the creative process. Equally, we need our clients to understand the value of that role. It should be no secret that the most groundbreaking advertising and design does not result from the desire to meet our client’s expectations. Without exception, it comes from challenging them.

This was the story of Jobs and Rand, and a single logo design that embodied to the fullest a relationship between designer and client as it should be. Some years later, when asked if Rand was the first person he had approached, Jobs responded:

“He was the only one we approached.”

Phoenix3 Marketing crafts strategic and tactical marketing brands that move people, support a positive customer experience and facilitate growth.
76 4th Street North #1314
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
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