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:
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.