Three ways to maximize online events to achieve financial goals

For nonprofits and charities, donations and sponsorship have always played a vital role in the pursuit of various causes and missions. And it’s often through annual events – like galas and awards ceremonies – that a significant portion of those financial commitments are secured.

Though the pandemic has been devastating and disruptive, in forcing many in-person events to move online, the limitations unearthed new potential for fundraising. Meeting online proved to be just as powerful a way to raise money as gathering in an auditorium.

But it’s not as simple as setting a date and time and telling donors to log on. Successful virtual fundraising requires attention to detail and lots of creativity.

Inspire with fresh ideas

Your virtual fundraiser should be more than a livestream of your original event. Think of dynamic ways to get donors involved before, during, and after the broadcast. That could mean giving days or virtual challenges in the lead up to event day. The event itself could include multiple ways to give, such as an auction, telethon, or viewing party. And afterward, you could transition to event merchandise sales, pledge drives, or crowdfunding. Donors likely won’t be inspired by just parking in front of their laptops for two hours. But if you pique their interest at several different touchpoints, you can keep them engaged.

Choose the best delivery method

No two virtual fundraisers are the same; your goals and objectives will determine how best to bring your event to your donors. Livestreaming could be perfect if you’re anticipating a lot of direct engagement during the event; prerecorded video may be better if your audience is less internet-savvy. You could also choose to stream your event on specific days at specific times, or make it available on-demand, possibly charging a fee for access once the initial viewing period has ended. Take the time to know your audience, and then choose the content method that’s most appropriate.

Communication is key

A clear marketing strategy is absolutely essential. It should be crystal-clear to donors how they can donate, how they can attend the fundraiser, and how they can engage with the organization beyond the event. That means a streamlined email campaign with the right sequence and critical information like donation links; online destinations for event info and the actual event; and multiple means of engagement via channels like social media and texts.

In some regards, virtual fundraising can seem simpler because it doesn’t require the level of production that an in-person gala does. But this is still an intricate operation, highly dependent on strong messaging, great ideas, and a high level of personalization. Don’t skimp on the details, and you’ll have no problem achieving your target.

See all these tips in action at our forthcoming event, the 2022 Foundation of Orthopedics And Complex Spine (FOCOS) Virtual Gala, taking place October 25, 2022, at 6 p.m. EST/10 p.m. GMT. This year’s theme, “The Culture of Care”, explores how best to create an environment where patients, staff, and all supporters feel valued. Visit the official event website to learn more. Click here to participate in the FOCOS silent auction. And contact us today to discuss plans for your next event.