How to Host a Successful Virtual Fundraiser for Your Nonprofit

Business, as usual, has taken a back seat to almost everyone in today's unfortunate COVID-19 epidemic. But as challenging as the last few months have been, there are many opportunities for businesses and nonprofits alike to embrace. One important opportunity is paying attention to the value of virtual content. Our world is seeking out content that is uplifting, inspiring, and hopeful. This includes supporting nonprofits through fundraising. Many of us are disappointed because our traditional fundraisers had to be postponed or rescheduled to a later date. Think again! To keep your nonprofit active and visible, keep the date, but change the format. Here are some tips to help you host a successful virtual fundraiser for your nonprofit:

First, let's define what a virtual event is. A virtual event is held online so instead of personally gathering in a venue, attendees can participate from wherever they are. The event can be live so people can log on and be together at one time and recorded, so others who cannot attend the live event can log on when it is convenient for them. This is a huge opportunity to expand your reach and engage more people than before. Logistics and scheduling conflicts aren't a problem anymore! It is also a time for your nonprofit to shine and be introduced to a larger viewing audience! Your viewers want to be entertained, you have their attention so share everything you can about your nonprofit and why they should donate to you.

Tip:  Research different virtual platforms and select one that works best for your nonprofit's community. For example, Facebook Live, Zoom, Go-To Meetings and Google Hangouts are just a few that are easy to use.

Hosting a virtual fundraiser or any virtual event takes some planning but is easier than the traditional in-person way. It's all about how you plan, brand, and engage:

Create a story, or campaign to let everyone know your event is now online. Create a marketing calendar that includes email marketing, social media posts, and personal touches. Ask everyone to share the good news. Include other promotions to engage those who cannot attend virtually to keep them feeling appreciated. Decide if there will be a registration fee or it will be free to attend. Decide how you will raise money. Will here be live auction items, sponsorships, scavenger hunt, entertainment, challenges or guest speakers? The sky is the limit with virtual fundraisers. They can be as big as your team's imagination.

Tip: Use video clips of you explaining the fundraiser, testimonial selfies from board members, volunteers, and others explaining why they love your nonprofit and at the end include a call to action (CTA) for them to attend and donate.

One last note. Virtual giving and virtual fundraising are very popular in today's online world, especially now when social distancing keeps us using our mobile devices more than ever before. Plan, brand, and engage with a virtual fundraiser today!

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