COVID-19 has forced local and national governments to restrict in-person events. But the show must go on! Organizations all over the world are trying to figure out how to host virtual fundraising events that are effective and engaging. If you’re struggling to pull together one of these events, you’re not alone. Even large companies like Salesforce have transitioned to virtual events. While virtual events pose its challenges, there are easy and practical ways to make sure it’s successful. Here are some tips and tricks we’ve gathered to help you make a confident step into virtual fundraising events.

Create a clear vision

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the internet is saturated with online events; which means it’s harder to stand out. Separating your organization from the rest all starts with the “why.” What is the purpose behind the event and why is it important? How does your event relate to your mission? How will it resonate with your audience? Ensuring your messaging is clear, concise, and consistent will give you a good head start to attract your audience (and hopefully inspire donors to partner with you financially)!

In addition to creating your event vision, you will need to map out a budget, timeline, measurable goals, and an event page for registrations and donations.

Do a test run

I think it’s safe to say that most of us have a love/hate relationship with technology. How many times have you been on a Zoom meeting and the connection cuts out? Or you’re unable to see video or hear audio? Hosting a virtual fundraising event comes with its challenges, and it’s important to prepare for any technological mishaps that could occur. Make sure the conferencing platform works, run through all your content, and do everything exactly as you plan to on the day of the event. This will help you iron out any details, and also help your team get comfortable with the format. In addition, consider logistics like lighting, aesthetics, etc. to make the event more visually appealing.

Facilitate participation

One of the biggest challenges of virtual events is engaging the audience. We want to be talking with our audience, not at them! Don’t be afraid to get creative when planning your content for the event. Content like Q&A panels, surveys, quizzes, and polls are great ways to engage your audience during a virtual fundraising event.

Capture the data

One of the benefits of a virtual fundraising event is how much data you’re able to capture. You can see how many people attended, how long people stayed, and other data points. So make sure you are capturing the attendees’ contact info before the event starts so you can follow up if necessary! You can even send a short survey afterward to ask attendees for feedback. This information will help you improve future events and give you some intel into what content your audience is interested in.

Leverage the content

One of the many reasons we love online content is because there are endless opportunities to leverage it. That’s why we recommend recording your virtual fundraising events to use for future content. For example, you might create short, bite-sized videos from the conference and use them on your YouTube account or social channels. Or maybe you turn the key points from the event into a blog post or mini-podcast episode. Whatever the case, make sure you’re keeping these virtual events top of mind when it comes to creating a content strategy.

And there you have it! What tips do you have for creating a successful virtual fundraising event? Share with us in the comments!

RBW Strategy gives you the tools to take hold of the world around you. Consider how much more your organization could do with additional funds and increased capacity. Learn more on our services page!

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