Fundraising events have always been fun and exciting. On-premises auctions, gala dinners, movie shows, and more have always been some of the most looked-forward-to events on the social calendar. Then, like a bolt from the blue, the Covid-19 pandemic hit everybody hard, leaving a trail of havoc and destruction in its wake. Governments imposed strict lockdowns and social distancing norms and any function that required mingling of people in confined spaces was banned.
This had a devastating effect on charities and donor causes that depended on the now-banned programs to raise funds and run their projects. Fortunately for them, the Internet came to their rescue, giving rise to the silent auction phenomenon and fresh virtual fundraising ideas and events that ultimately proved to be no less successful than traditional fundraisers. Unique avenues have been explored to take advantage of the wide reach and scope of the web where interacting with a global audience is as easy as it can get.
Virtual Fundraising Ideas and Events
A virtual fundraiser is an event that is hosted over the Internet through specialized sites using cutting-edge and advanced software. Similar to the usual in-premises events, the goal here is to raise money from donors and supporters by inviting them to stream and participate in an online environment.
Since the concept of silent auction and online fundraising ideas are relatively new, it might be daunting to event organizers who are used to a more personalized face-to-face approach. But after you are familiar with it, you will find that you can just as easily connect with more donors while encouraging them to actively participate in the cause that you represent.
Benefits of Virtual Fundraising Ideas and Events
Once you get used to the theme of online fundraising ideas, you will find that it comes with a set of benefits that is not possible from traditional fundraisers.
Here are a few of them.
- Cost affordability:There is a whole lot of infrastructure costs that you can save by implementing online fundraising ideas. There are no rental fees to worry about as are transportation costs, catering, and utilities. The expenses of hosting events on websites are minimal and generally restricted to administrative costs only. For holding online auctions, you can even avail the services of free Internet bidding sites where the only costs are for third-party services like payment gateways.
- Wide reach and scope: Virtual fundraisers are not restricted by geographical boundaries and being on the Internet gives you access to an audience that is drawn from all corners of the globe. Any person with an Internet-enabled device such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop can join in making virtual fundraising ideas a great success through contributions to your cause.
- Collate data of donors: On a virtual platform, participants to your events have to register themselves through sign-up forms and share their contact details with you. This becomes an excellent opportunity to get actionable data for all future projects. With location data, you can carry out sustained email campaigns or promote your events on various social medial platforms so that your fundraising ideas always get the success they deserve.
With the data, you can also know how many people signed up and how many participated or how many watched your video content and how many donated to your cause. The possibilities for analysis are almost limitless with the collected data.
- More sponsorships:Sponsorships are the lifeblood of charities and fundraisers. But for the sponsors this comes at a price as the costs can be quite high for in-premises events. Think of printing banners or personalized messages on T-shirts, delivering the sponsored merchandise and products to the venue – all these do not come cheap. But for online fundraising ideas and events, it becomes as simple as branding assets or sending a contribution. Smaller companies that could not afford the high costs of traditional sponsorships but were eager to contribute to a cause can now do so for virtual events.
- Increase donor engagement: There are so many opportunities online to boost donor engagement and keep your supporters interacting over the web. Several virtual websites allow participants to interact, have a group chat and share reactions, take part in audience polls, and even ask questions about specific sources for donations. A hashtag can be used to bring all these aspects together and those using the hashtag can communicate with one another. This in turn helps bring in new donors and sponsors.
The same expertise and skillsets that have been used by you to organize in-house events can now be used to implement virtual fundraising ideas.
Holding Virtual Fundraising Ideas and Events
Putting through virtual fundraising ideas and making them a success is not much different from traditional events apart from the actual work of conducting them. So far as getting sponsors and donations and contacting likely contributors to your cause is concerned there is not much to choose between the two.
The first step is to set goals for your virtual fundraiser so that you can focus on the important factors. Establish the goals for your event and the target audience and then work towards bringing them together. Next, decide the format of the event. Are you keen on an online auction, a live performance or podcast, or a Q&A session? How many speakers do you want to have? Address these questions before going forward with your fundraising ideas.
Finally, and this is critical, promote your event well. Digital marketing is very effective in the modern Internet environment and you should take full advantage of it. Carry out an optimized campaign to showcase your event and watch the dollars pouring