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Virtual Events Are Here to Stay

Is anyone else Zoomed out? How about WebEx, GoToMeeting, Teams, Facebook Live or Video Vavoom? Ok, I made up that last one but we’re all in a virtual oasis these days. We’ve all been on the fast track, learning about audio levels, backgrounds, and lighting. This is the reality of a work-from-home professional life during a global pandemic.

This is also the time we have to go deep into our creativity and use it to raise money for our organizations and the people we serve. Fundraising professionals and volunteers are generous people. Everyone is sharing information online about what works for donor communications, virtual events, and other fundraising tips.

Here are a few tips I’ve recommended to my clients as we plan their virtual strategies through the end of the year.

  • First of all, be mission-centered. An obvious faux pas would be to have a wine auction for a substance abuse rehabilitation center.

  • What is the best format for your audience? You may send a brief survey to gain a better understanding about how tech-savvy your donors are.

  • Understand the options with different platforms: Zoom vs Facebook Live or a webinar version with different features.

  • Short programs are best; 45-minutes is good.

  • A combination of live and pre-recorded segments keep it interesting.

  • Focus fundraising efforts prior to the actual event and think of creative ways to keep your donors and volunteers engaged.

  • For example, a nonprofit that usually has a 5K Walk, created a weekly fitness challenges for participants and the team leaders.

  • Invite donors and volunteers to share their videos and ways they are connected to the mission.

  • Adjust sponsorship benefits to the virtual format. Ask your donors what they prefer.

  • Most importantly, keep everyone informed and communicate regularly.

As the pandemic continues to be our new reality, we have to rely on virtual methods to stay connected and raise philanthropic dollars. We can do it. We are doing it. It just takes a little creativity and good technology.

We will be back to seeing everyone in person one day soon and how great that will be?


Michelle Crim, CFRE

Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in startup and smaller nonprofits because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.

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