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4 Tips for Debuting Your Pre-Recorded Virtual Fundraising Event

WRITTEN BY LINDSEY HIMPHILL

With in-person fundraising still not possible for many non-profits, virtual events are a great alternative that allows you to still hold your event and connect with your audience. To plan ahead, many nonprofits are also opting to pre-record all of their event’s video content ahead of time and produce one complete pre-recorded virtual event video. With all of the content pre-recorded, some organization’s worry that the “live” experience will be lost to their audience. However, by following these four tips, you can debut a pre-recorded video to your audience that is engaging and captures that “live” virtual event feel.

How to Debut Your Pre-Recorded Virtual

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1. Promote Your Event’s Start Time

When getting people excited about your upcoming event through your promotions and communications, always be sure to include the date and time. That way your audience members can begin blocking off their calendars and making plans to join you at that specific time, as they would with an in-person event. Getting everyone prepared to tune in together helps make it feel more “in the moment.”

Believe Big's live streamed virtual fundraising  event

2. Address Your Audience Throughout the Event

A simple way to continue making your pre-recorded video appear “live” is the way your event hosts and guests speak during their segments. Be sure to speak in present tense and address the audience directly throughout the program. Small statements like, “Thank you all for joining us today,” can go a long way to making the event feel more live and engaging.

When presenting a fundraising ask, be direct and precise in your language, explaining how donors can give right in that moment. Be sure to present calls-to-action early and frequently throughout your program. This way, regardless of when people tune in, they’ll hear the instructions on how to participate and give.

A guest speaker giving a live presentation at a virtual fundraising event.

Thank your donors throughout the program as well. While your hosts may not be able to call out donors by name or the specific amounts raised towards the goal, statements like, “Thank you to all of the donors who have participated so far to help us reach our goal!” can make it feel like they’re being acknowledged in real time.

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3. Schedule Your Pre-recording

Next, you will want to research how you can schedule your pre-recorded video to be visible at a specific time. Each video hosting platform has different capabilities, so be sure to look into this well ahead of your event.

For example, through YouTube, you can schedule your video or use YouTube Premiere to show your video at a set time. Please note that with YouTube, to use their Premiere feature, your organization must be in the YouTube Partner Program with an AdSense account linked. The YouTube Partner Program requires at least 1,000 subscribers, 4,000 valid public watch hours and an AdSense account. Be sure to research and test to see if this is a viable option for your organization.

Believe Big using Streamyard to add text overlay to their fundraising event

Vimeo is another video hosting platform on which you can host your virtual event. Vimeo has options to schedule the publish time of a video release and your organization could potentially use their Livestream platform to schedule something as well.

For Facebook, you can schedule pre-recorded videos through the Premiere Videos feature from Facebook’s Creator Studio.

Additionally, you can consider using a streaming service like Streamyard or Restream to stream your pre-recorded video at a specific time. Streaming services like these usually give you the option to simultaneously stream to multiple video sources at once (ex. YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, etc.). This could also be a great option if you’re looking to expand your reach and stream to multiple sources at the same time.

As an important note, regardless of what method you choose, be sure to thoroughly test your scheduled video well ahead of your event to make sure you have the right settings enabled and the right type of account to use the desired features for your virtual fundraiser.

4. Utilize Engagement Features Through Your Event Page

Another great way to captivate your audience is to utilize the different engagement features available to you through your Event Page. With the MobileCause Event Page, you can use the Progress Circle and Donor Wall to show donations coming in in real time. Additionally, when using the Live Event Theme, you can use the Progress Bar and Activity Wall directly overlaying your video so that individuals can watch the virtual event and see real-time participation. Donors can either use the donation form (while still watching the event) or text-to-donate to make their gifts and appear on the donor wall.

Culinary Concert was live streamed on a MobileCause Event Page.

With virtual events extending who you are able to reach outside of your geographical location, you now have the opportunity to bring together a large group of people for an engaging and dynamic event. Following these tips, you can take all of your pre-recorded content to create a virtual fundraising event that captivates your audience and views just as a live event would.

Lindsey Himphill
Digital Fundraising Strategist
MobileCause

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Our goal at MobileCause is to help nonprofit organizations create and manage successful digital fundraising campaigns, raise more money and retain donors longer. Request a free demo with one of our fundraising experts to learn, step by step, how MobileCause can simply help set up your campaigns while transforming your results.

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