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3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Virtual Fundraising Event

Two nonprofit employees filming a virtual fundraising event

WRITTEN BY CHRISTY NOEL

We are certainly in a world of virtual fundraising events! The MobileCause Digital Fundraising Services team is working almost exclusively these days on virtual fundraising events. No surprise, given the current social distancing guidelines that make it challenging to hold a large in-person fundraising event. We aren’t simply talking about events coming up in the next few months. Our Digital Fundraising Strategists are supporting virtual fundraising events that are happening in the fall and early winter as well. Yes, virtual fundraising events have become a critical component of nonprofits’ annual plan.

Many of the nonprofits we are working with are venturing into virtual fundraising events for the first time. As we help them plan, strategize and set up their virtual fundraising events, we are receiving a lot of the same questions and concerns. We are seeing many nonprofits feeling overwhelmed or confused by the technology requirements to host a virtual fundraising event. Others feel like it has to be a big production to be an effective virtual event.

There is good news! Virtual events can be uncomplicated and still be effective in connecting with your donors and fundraising for your nonprofit!

For the technology, a mobile device with a camera (phone or tablet) or a computer with an internal or external web camera will suffice for livestreaming or recording videos. A video production team is truly not needed! You will also need a streaming platform for your videos or livestream. You can get started with no cost on YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook. We cover the technology in more depth in The Essential Tech Elements for Virtual fundraising Events.

You also don’t need to make it complicated, a big production or spend a lot of money to have a successful virtual fundraising event. There are a few simple things that, if implemented, will help to make your virtual event of any size or shape successful.  

Here are three simple tips to help make your virtual fundraising event more effective.

1.  Make Appeals Throughout the Virtual Event

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Unlike your in-person fundraising event, your “attendees” will not be arriving at a certain time and staying until the very end. Your virtual attendees will be joining, and leaving, at various times throughout the event. If you have only one big appeal in your virtual event program, you are likely to miss some viewers. Intersperse appeals throughout your event program. Open your event with a short appeal letting viewers know how to donate. In between your presentations or entertainment, remind them again how and why to give. Include an overlay over the screen on and off throughout the broadcast with text-to-donate information and other calls-to-action. This is provided throughout MobileCause and StreamYard makes it easy to do.

Dog rescue using StreamYard to film their virtual fundraising event.

2.  You Don’t Have to Go Live

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If you are not comfortable going live for a virtual event, you don’t have to. Livestreaming isn’t the only way to host a virtual event and still create anticipation and the feel of a “live” event. YouTube and Vimeo both have settings where you can upload a pre-produced video and schedule it to “premier” at a scheduled time. You can add the link to your MobileCause event page and it will automatically show a screen with the date and time of the upcoming virtual event. Then it will play at the scheduled time just as all your viewers are ready to watch and support you!

A volunteer filming their live streamed virtual event in advance.

3.  Don’t Stop Promoting the Virtual Event After it’s Over

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Unlike an in-person event, a virtual event has “legs.” You can, and should, continue to promote it after the event is over. There will be supporters who couldn’t watch it at the time, some may have missed your promotion and didn’t know about it, maybe a few tuned in late and want to watch it again to see what they missed. You can also have supporters who loved it so much they will share it with others. Whether your virtual event was live or recorded, your streaming platform will continue to share the recording within your MobileCause Event Page, so you want to continue to drive traffic there. Your Event Page will not only have the recording, but your organization’s story, the ways to give, your impact metrics and more. It will remain an effective way to drive donations. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about your virtual event getting lost in the social media algorithms, the same URL will continue to drive supporters and viewers to your virtual fundraising Event Page!

Nonprofit, Believe Big's event web page with link to watch a replay of the event.

Interested in hosting your virtual fundraiser on a MobileCause Event Page? Request a demo from
one of our Fundraising Experts through the link below:

Virtual fundraising events have become a mainstay of nonprofits’ fundraising plans. Virtual fundraising events do not need to be complicated, overwhelming, or highly technical to be successful. Follow these tips to help simplify your planning but maximize your success.

CHRISTY NOEL
VP, Digital Fundraising Services
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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RELATED RESOURCES

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Download these free resources to help you maximize your fundraising efforts,
or take a peek at our library of free resources.

Virtual Fundraising Events Checklist & Planner
Simple Tech Guide for Virtual Fundraising Events infographic
Virtual Fundraising Events & Campaign Ideas infographic

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