If you just read my newsletter and your looking for the Pro Tip, here it is: 

Pro Tip: Have a professional handle the camera, sound and tech direction. Hiring someone who knows the equipment ensures a smooth and professional production and you can focus on the other details of the event.

If you missed the newsletter, be sure to sign up here for a monthly delivery of nonprofit nuggets.  Here’s a recap:

1. Focus on Your Mission

Don’t let the virtual format distract you from your ultimate goal — communicating your story to inspire your donors. Keep your virtual fundraiser focused on how your donors will help advance your mission. Show them what their gifts are doing.

2. Think About the Atmosphere

A virtual event is still an event, and while you won’t need centerpieces or decorations, you are creating an experience for your donors on-screen. If you have a live component, make sure you have:

  • An uncluttered background
  • Your camera at eye-level
  • A light source behind your camera (if you have more lights, place them to your right and left)
 
3. Create Opportunities to Interact

People who attend traditional fundraisers meet each other, share a table, or stand in line together, so it’s easy to engage. Virtual events don’t have this built-in interaction, so you have to create it. To make your virtual fundraiser seem more like an in-person event, look for opportunities for the audience to participate. Ask questions they can answer in the chat box or conduct a live poll during a stream. Give peer-to-peer fundraisers the option to join teams and build some friendly competition. 

4. When In Doubt, Keep It Simple

If you have an idea that is creative, or innovative, or hilarious, go for it — but you don’t have to create the most elaborate virtual fundraiser ever to be successful. Focus on communicating donor impact and your fundraising goal, rather than trying to replicate everything a traditional event would include.  Remember, your audience is comfortable at home, and their attention span is shorter than it would be for an in-person event. Get right to the point, communicate what you need to, and make the “ask”. 

5. Plan for Follow-Up

Just like an in-person event, what happens after your virtual fundraiser is just as important as what happens during it. Plan for a quick and thorough follow-up. 
  

  • Send your event recording to everyone you invited.
  • Send an immediate post-event survey to those who attended, along with a thank you message. 
  • Update everyone on your net fundraising totals as soon as possible.
  • Mail thank you letters within 48 hours of receiving the gift.
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