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:
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.
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)
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.
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”.
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.