One thing is clear, “unprecedented times” are carrying deep into 2021. Many organizations that previously hosted traditional fundraising events for their essential mission-centric work are finding themselves in unchartered waters. Success is still attainable, but it’s important to be mindful of the following errors.
Don’t pause everything: Now is not the time to “wait and see.” Organizations with strategic, measured approaches will be ones that come out on top when the dust settles.
Don’t start from scratch: Chances are you had success with your past event format. While knowing that this format will most likely not translate directly into a virtual event, make sure to incorporate some of the unique aspects that made your event standout. Take a deep dive into your supporter base and event revenue streams to craft a truly worthwhile spin on your own unique virtual event. With Zoom fatigue at an all-time high, it is not enough to simply add an online broadcast component.
Don’t assume anything: Don’t assume your supporters don’t want to hear from you, or that they might be put off by a virtual event. There are certainly elements from your event they know and love, and would be delighted to see reimagined for virtual times. Don’t underestimate your audiences’ desire for some familiarity.
“We are fortunate as fundraising experts to have seen many approaches,” said Allison Palestrini of Type A Development. “We’ve executed traditional fundraising events of all shapes and sizes for more than ten years, and have had success helping organizations make the shift to virtual during these COVID times, as well. We have to keep moving forward. Atlanta is full of incredible organizations that are doing incredible work. The need for effective fundraising has only increased.”