Online Nonprofit Fundraising: Tips for Hosting a Great Event
While face-to-face fundraising events are still on hold, it’s time to get a bit more creative with your fundraisers. There are plenty of ways to raise funds online for your good cause, from online auctions to virtual wine tasting events.
PayBee’s online auction platform makes it simple to run your virtual fundraiser. Our secure payment processor allows your donors to pay by debit or credit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay and bank transfer. And we support your fundraising efforts from selling your first ticket to collecting your last donation.
Hosting a virtual fundraiser isn’t quite like hosting a normal event, so you’ll need to approach it slightly differently. To help everything run smoothly, here are some of our top tips for hosting a great virtual event.
Marketing a Virtual Fundraiser
Make sure that you are marketing your event in plenty of different places. You could use social media, email newsletters, even good old-fashioned postcards. Basically you should try to promote your event anywhere that your donors could be.
Also remember to promote your live auction in advance, to give your guests time to research any prizes that they might want to bid on. It will also help to generate a buzz around the event.
Building the Excitement
Whatever type of online fundraiser you’re running, it’s a good idea to run a silent auction alongside it. Open the auction around five days before your event to give you time to interact with your donors. This also lets them get familiar with the PayBee tools and decide which items they want to bid on.
If possible, try to source multiples of each item in your auctions. Donors will get excited about items that they want to win, and drive the value of their bids up. So with good planning, you can raise even more money if you have multiple items.
Be sure to test your connections several times before the event, so that the technical side of things will run smoothly. Then you should do a final test two hours before the start of your event.
Your event’s producer should have all pre-recorded content uploaded, lined up and ready to roll. And don’t forget to check that all live cameras and microphones are connected before your virtual event starts.
At your Virtual Event
We recommend keeping your online event to around 60 minutes. People tend to lose interest after 60 minutes so really try to pack your content into that hour. And scheduling the fundraising first, entertainment later will maximize your fundraising potential.
It’s easy to keep your audience’s attention when they are in the same room as your host. But with a virtual event, they might start to zone out if the event doesn’t keep them engaged. So keep your schedule really tight, line up plenty of entertainment and keep the action rolling.
At a normal event, you’ll have small lulls in the proceedings when one presenter leaves the stage and another is getting ready to walk on. When that happens your audience will generally talk to each other without losing interest in the event. But in an online event, there’s a real risk that you’ll lose your audience. So plan your order of events right down to the minute, to give fewer opportunities for your audience to lose interest.
Don’t ask your presenters to read from a script, as this nearly always sounds stilted and unnatural. Instead, prepare a list of bullet points to guide them through the event.
Most importantly: practice, practice, practice
This is even more important when the people taking part in your event aren’t in the same room together. The more trial runs you do, the more naturally your event will flow and the more confident you’ll feel. And that will make your audience more likely to donate generously!
Follow these simple tips and your virtual fundraising event is sure to be a great success. Why not sign up to Paybee today to get your fundraiser underway?