Friday, July 10, 2020 / by Erik Bjorklund
Working from home has presented some… challenges. Your productivity may be lacking, your team may be a bit more disorganized than usual, and your work attire has probably changed a bit. And as the giving season comes closer, your 2020 fundraising events have probably changed quite a bit as well.
Fundraising from home has presented some challenges in that traditional events aren’t the most reliable anymore. As your focus shifts to online methods, maintaining your impact and fundraising goals seems like a daunting task.
You don’t have to condemn your fundraising goals to an early grave. Check out these tips to help transition your fundraising online!
Reaching your audience
You’re in luck ? the easiest ways to get the word out about your fundraiser are already digital. Email marketing, social media, and calls to donors are great ways to inform your supporters about ways they can help.
But the challenge isn’t in the medium, it’s in the methods. You can put as much information as you want into the void, but unless it’s something that breaks through the clutter, it won’t make an impact with your audience. Everyone is tired of screens. So how do you get people together for an online fundraising event?
Make it something they won’t want to miss.
The same old fun-run event won’t really hold up in a world still recovering from a pandemic. Be innovative with your ideas ? maybe you can use old fundraising strategies with a new, online format. For example, you can move your silent auction online fairly seamlessly. There are great online resources you can find to make the transition a bit easier.
If you need a little inspiration for online fundraiser ideas, try these:
- Virtual dinner party. Invite your friends, some local community leaders, or some industry superstars for an online dinner soirée. Admission into the video call can simply be what someone would normally pay for a meal, and you can sit and chat with some great people for a great cause. This can be a super great way to get to know your donors. You could even do a series of dinner parties, once a week, with different special guests each week.
- Host a class. Do you have a cool/unique skill? You could hold a small pop-up class for a cause. Teach one of your family recipes, host a yoga class, show your friends the wonders of rock gardening ? whatever it may be. This is a fun way to pass on some of your expertise and share your hobbies with your community.
- Game night. Just because we can’t meet in person for a board game doesn’t mean it can’t happen. You can set up a super fun game night from the comfort of your couch. Have some games in mind that might transfer online easily ? like poker, bingo, Dungeons and Dragons, Scrabble, or Monopoly. You can create a sign-up sheet for participants to choose which game they want to play. Start the night with a Zoom call and then use breakout rooms to create a game room for each group!
- Movie night. Create a poll and send it out to your supporters of some great, family-friendly movies they’d like to see. You can charge admission to be as much as a movie ticket. By using an online watch party platform, you can have the option to chat with other people while watching a movie. Then you can just sit back and watch.
While having an innovative idea to get your donors’ attention is important, maintaining contact with them is essential.
Call your donors regularly
Video is tiring everyone out. If you can, try to avoid using screens to communicate with donors. Try opting for calling your donors instead of video chatting. Something about being able to sit back and have a semi-normal conversation with donors ? instead of having to awkwardly stumble around Zoom’s audio delays ? is really refreshing.
Giving donors that familiarity with your call also goes a long way to make them feel valued by your organization. The importance of connecting with current donors, especially when we all feel so disconnected, is huge. Focus on the donors you have and ask them for their continued support, rather than trying to get new donors.
Make the most of it
I know we would all rather be able to do these events in person ? seeing someone and connecting with them in person is a hard feeling to replicate online. But we hope these online fundraising methods can brighten your day, and your donors’ days and help your organization to power through.
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