Planning and Successfully Executing Virtual Events and Galas

Planning and Successfully Executing Virtual Events and Galas

September 8, 2020
Raj Khera

This article discusses why and how adopting virtual technology is fundamental for carrying on day-to-day nonprofit operations. Hosting virtual events is key to maintaining your brand awareness during the pandemic. 

Your donor community must be reminded that your organization continues to function. Your messaging should center on emphasizing the fact that those your nonprofit serves still have needs that must be met. Therefore, learning to host well planned and implemented virtual events is a top priority for meeting your organization’s fundraising goals.

Embrace the Virtual World and Its Advantages

Going virtual, in terms of business operations, requires adaptability and flexibility within your team. Doing so can actually have many long-term rewards provided the transition to virtual technology is properly implemented. Focus on the ways technology can assist your team and further your organization’s goals, and use it to your advantage. 

    • Switch Your Donor Outreach to Virtual Connections

Establishing a personal connection can be challenging in a time that requires social distancing. 

Use virtual meetings to connect with donors. Replace face-to-face visits with a Zoom call or online interaction using a similar platform. 

Virtual meetings are a good substitute for in-person meetings. However, you must allow for flexibility, which is crucial because technological difficulties are bound to occur from time to time.  Flexibility is also a necessity for numerous nonprofit organizations because many, if not most, are currently working with a smaller staff. 

Shift your focus to donors who are willing to do virtual meetings and events. Your time should be going to those who can engage and remain involved virtually. To facilitate this, segment your donors into those who are comfortable with the virtual game. 

Go Virtual With Fundraising Events 

Make the transition to virtual events. In-person galas, fundraisers, and events like golf tournaments are not possible at the moment. That doesn’t mean your organization needs to or can afford to completely shut down fundraising operations. 

With proper planning and implementation, virtual events will keep your donors and clients engaged with your mission. Virtual events offer the advantage of requiring less logistical planning, which reduces the increased pressure and responsibilities that are facing your reduced staff. Rather than viewing virtual events as a mere substitution for in-person functions, embrace the virtual experience as a fresh approach to add to your fundraising strategy.

Strategize and Understand Your Target Audience

Be creative, and be willing to try new things. Make a plan with your team, and have honest conversations about what you believe is possible to accomplish. Be willing to think outside the box and innovate. Strategize by familiarizing yourself and your staff with what will be required to ensure the event is a success.

Tailor your guest list to donors and prospects who are comfortable with the virtual experience. It’s important to target your content to those who are in a position to continue giving despite the current economic climate. Donor Segmentation allows you to correctly pinpoint your target audience that should be extended an invitation to your virtual events. Using this WealthEngine feature leaves you and your remaining staff free to focus your energies on hitting your fundraising goals. 

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WealthEngine assists you in accurately identifying your target audience with its propensity to give (P2G) rating. This score is given to an individual based on their financial standing and history of charitable contributions. 

Use virtual technology to do things on a tighter budget to help with your financial planning. Virtual events do not need funds allocated for things like space, food, or drinks. You can capitalize on this to save money. 

Virtual events alleviate the need to plan at the capacity of a typical in-person function. This is important because it saves you time.

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Engaging Content: The Key to Giving Your Donors an Enjoyable Experience

The reduction in event costs is a big advantage during this time of increased budget cuts. Understanding how these things will affect your guests’ experience is imperative to the event’s success. 

Providing engaging content these select participants find to be valuable is key to ensuring your donors have a good virtual experience. Hosting an event donors find enjoyable will lead the way in generating the fundraising dollars your organization needs. 

Renew your focus and encourage your staff to plan as much as possible for these virtual nonprofit events. One of the downfalls of doing things virtually is the heavy reliance on technology. 

Technology offers numerous benefits, but one of its drawbacks is increased vulnerability to issues beyond your control. Be as prepared as possible to address these problems as they occur and make adjustments as needed.

Plan, revise, and continue moving forward as you take part in these virtual experiences. Your guests and staff can provide valuable feedback about what they think works well and what improvements they would like to see. Listening to this information is crucial to making these fundraisers successful. The virtual experience offers something fresh to excite and invigorate your donors and prospects. It can provide a way to avoid the stagnation that occurs when traditional events have become formulaic. 

Get creative with your initiatives, and find ways your organization will be able to adapt your original plans to the parameters of virtual technology. As previously stated, your primary goal is to continue your fundraising initiatives. Embrace the ability to conduct these events virtually with a smaller staff. Be prepared to use these virtual strategies in our collective “new normal” that is a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Use Technology to Make the Most of Your Data

WealthEngine’s platform does the work for you, and can make a huge difference in results when your resources are limited. By understanding your donors and prospects, your fundraising strategy can be implemented in the most productive way possible. Doing so facilitates a higher return on investment (ROI) with donors. 

See how WealthEngine’s cutting edge technology can be used to supplement your team during this challenging time. Check out a free WealthEngine demo today.