4 Steps to a Successful Year-End Virtual Event

Year-end fundraising is quite an undertaking, especially when you’re including a virtual event. When you start the planning process, you may be wondering how you’re going to get from A to B — from generating your first idea to congratulating your team and thanking your supporters for a successful event. With a clear plan to keep you organized and on track, however, a year-end virtual event becomes much simpler. Here’s our four-step plan for hosting a year-end fundraising event that gets the results you need for your nonprofit.

 1. Set a Goal

Goals help you identify where you want to go and what you want to accomplish with your year-end fundraiser. Goals keep you focused on what matters most. The SMART framework is an excellent tool to ensure your goals do their job well. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. By setting SMART goals for your campaign, you’ll be much more likely to arrive at your target destination. 

Read How to Set Goals the Boost Year-End Fundraising Results to learn how to set SMART goals that result in successful fundraising events!

2. Pick a Theme

Your fundraiser’s theme serves as a unifier and motivator for your team and your supporters. It allows people to quickly grasp the purpose of the fundraiser and understand what to expect from their participation. A strong theme also helps to generate energy around your goal. There are several ways to identify a theme for your fundraiser:

  • Consider your goal — Your goal may be a great focus for a theme. Are you working to raise money for a specific project or program? Is your goal oriented around a particular community? Aligning your theme with your goal will help supporters to remember it. 
  • Reflect the type of event you’re hosting — Your event type may lend itself to a particular theme. For example, if you’re hosting an auction, a holiday party, or a New Year’s celebration, your theme may reference the event itself and get people excited about attending.   
  • Invoke your founding story — If your fundraiser’s purpose is broader or more general, consider your organization’s founding story. A theme that connects with your mission can help inspire donors who care about your cause. 

3. Segment Your Audience

Segmenting your list into groups that share similar characteristics allows you to be very specific with your messaging. You can customize your communications by type of donor, program or project they donated to, or another criterion. When you target each donor segment with customized messages, your supporters will feel that your communications were designed especially for them, and your messaging will generate higher engagement. 

4. Set Milestones

With year-end events, timing is crucial. Identifying milestones will help you ensure that you’re ready when the big day arrives! First, create a list of all the milestones involved in planning and executing your campaign. Then, with the day of your flagship fundraising event in mind, work backward assigning target completion dates to each milestone.

Skip the Stress with a Step-By-Step Plan

Having a step-by-step plan for your year-end virtual event makes planning and execution much more streamlined, reducing stress and ensuring your event goes smoothly. With a clear plan and a tool like Network for Good’s virtual event and auction platform, even small nonprofits can successfully host effective and engaging year-end events.

Read Expand Your Reach With Virtual Events for Year-End Fundraising to learn more about hosting an effective hybrid fundraiser.

Published: November 8, 2021

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