Virtual events have skyrocketed to the mainstream in the last couple of years. And they’re here to stay, thanks to their many benefits for fundraisers and supporters alike. The online format is ideal for nonprofits seeking to expand their reach and open access to a wider audience of supporters. But the key to a successful event is a winning concept. In this post, we look at why you should consider including a virtual event in your year-end fundraising, and we share five ideas to get your creativity flowing.
Why Virtual Events are Ideal for Year-End Fundraising
If you’ve never included a virtual event experience in your year-end fundraising before, you may be wondering why you’d want to consider it. After all, you’ve already got a lot on your plate! But a virtual event can significantly improve your fundraising results. Here’s how.
- Boost participation — An event gives supporters a reason to block out time on the calendar. And it serves as a fun reminder to participate in your fundraiser! A virtual event is something to look forward to, and it increases supporters’ desire to spread the word to their friends, family, and colleagues.
- Expand reach — With a virtual event, donors can attend from anywhere. The online format makes it convenient for supporters to participate, so your organization can attract more participants.
- Build community — When supporters participate in an event together, they feel a greater sense of camaraderie and teamwork. A virtual event makes it easy to build an energized community that’s committed to your organization moving forward.
5 Ideas for Fabulous Year-End Events
Nonprofits are using many different types of virtual events successfully. Here are five ideas to inspire your creativity for creating your own year-end event.
1. Gift-Giving Auction
A gift-giving auction is a wonderful way to raise funds while making it easy for your supporters to find a meaningful gift for a loved one. Promote your year-end auction as a great place to find that perfect gift! The auction would feature items that are ideal for regifting.
2. Volunteer Holiday Party
A virtual volunteer holiday party will get your volunteers excited about your plans for the upcoming year. This party could be entirely virtual, or you could include virtual elements along with an in-person event. For example, you could include an auction like the one mentioned above that allows in-person and virtual attendees to participate together while also raising extra funds for you. Other virtual party elements include partnering with a food delivery service to bring holiday snacks to virtual attendees or sending swag boxes to virtual attendees ahead of the party.
3. Project or Program Update Event
If your organization is working on a long-term project or program, you might invite supporters to an update event. During this event, you would report progress and allow donors to see the results of their gifts. A virtual tour could show the progress via video, or you could bring community members into the virtual event to share their stories.
4. Giving Tuesday End-Of-Day Party
If your fundraising centers on Giving Tuesday, you could invite supporters to an end-of-day party that includes a thank-you and an update on how much was raised during the day. In this case, the virtual event would happen at the end of the fundraiser rather than serving as the vehicle for fundraising. And end-of-day parties need not be long — 15-20 minutes is all that’s needed for a great party, making it easy to host this type of event!
5. New Year’s Toast
Celebrate a fresh year, show your gratitude for supporters, and prompt additional donations at the same time by hosting a special virtual New Year’s toast! As with the holiday party idea, this event could be hosted entirely online or combine in-person and virtual elements.
Launch into a Successful New Year with a Virtual Event
Virtual events offer so many benefits, it’s no wonder they’re becoming increasingly popular. Any of the event ideas we’ve shared are sure to make your year-end fundraising event memorable and inspire your supporters to continue partnering with you in the upcoming year. And with Network for Good’s virtual event and auction platform, planning and hosting a virtual event is simple!
Read Expand Your Reach With Virtual Events for Year-End Fundraising to learn more about hosting an effective hybrid fundraiser.
Published: September 22, 2021