Help! Do I Need to Plan a Multi-Day Virtual Event?

“I have heard that there are ways to get free advertising for non-profits.  How do we go about getting it?”

Short answer: “Google it.”

I kid. However, it is almost that easy. Google for Nonprofits offers an Ad Grant program. Eligible organizations can receive access to $10,000 of in-kind advertising on Google Search.  Featured benefits include: raising awareness for your cause, driving more website views and activity, tracking your nonprofit’s marketing efforts and reaching individuals seeking your help. Ready to apply? Start the process at  google.com/nonprofits/eligibility. Prefer to look before your leap? I understand. Check out this success story.

In these uncertain times, virtual visibility is essential. I encourage you to take the next step. Let me know how it goes – I predict we will be sharing your success story soon!

“A local nonprofit replaced their annual in-person Gala with a four-night virtual extravaganza.  Sounds like four times the work. What are the benefits of a multi-day fundraising event?”

Great question. I am a major fan of the multi-day virtual event. Top five benefits listed below:

  1. Flexibility with start and end times. Multi-day scheduling is not restricted to dinner or later. For example, if an award presentation is part of your program each year, consider hosting an awards luncheon before your fundraising focused events. This can help to keep the focus on the honoree versus wedging it in as part of a larger evening program.
  2. Increased engagement. Individuals are much more likely to pay attention and engage with a 45-60 minute program for its entirety vs dropping in and out of a 3-hour event. Multiple events over multiple days help to ensure each event can be designed to provide meaningful engagement opportunities or be delivered on platform best suited for your message/event goal (Facebook Live vs Zoom).
  3. Increased number of sponsorship opportunities, specifically high-visibility lead or title level. A multi-day format may also increase the number of sponsorship prospects based on audience size and demographics.
  4. Increased opportunity to expand your audience, recruit new donors, volunteers, and attendees of all ages.
  5. Most important and exciting – it’s an expanded opportunity for improved messaging, attendee engagement, and a powerful call to action. For example – the message for awards luncheon #1 could focus purely on the honoree and how they exemplify the mission you deliver on every day. A second event could start with a special donor thank you toast from your board chair before an online auction to help foster the spirit of giving.

Ask a Fundraising Coach is Network for Good’s weekly advice column, where Personal Fundraising Coach Andrea Holthouser tackles your toughest challenges in the world of fundraising, nonprofit management, donor relations, and more.

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