The school doors may be closed, but your fundraising efforts can remain wide open! As mentioned in our previous blogs, Virtual Fundraising for a Virtual World and Germ-Free Fundraising,virtual fundraising can be accomplished with the right online giving platform that enables you to stand out from the crowd. You can still raise funds for your school and keep supporters happy without even leaving the house. How is this possible? We are so glad you asked!
- Virtual Events – Foster unity by engaging your supporters virtually.
- Appreciate more often – plan for the long term by creating new ways to communicate and engage with your supporters. Use hand-written thank you notes, video acknowledgements, text updates and phone calls from board members to recognize donors, volunteers and key prospects.
- Sharable content – Create content to share event and fundraising highlights on social media, as well as video and text. Virtual events need to be visual. Don’t be afraid to get creative and use that idea you may have been holding back.
- Virtual auction – Use the handy dandy Facebook Live feature to livestream your auction. Get excited and be as engaging as possible so your supporters can feed off your energy!
- Take advantage of multichannel communication – The Givedot Program allows you to connect directly with donors and supporters using email, social media, your school website, and more! Make an impact from anywhere at any time.
Unfortunately, it appears that the necessity of cancelling large gatherings may be a challenge for schools and nonprofit organizations in the upcoming weeks. Many are incredibly reliant on such events, but get ready to turn that frown upside down and embrace the hand sanitizer, because we are equipped with pointers for hosting virtual fundraising events!
Communicate to your donors as clearly and quickly as possible. Try and anticipate what questions will be asked ahead of time so you stay ahead of the curve and will appear organized and in control (even if you really aren’t!).
Virtual events need to be more than just a simple online fundraiser. Try to replicate your program through a series of videos. Have your speakers dress as they would for the actual event so it feels as much like the real thing as possible. You don’t need fancy equipment unless you are trying to channel your inner Steven Spielberg, film videos on your cellphone using a basic tabletop tripod.
Is your school’s culture/climate lighthearted? Maybe you can share the benefits of a virtual event beyond the COVID-19 safety protocols: no need to pick out an outfit, find a babysitter, drive to the venue, or make small talk!
Communicate with your Community Often
Establish a pattern for emailing all guests from the very first email you send out. The emails can include updates on the campaign but also something new and interesting each day such as key videos, announcements, opening the online auction, etc.
Stay Organized Internally
Recruit a small team of people who will focus specifically on the event. Kick off each morning leading up to the event with project management calls to review what happened the day before, collaborate on what needs to be accomplished that day, and answer any questions that are causing issues. Keep each other updated!
The side effect of COVID-19 for most schools is total wreckage of the spring fundraising season – The Givedot Program is your vaccine! During uncertain times, one thing is certain with fundraising: the more you plan, the better off you will be! We are ready to help your school move full speed ahead with fundraising efforts, contact us for more assistance.