There is no way around the long-term implications the Coronavirus (COVID-19) will have on the world; every country, every community, every person, every business, and every nonprofit will feel its effects. Many nonprofits were planning their spring and summer events which, for some, are how they survive the year. Amidst these concerns, there are ways for nonprofits to save their fundraising efforts. Here are just a few.
The Virtual Fundraising Event
At this point, having fundraising events through the start of June are going are quite uncertain. The wisest course of action is to cancel the in-person portion of your event if it hasn’t been cancelled already. You do not have to cancel entirely; this still leaves you with the option to change your event to a virtual event! Many nonprofits have started doing virtual fundraising events already in order to save money on venues, catering, entertainment, etc. While you may think meeting with donors and showcasing your nonprofit in person is the best way to fundraise at an event, there are great ways to do it via computer or phone.
Galas are some of the biggest and most involved events nonprofits have every year. The good news is it is possible to hold your gala event virtually. First, keep ticket prices the same but cater to people’s homes. There are many restaurants out there that would be THRILLED to be part of something like this. Then, create a video to send to everyone participating and have them watch it after the meal. You could also schedule a call to the “party” to thank them. Pulling off a successful virtual gala will require planning and creativity since you will be connecting mainly with families sheltering at home, but scheduling the virtual fundraising gala will help retain some of the fundraising that would have been lost had you simply cancelled. You could do 10 “tables” a night or less. Make it work for the donors, the caterers and you!
You could also schedule a Facebook live event for those who are having their fundraising gala on the same nights and talk about how you are responding to the Coronavirus crisis, the future of your organization, and thank them for all they do. You then have participation via comments from the “guests”.
Online Fundraising Contest
This one can get ANYONE in the community involved. You could have a karaoke sing-off, a dance-off, a joke contest, an art contest. The choices are limited only by your imagination. Those who enter need to do so through the website and pay a fee. Then, they send the videos and you put them up on your website, sharing a link to social media and have people vote by sending emails. Or put them up on social media and find winners by “likes”. You will want to have prizes for the top three.
Engage Your Donors
Lastly, be sure to email your list of donors to connect in person, reaching out to your largest donors for a check-in. Everyone has concerns during this time of uncertainty but we are all in this together. Let your donors know what is happening with your nonprofit and how you are dealing with these troubling times. While you don’t need to make a monetary request during this check-in, the appreciation donors might feel having connected with you could prompt them to donate during this difficult time.
We are focused on YOUR nonprofit. Tell us your story and we will focus on your money as you focus on your mission!