Virtual Fundraisers – The Ultimate Guide

If your event has been affected by the news lately, and you feel you cannot move forward with a live event, please take heart and take a breath, and think about the opportunities still available to raise funds.  Don't let your hard work go to waste.  Simply look at things from a different angle and see all of the virtual ways to get people involved in your cause!  Holding a virtual event is a great way to keep your supporters engaged, create excitement, and raise money for your organization. We had an organization run a virtual event last weekend and they raised over $300,000!  People want something fun to do and they want to support you too!

What is a virtual event?

Connecting your supporters via Facebook Live, YouTube, Vimeo or our Murad Auctions Real-Time Virtual Live Auction Platform allows your guests to log onto a platform and have a party together, while still being in the comfort of their own homes. Chat features in the platform allow guests to comment and interact, and social media like Instagram and Facebook add a fun element for guests to share pictures as they are participating in the party. One client is asking guests to dress according to the theme and even sending out special drink recipes and menu suggestions to connect everyone! Be creative and think outside the box! 

What About Ticket Purchases?

If you sold tickets to your event, you could turn these into donations for your guests and give them access to your virtual event as well.  This helps you retain these funds and if you want, you can give each ticketed guest special treatment by showcasing their names in a slideshow during the event or inviting them to a special reception later in the year.  

You can send out the link to the virtual event via email or text using our auction software and ask guests to register online to enter the auction.  Encourage people to send out the information to their friends and family and get everyone involved in the fun! You may even gain a lot of new supporters this way!

How will we sell our live auction items?

Live auction items are usually your most high-profile, high-priced items that generate the most excitement during your event. You can create this same excitement online by using our real time live auction platform.  Our auctioneer sells each live auction item just like we do at an in-person event.  Guests can see the auctioneer and see the current bid on their screen.  Click below to see a live auction in progress. 

How do we handle taking donations?

We know how important the Giving Moment is at any event, and a virtual event can include an impactful donation campaign as well.  Our software platforms include text to give and the ability to send guests a custom link to donate on their phones.  An appealing display showcases the amount donated or a thermometer to help everyone see what they are accomplishing together.  You can even display donor names on a screen as they donate and thank them in real-time! This display can be shown during your virtual event! (see above).

Can we create a match for our donations?

Absolutely! Consider asking one of your supporters to match all donations made online up to a set amount. This will encourage others to give. The matching donor can be named or remain anonymous.  Our auctioneer can refer to the display board and encourage people to bid so that all their donations will be doubled via the match.  Guests can also indicate if their employer will match their donations. This allows them to support the organization beyond your virtual event and helps drive revenue for your organization. 

How do I communicate the message about our mission? 

An important element of your physical event is the mission video or the emotional moment prior to your giving moment.  Include this element when going virtual! Whether it’s showcasing where the funds will go, specifying that “your $250 donation funds___ for a year”, or links to success stories from your organization, providing a direct correlation from the donors’ contribution to your organization's success goes a long way.

How can I manage the silent auction?

Most of our clients use mobile bidding for their event, so really the only change will be moving to a full online format.  If you were holding a bid sheet auction, we can easily import your items and set you up for an online auction. We suggest you send out the online auction public bidding link several days before your virtual event to let people start bidding and give them more time to share with others.   You can send out text messages during the event promoting the items, donation opportunities and close times.  By requiring a credit card for bidding, you also ensure you’ll have a payment method available for all winners. It’s easy to set up, promote, track, and close an online auction, and you’ll have lots of post-event data to analyze when the event is over.

How do I handle shipping items? 

Be sure and add information about shipping charges and how guests will pick up their items locally if you want to make this available.  We will go over all these details with you prior to your event.  If you will allow winners to pick up their items at your office, this is a great opportunity to give them a tour and share your mission.  Our software makes it easy to add shipping charges for out of town winners. 

How do I sell my games and retail items?

You can still sell all these items online! Think through how your games be played virtually.  People can still buy their wine pulls or grab bags and retail items online and then just pick them up later. 

How can I showcase my sponsors during a virtual event?

You can use the same sponsor slideshow during your virtual event except you just show it on the screen before the live auction.  Sponsor logos can be showcased on the online auction platform and text messages can include sponsor names and websites. 

A virtual event can actually have more positive impact on your organization than an in-person event.  Think of how many more people can participate virtually.  So, get the word out and gather your supporters to create a successful fundraiser!

Please contact us as you are planning your fundraising in the next few months.  We are happy to provide a free consultation to share more ideas with you. 

Take your virtual fundraiser to the next level!

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