Whether you're considering hosting a virtual gala fundraiser or a traditional in-person auction event, the most important question you must ask yourself is this: WHY are we holding this event? Do you have a purpose? Objectives? Goals? Is it to pay tribute to a big donor? Enlarge your community base? Celebrate a success? Hard core fundraising? Do you have 6 goals, which typically means you do none well? In short, you need to get clear on WHY you are bothering to
COVID-19 abruptly shut down the fundraising galas of schools and nonprofits this spring. Is a virtual gala fundraiser your only option? Online we can read reports that show conservative scientific models impacting society for months. Others offer more hopeful predictions of what could happen. And some wonder if we re-open society too soon, the consequences could be severe, possibly leading to yet another shutdown again this fall. The only certainty is that it's all a big unknown.
When you decide to shift from a live event to a virtual gala fundraiser, you'll be making some changes. You already know you have to change your technology. Another review should be given to your event goals, like financial expectations, publicity, reach, and leadership. For instance, live events typically have financial goals. With a virtual auction event, should you expect to raise the same amount of money? I've been thrilled to learn how many organizations have not surpassed
In the month since COVID-19 desecrated the standard auction event, a new virtual gala fundraiser has emerged. Initial results from these events have been impressive! Net incomes have generally been higher than 2019, and some have even seen higher gross results. But is this model sustainable? I am questioning it. If virtual events are the modus operandi for the next several months, I wonder if our industry might need to get more creative at designing donor-centric online
If your plans for a live event have been crushed by COVID-19, you can still offer a virtual gala fundraiser. Here in the Washington, D.C. region, we are four weeks into the virus putting the kabash on all galas. Even so, some nonprofits have quickly adapted. More than one has re-imagining an in-person fundraiser into a virtual auction event. In the video, I share the four most common types of virtual gala fundraisers.