On Friday, I conducted my third webinar-styled virtual gala fundraiser. This one was hosted on a beefed-up "Zoomzilla" platform. From a fundraising perspective, the program included a live auction with active bidding and a fund a need / special appeal. During the 2-hour show, guests played games, watched mission-driven videos, and socialized in break-out rooms. Guests saw all other guests in small windows on their screen. Some held signs and props in front of their camera for others
Virtual auction event
Over the last two months, thousands of spring gala chairs collectively sighed relief when they finally – FINALLY – found a new autumn date that worked for their chosen venue, caterer, auctioneer, and band. “We’ve postponed,” they told donors, “so we can gather together in person this fall.” This is painful to type, but I don’t think your autumn event is going to happen. Or if it does, it will be a washed out version of past years. (I hope I’m wrong.) I don't know your unique
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