English ivy was brought to the United States for ornamental purposes; it looks so pretty scampering up a wire. But the ivy's introduction had some unintended consequences. It grows so aggressively, it overtakes small trees and damages mortar in brickwork. Unintended consequences are also apparent in our virtual galas. Nearly every week I am asked to troubleshoot a new problem that has surfaced, typically because someone has tweaked one area in an effort to improve the event. The
Virtual auction event
With summer fast becoming a distant memory, I'm talking with clients about their 2021 fundraising galas. One topic frequently entering the conversation sounds something like this: "What will happen to virtual galas?" "Even if we can meet in-person, should we make a decision to host a virtual gala instead?" "What will change with virtual galas post COVID-19?" "We cancelled our spring 2020 event because we didn't want to go virtual. But now, as we start to plan our calendar, what
Last week I created a "Virtual Gala Cheat Sheet" for a webinar. Renee Zau of DonationMatch had asked a client and I to participate on a webinar for the San Diego chapter of the American Marketing Association. The topic was "Virtual Fundraising Events That Work: Best Practices and Trends." If you've participated in my free "The Next 6 Months" conversation series on COVID-19 and galas, you are probably further along in your understanding than what the Virtual Gala Cheat Sheet offers. Even
Occasionally I'll visit with a nonprofit seeking to hire both a virtual auctioneer and invest in some new auction software. Which hire should happen first: Should they lock in the fundraising auctioneer they want to hire? Or sign a contract for the auction software? There's no question in my mind -- LOCK IN THE VIRTUAL AUCTIONEER! There are some solid reasons as to why I suggest this approach, and I talk about them in today's blog post video. Watch it below. P.S.
The buzz phrase in March, April, May and June 2020 was “pivot to a virtual event.” Pivoting made sense when your in-person event was already organized (or nearly so). It meant that Gala Chairs had to rapidly transition their events to be online. But the days of "pivoting" an event are over. In-person galas aren't happening for many months. COVID-19 is running rampant. The expectations are that it will linger well into 2021. Instead, I encourage you to plan a virtual gala. Start from