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. Ha!
Keeping the unpredictability of the virus in mind, this videos shares my suggestions for your fundraising auction plans over the next few months.
Want to visit with me about running a virtual gala fundraiser?
Don’t be nervous; it’s not so difficult.
You’ll be relieved to learn about your technology options and ways to build community, even online.
Is a virtual event as good as an in-person event?
Depends on how you opt to measure it.
All things considered, no, I don’t think so.
But my advice is to play the hand you are dealt; don’t keep throwing in your cards hoping for a better hand — it might not come.
And for more insight to auction galas and COVID-19 strategy, click here.
Mary OKeeffe says
Living in a small rural area of Northern California our dinner/dance/auction sees about 200 attendees raising $23,000 through dinner tickets, silent auction, card games and live auction. Our area has very poor internet serve so it concerns me that will be a problem in hosting a virtual event/auction.
Sherry Truhlar says
You are right to be concerned, Mary. I don’t have a perfect answer for you.
Do you feel comfortable / is it legal to host in-person?
Alternatively, how about a raffle? Sell 200 tickets at $100 each (or some variation) for a magnificent prize? You can get great consigned trips for $3k. People will eventually travel again.
For years when I’d go back to rural Kansas to visit the homestead, I’d either have to go to the library to get service, or drive to the house of one of my Mom’s friends. I’d park in the driveway and “steal” the wireless internet. That’s right — I’d park in her driveway, working on my laptop in my car. It was such a pain in the ass.
And around 1998, I had a brief stint at a trade association focused on a spectrum we called “wireless cable.” Holders of that spectrum had found they could provide fast wireless internet to rural areas — especially areas without trees / mountains.
Rural areas present special challenges.