Don’t Cancel That Fundraiser!

Why and How to Fundraise Now

These are not — shall we say — straightforward times for nonprofit fundraising. Many of our customers won’t be able to hold their traditional gala events this fall.

In addition, local businesses have taken an economic hit that may make it difficult for them to offer the level of support they have in the past. Potential supporters may also be feeling financially constrained. However…

We talk to a lot of nonprofits, and we know your funding needs have only increased over the last several months. Community organizations are seeing more demand than ever for the services they provide, and they’ve had to rethink how to safely provide them. Schools have had to invest in technology and training for delivering online curricula and programs. The bottom line — your bottom line — is that your organization needs to raise money now more than ever before. 

You’re still out there, every day, providing critical services. You can’t afford to take a year off from fundraising. And although times may be tough, your long-time supporters need to be reminded of the important work you do and asked to contribute. We hate to say it, but if you don’t reach out and ask your supporters for help, another organization will. And you might find yourself second or third in line for their assistance next year, when things are back to whatever passes for normal.

That’s WHY you still need to fundraise this fall. Here are a couple of ideas as to HOW you can do so safely:

  1. Host a Virtual Live Event. 

Plus and Premium subscribers now have the ability to host a single-screen, livestream plus bidding event, right on their sites. 

Your guests can watch your auctioneer and emcee, or other entertainment, while bidding on your virtual live items and/or donating in your virtual paddle raise. The feature is extremely low-latency — less than a second depending on the broadcast method you select. This means your viewers see and hear your auctioneer virtually in real time. The feature also includes a live chat, so your supporters can connect and cheer each other on while they bid.

The Virtual Live Auction feature is designed to maximize your event planning flexibility. So if you’re hoping to have an in-person gala this fall, that’s great. We really hope you can. But if things go sideways, you can convert your site from an in-person to virtual event with a single click. 

From a financial perspective, we’re seeing really successful virtual live auctions among our customers so far. Well-promoted virtual events are meeting or exceeding their fundraising goals. 

But their success extends beyond dollars raised today. Virtual live events bring your supporters together to celebrate the work you’ve done, and they foster a sense of community and common purpose. All of which builds momentum for your future fundraising efforts.

  1. Run an Online Auction

You can run an online silent auction as a stand-alone event, or as a lead up (or follow up) to your virtual live event or in-person gala. Online auctions are easy to set up and, thanks to the automated features in the software, they pretty much run themselves. To make your online auction really shine, curate a selection of items that have broad appeal, display well in your catalog, and are likely to generate a lot of bidding interest. Then pull out all the stops to promote your online auction.

  1. Launch a Crowdfunding Campaign

You can look beyond auctions — and your known supporters — to raise money for the critical services you provide. With our new Crowdfunding Campaigns, you can highlight specific needs or specific programs, and harness your supporters’ social-media networks to invite a broader audience to support those programs.  Post a video explaining the impact of your group’s work and your donors’ dollars; set up a dedicated Cash Contribution Fund to collect the money raised; and promote the page to your supporters. They’ll be able to make donations, leave comments, and share the link easily with their networks.  We’d love to show you how it works. Sign up here for a demo.

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