In addition to a global pandemic and economic downturn, 2020 brought a new set of challenges to the nonprofit sector and changed the course of fundraising trends into 2021 and beyond.
The importance of virtual events and why they will continue to be part of fundraising strategy for 2021 and beyond.
With COVID-19 still raging across the United States, it appears many organizations will choose to continue the trend of either keeping their events completely virtual, or opting for a hybrid option. The key here will be to assess what your donors will be most comfortable with – do you have some donors who want to attend an in-person event, while the rest prefer to watch from the comfort of their couch? In this scenario, we’d recommend either our Hybrid Event package or Hybrid Premium package, which allow you to meet the needs of each type of donor. Perhaps your city or state still has pretty tight restrictions on in-person gatherings and events, limiting your options. If that’s the case, we’d recommend either our Starter or Virtual Live Stream package, designed to fit a variety of virtual auctions and events.
Virtual or hybrid events may remain a trend even beyond 2021 and COVID-19; we live in an increasingly digital world, with streaming becoming dominant across many types of platforms, in many areas of our lives. Even after the masks come off and crowd size is no longer a public health concern, virtual streaming may be a way to reach a broader audience with your message and mission!
Prepare to proactively engage donors where they spend their time.
From online shopping to social media to virtual events, there’s no doubt about it: the general public spends a lot of time on their digital devices. Now, more than ever, a potential donor can be reached through any one of their screens, and it’s time for nonprofits to seize the moment. It’s time to up your social media game, cater your events to the digital donor, and make sure your fundraising and donation pages are optimized not just for web but mobile devices. HelloFund offers both a virtual auction and fundraising platform that can help you be ready to meet your donors where they’re scrolling, with easily customizable features and an aesthetically-pleasing mobile interface.
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Plan for a diverse fundraising strategy to remain nimble in times of uncertainty
Now, more than ever, you don’t want to be putting all your eggs in a single basket. We’ve seen so many of our clients get creative with the HelloFund platform, using store pages to meet specific needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, to creative peer-to-peer fundraisers that got their board members involved in a fun challenge. Most recently, one client had the idea to utilize both our fundraising and virtual auction software to create a more intimate virtual event experience. For their virtual auction, they’re planning on creating peer-to-peer fundraising pages for each of their board members, designating them as virtual “table hosts.” These board members will reach out to their networks, all competing to raise the most funds prior to the event; on the night of, they will gather in small groups and pods to watch the live stream together, and the winning table host’s team will receive a prize. We love it!
In 2021, fundraising and annual events will remain largely virtual, and it’s up to the organizations to figure out how to keep their donors active and engaged from afar. Here at HelloFund, we’re dedicated to helping you find creative fundraising solutions to meet your donors where they’re at.
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