With the ability to reach larger and more diverse audiences, engage new speakers and sponsors, reduce costs, and lower the barriers for attendees to participate, virtual fundraisers have proven to be even more effective than traditional in-person events.
As quickly as companies worldwide have adopted the virtual model within the past year, virtual fundraising itself has rapidly evolved, becoming increasingly engaging for participants in an attempt to replicate the benefits of in-person involvement.
As you plan your next virtual fundraiser, here are 4 tools to make your event more engaging to increase participation, reach your donation goals, and acquire lifelong supporters.
Live Donation Tracking
Similar to how watching people donate at an in-person event motivates others to do the same, displaying donations as they are made compels virtual viewers to participate. You can also display a text-to-donate number so that viewers can make contributions in the moment they feel inspired and see their donation appear on the screen for all to see. Using Pledge’s Donation Overlay, which includes both a live donation tracker and instructions on how to text-to-donate, results in much larger returns versus traditional methods (up to 3x and 10x, respectively).
“The Pledge platform allowed us to not only to actively solicit donors in the moment, but also surprised and delighted them with live display of their individual and collective giving. In an age of philanthropy when an omnichannel approach is vital to cutting through the noise, the Pledge platform provides a new age solicitation method and eases the process of giving.”
-Eric Holderness, Associate Vice President of Development at Kansas State Foundation
Incentivize Donors with Shoutouts
If you’re live streaming your event, make the most of the live donor feed by providing shout-outs to donors in real-time. You don’t just have to focus on the big contributors, but highlighting varying donations can encourage and incentivize others to do the same. Pledge’s virtual donation overlays, which can be integrated on all livestream platforms, makes it easy to do just that.
Sending donors a virtual background to use provides the following benefits: Provides a cohesive environment and community, which is difficult to create virtually, builds brand recognition and if utilizing your logo and website information, can serve as a free form of promotion and makes donors feel as though they are a part of the organization and in support of their mission. It also eliminates the bystander effect, where audience members are motivated to receive this visible recognition by donating.
Follow-up with Donors
Making a virtual fundraiser engaging doesn’t end with your livestream event. Build relationships and show appreciation for donors by accessing their information through our Impact Hub. You can follow-up with donors through email, but be intentional about how you do this. Research shows that most prefer personalized “Thank You” letters to emails, while also seeing examples of the impact of their donation through either success stories or impact metrics, and that typically, organizations should wait seven or more months before asking for a second, or recurring donation (Software Advice Survey).
While fundraising online has been available to organizations and individuals for years, it’s become clear that virtual fundraising and all its benefits still outlast the pandemic era and into our “new normal.” We look forward to serving you and helping you increase your effectiveness when it comes to fundraising online, in-person, and beyond. To get started, create your Pledge account or claim your nonprofit today.