My 2020 fundraising season has officially come to a close and what a season it has been.
I had the absolute pleasure of partnering and consulting with clients as they swiveled to a new way of fundraising. Virtual events aren’t new, but for non profits that have always hosted in person fundraising events this swivel required a leap of faith on their part. And understandably, before they could take that leap they wanted to know the answers to some questions.
- Will people show up to a virtual event?
- Will we be able to connect with our audience and motivate them to give?
- Will we raise the money we need and want in order to continue to support the communities we serve?
So many valid questions and as I reflect on this wild year of fundraising I am excited to say that the answer to all of the questions is an exuberant YES! And the reason for this answer is quite simply, connection.
CONNECTION IS KEY!
It always has been and it always will be. It doesn’t matter If we are pre, smack in the middle, or post pandemic, people give to causes they feel connected to.
And when you increase the connection between your guests and your mission you increase the number of people who give as well as the amount and impact of each gift. And the truth is that the person you hire to ask for money during your event plays a critical role when it comes to increasing connection.
It doesn’t matter if you are hosting an in person event, virtual, or maybe you are combining the two and going for a hybrid event.
CONNECTION IS KEY!
I take my role as a consultant, a partner in fundraising, emcee, and auctioneer, very seriously and I am deeply honored and incredibly grateful to work with so many organizations that engage in life-changing, and yes, life-saving work. They all had to make difficult decisions about if they should swivel to virtual and if so how should their event look?
Every non profit that chose to do a virtual event was able to create an experience that was unique to their organization and felt right for them. When we think virtual it’s important to remember that technology doesn’t change that much. Sure, you absolutely need internet connection if you want to connect virtually. And yes it’s true you can stream from a production studio, or your living room from your laptop, but that’s not where the beauty is. The beauty and excitement comes from being able to harness the technology to create an event that feels perfect for the organization. An event that honors and respects the communities they serve and at the same time shows gratitude to the people who donate. And these two things are not mutually exclusive because being on the receiving end of services doesn’t mean you don’t support financially and being a donor doesn’t mean you never rely on services. So creating an inclusive event is so important.
I know many people can’t wait to get back to in person events. I get it, I really do as I too love the energy that comes from an in person event and when that energy is responsibly harnessed it can be a powerful force of good. But truth be told the longer I am in partnership with virtual events the more I grow to respect and admire how truly wonderful they are.
If you are starting to think about fundraising in 2021 and beyond and you are ready to disconnect the computer and cancel your internet, my advice is to press pause. Press pause as you remember that connection is key and that connection is powerful regardless if the connection is experienced at an in person event or a virtual event.
Reach out, let’s connect and continue the conversation about creating a powerful connection with your audience as a way to increase fundraising during your events.
ABOUT DEBBIE SCHEER
Debbie Scheer is a humorist speaker in Denver and she is also an event emcee in Denver as well as across the country. She is also a professional speaker, humorist, emcee, and auctioneer whose mix of heart and humor brings inviting energy to every event she hosts. Her magnetic presence draws in audiences and makes a room come alive with purpose, connection, and laughter. If you are interested in hiring Debbie, please contact her today!