Although COVID19 restrictions are currently being lifted, it’s unlikely live fundraising events will return to normal for some time.
Charities, non-profits and community causes need to plan for on-going disruption to fundraising events.
While large gatherings may get the green light in the near future, it doesn’t mean we’ll return to the size and scale of fundraising events we’re used to:
· Interstate and overseas travel is likely to be restricted or scaled back for some time.
· The economic downturn will impact some people’s ability to support fundraising events.
· Social distancing measures will reduce guest numbers and potentially ticket sales.
· Lingering anxiety around infection spread will keep some people away from live events.
When they do happen, fundraising events are likely to be smaller, less well attended and low-key. All of which will impact organisations’ ability to raise funds.
The road to recovery sounds like a long and difficult slog. But, there are opportunities that will generate positive outcomes.
Hybrid fundraising events can maintain fundraising momentum while also extending fundraising reach. Hybrid not only has the potential to keep charities going, it can also be a spark for growth.
Simply put, it’s a mix of live on-site fundraising and virtual fundraising. Two elements; one event.
The live on-site fundraising event runs as normal e.g. gala dinner, live fundraising auction or school raffle. It is them complemented by an online element.
Let’s look at some examples:
1) A gala dinner with a live and silent auction
Virtual supporters live stream the event, including auctioneer and auction. They participate using digital donations or online bidding.
2) School raffle
Tickets are sold to on-site and remote participants via digital platform. The draw is made on-site with remote participants notified of the results via real-time SMS
3) Fundraising music festival
On-site festival is live streamed to people who cannot make the event in-person. Fundraisers can sell virtual access tickets or use the live streaming to encourage direct donations during the event.
A hybrid fundraising event needs simple to use, integrated technology. Live steaming, auction bidding, raffle, donations are all contained within a single platform.
The digital solution has to be a part of the event. That means it needs to carry event branding to make sure on-site and virtual guests feel fully part of the fundraiser.
Fundraisers will need to have access to audio and visual equipment that will allow them to broadcast the content. Depending on the event, this will be easy to organise via AVC suppliers.
Although on-going restrictions continue to hamper charities and non-profits ability to raise much needed funds, hybrid events will create opportunities for future growth.