We knew our fundraising clients were going to flex their smarts to keep motoring through the challenging lockdown period. What we didn’t realise is they would maximise the virtual space to beat the success of their physical events.
Two recent virtual fundraising campaigns are worth throwing the spotlight on.
This well-established and much loved charity was headlong into its live fundraising event planning when COVID-19 struck.
Lockdown meant Jeans for Genes could no longer go ahead with the Gala event so many people had worked hard to organise.
Rather than cancel or reschedule, Jeans for Genes decided to go-ahead with the event but make it a Virtual Gala. It was a huge success.
The charity not only matched the amount raised in previous Gala events, but also significantly reduced the event’s set-up costs.
This is how they did it:
With no venue restrictions, the Jeans for Genes Virtual Gala could invite as many people as they like! Guests could ‘attend’ from out-of-town, interstate and even overseas. This gave the event a huge support boost by increasing participation numbers.
A meet and greet with Masterchef judges, signed celebrity jeans from Tim Cahill, a private lunch with leading cancer researcher Professor Roger Reddel – yep, people are going to want to dig deep for exclusive, money-can’t-buy experiences.
The online auction had plenty of prizes to suit tastes and budget, but these big hitters raised nearly 20% of the overall total.
The charity treated the virtual event like its physical event. They organised a roster of great entertainment, high profile speakers and streamed quality broadcast via a professional studio set-up.
They even issued an event themed menu and cocktail recipe for people to create at home.
Small causes can be mighty, especially when they have a dedicated and loyal supporter base.
FBi Radio is Sydney’s only independent youth radio station. It has an impressive listenership of 500,000 – a huge achievement for a relatively niche station.
The FBi Radio relies heavily on donations to keep the station running. Its biennial Art Auction (featuring established and emerging Australian artists) is a significant highlight on the station’s fundraising calendar.
2020 was the first the art auction to be held 100% online. The auction beat the fundraising target by over 10%!
This is how they did it:
FBi Radio knows its audience, mainly because the people listening are the same as people running the station; young, passionate about music and social media savvy.
The social media fundraising campaign was extensive and covered all key channels. The campaign utilised the tone and voice listeners associate with the station.
Charities can struggle to communicate how funds raised are used. A large organisation may spread proceeds across multiple projects, which can make it hard for supporters to make a tangible link between their donations and the end result.
For FBi supporters the end result is clear: keeping the station on air. And it’s not just an altruistic effort, if supporters keep the station running they get to enjoy the shows and music they love.
The fundraiser featured prominently on the station schedule. The auction culminated in an hour-long countdown, with a livestream Twitch party featuring DJs and listener song requests.
It was an excellent way to recreate the excitement of a live event countdown, ramp up bidding before the auction close and make supporters part of the fundraiser. The FBi Radio fundraiser truly felt like a collaboration between the station and its supporters.
If you want to help support these two great causes, you can make a donation:
Jeans for Genes: https://www.cmri.org.au/Virtual-Gala
FBi Radio: https://fbiradio.com/support/