At Events Unleashed, we understand that change is the only constant in the event business, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to like it. In fact, change can be a huge obstacle for some companies and non-profit organizations to overcome. This can especially be a problem when your key stakeholders object to significant event changes, even when it’s absolutely necessary. And now, more than ever, the pivot to virtual events is absolutely necessary.
So how do you get your key leadership and stakeholders on board with an unfamiliar strategy?
Leverage Crisis management skills
If your corporate or non-profit event historically takes place in-person or you've already spent months planning it that way, communication is key to getting your key stakeholders on board with your new, digital event solution. To ease them into the process, you’ll need to channel your crisis management skills by:
Keep in mind, not everyone feels comfortable with the digital landscape, and when people feel forced into something they’re not comfortable with, they panic.
As a leader in the event industry, we realize we help our clients anticipate objections, provide analytics and best practices, and develop communication strategies at all levels putting our clients team at ease. We understand that you'll need to address concerns including:
Panic and push back are natural reactions when key leaders and stakeholders are bogged down by perceived limitations, especially when in-person events have been the standard and/our bread and butter for so long. Focusing on what's hindering your output, emphasize to your key leadership the benefits of digital events. Here are just a few to help get that conversation started.
Virtual events for non-profit organizations deeply reduces traditional event budget's biggest line items, specifically venue rental feeds and catering charges. The data currently reflects that many non-profit organizations and corporations are saving up to 80% by pivoting virtually. Let's break that down virtual event cost savings measures a little further:
Virtual events shrink some of the most expenses line items, giving your budget the breathing room to explore the tech solutions your stakeholders think are unattainable. When you go virtual, you are the venue. And who doesn't love that?
Direct Access to Donors and Millennials
When you leverage new technology to innovative, chances are high that tech savy donors and millennials will flock to what you're doing. Generation Y puts a higher value on screen-based interactions than any generation before them, so why not capitalize on all that real estate?
Millennial attendance is especially key to your event if it includes a charitable component. A 2014 New Horizon Media study found that 81 percent of millennials expect corporations to put their money where their mouth is and contribute to philanthropies. If your event includes, or can include, components relating to charity, climate change, or sustainability, you’re going to want to engage millennials in the medium where they are most comfortable.
Our earlier point on cost-savings applies to attendees as well. Virtual events provide more access for a more diverse and inclusive audience, particularly those who desire to participate but may not be able to afford ticket prices, travel, budget for meals, air fare, hotels, keepsakes, even cocktails for the after-hours networking crowd. It even becomes easier for those with disabilities to attend and participate in your event. Essentially, when you go virtual, you’re breaking down the barrier to entry and providing your non-profit organization or corporation access to a whole new group.
And a secret bonus benefit: You'd be surprised how many introverts can more easily come out of their shell when behind a screen. You just might meet potential donors, sponsors, or fans you never knew you had.
Remember, arguments in the face of crisis lead to more crises. When you’re able to listen, relate, and communicate, your odds of getting your event stakeholders on the same page are significantly boosted.
We'd be delighted to support you with all your virtual event needs, please contact us to learn more.
With COVID-19 causing waves worldwide, we are finding a divide in the United States, with many states extending stay-at-home orders while others are slowly working to reopen with restrictions in place.
During this time at home, the event industry has taken a big hit. Many non profits rely on the funds raised through galas, and with the orders in place restricting large gatherings and events, raising money during this time may seem somewhat impossible. Events Unleashed wants you to know you can still raise the money you need during this time, and that we are here to help!
More options than you think
As a non-profit, you have more options than you think when it comes to raising money during this pandemic. Even through devastating times, people are still willing to help, so it's important not to get discouraged!
1. Raise through your website and social media
Now more than ever, engaging with your audience on social media is a great way to gain support. Revamp your website and/or social media, create content that really gets your mission across, and let your followers know they can donate (big or small) with an easy click of a button. Create an easy donation process on your website or use Instagram's new donation sticker option.
2. Postponing your event
Postponing your event is a great alternative to canceling. The event industry is working hard to get all the events that needed to be canceled moved to late 2020 or early 2021. It's not too late to postpone yours!
3. Online/Virtual Gala
Turning your event virtual is a great way to keep your fundraising goals up to date. With easy ways to go live (like Facebook Live), you're still able to have silent auctions, live auctions, paddle-raises, online donation options, text-to-donate, and more! You can provide your audience with fun and entertainment from the comfort of their homes. Reaching out to guest speakers or performers and asking them to participate can also help raise engagement.
To learn more about a virtual gala or event, contact us today! We'd love to help you navigate the online event space while providing support during planning.
Be sure to check back for more planning tips & advice and follow us on our Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date with our recent events and inspo. Let’s Unleash Together!
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Post written by Kaley M. for Events Unleashed.
Articles in Tech Crunch, Mashable, and others can support you by walking you through the new Instagram launch of fundraising for non-profit organizations with 100% of funds raised directly to the non-profit organization!
For Instagram Live Donations:
To start a Live Donation, open Instagram on your phone, tap the camera icon on the top left, choose Live on the bottom of the screen, select Fundraiser, and choose a nonprofit you want to support. Instagram says that all of the money raised will go directly to that organization.
As an added bonus, Instagram has also launched another new feature for donations through Story stickers. Now, when someone donates to a nonprofit through a sticker, they get to unlock an "I donated" sticker for themselves.
Taking advantage of Fundraising for Non-Profits on Instagram:
First things first, in order to take advantage of fundraising on Instagram as a non-profit organization while live streaming, you will have to meet the requirements below and follow these steps:
To raise money on Instagram, your nonprofit must:
Adding a donate button to your nonprofit's Instagram business account
To add a donate button to your nonprofit's Instagram business account:
Share with us, what does that mean for your organization?
The Coronavirus has done a lot of damage but there is some good that we can attribute the our current situation, specifically innovation. As a successful non-profit event planner in Austin, Texas it is imperative that in a tech city that virtual events meet tech. Below are 4 key things that you should know to setup a successful virtual event.
1. Not all platforms are created equal. The exist but a SWOT analysis is necessary for you to ensure that you are on the right platform for your audience. A quick and dirtly list of great plaforms to consider are:
2. A live event is not an online event and should be treated as such! A live event should be at or less than 30 minutes. The following graphic outlines an example event flow.
3. Is this thing on? The best thing you to do is test, test, and test again. If your audience cannot hear the brilliant live event that you planned it would be a real bummer! Consider investing in high-quality sound and even higher quality camera/video.
4. Engagement is critical. Comments in live events should be expected and having a clear communication strategy is key to leveraging the opportunity to develop even more raving fans! Plus, there are tools out there that allow organizations maximize donations during the live event!
If you are looking to get assistance or find the right tool for a virtual event, we would love to chat about your unique online experience. Contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, we are here to help!
It is so fitting in this time that we band together to share great information when we come across it. We all know that we need to communicate and stay top of mind but to whom and when? The blog post below outlines some key tips that you can implement in your non-profit organization today!
As is the case during any situation, the more you segment your communications for specific audiences, the more likely those communications are to resonate with the recipient. Now, however, is a critical time to take inventory of your most valuable supporters (can’t lose people) and reach out contextually.
The following list of 10 supporter segments should be your top priority. What you say to these folks doesn’t have to look wildly different. Pick up the phone, break out the stationary, or fire up your personal email. Say thanks, recognize the type of supporter that they are/their past support, and remind them you’re still here and that you’re still providing services that are invaluable (or will resume doing so soon). But most importantly, check in to see how they are doing.
Here’s the list:
1. Top 80% of your funding (probably <20% of your donors) – Following the Pareto Principle, a majority of your funding is likely coming from a small, select group of donors. This is the only segment where gift amount comes into play.
2. “Long-term-loyals” (3-5+ years of giving) – According to Jerry Panas, these are the donors most likely to leave you a bequest later in life, regardless of their age, wealth and giving amount right now.
3. Monthly donors – With household budgets about to tighten, it’s possible that monthly expenses will start to go on the chopping block. Support for your org won’t be if you have checked in to say how much they’re appreciated. Do it now before the economy worsens.
4. Longtime corporate sponsors – Some of these folks may be especially hurting right now. Check in to see how they are doing. Perhaps have a board member or the head or your org reach out to their owner or CEO.
5. P2P fundraisers – Not, P2P donors. P2p fundraisers, the folks that in the past have gone out and done Facebook birthday fundraisers or ran a 5k for you. You might be leaning on them very soon to raise money for you again on social media.
6. Those who actively engage with you on social media – These are ideal, future P2P fundraisers, as well as those who can spread the word more broadly when you might need it. Start keeping track of who is and has in the past liked, commented and shared your posts.
7. Volunteers/members who have not donated – With in-person volunteerism likely prohibited, perhaps monetary support can be a replacement for volunteer hours. Members or direct service recipients (think YMCA) who cannot come on-site for classes, workouts, etc. may be willing to donate above their membership fees to keep the facility afloat.
8. Those with scheduled pledges – Similar to monthly donors, this is expected revenue that you don’t want to miss.
9. Board members – Do you have 100% board giving? Now is the time to ask if you’ve been avoiding the issue. Get them involved in calling, emailing or writing the other nine groups in this list. Messages coming from board members will have just as much if not higher significance than your staff.
10. New donors within 90 days (this should include Giving Tuesday and Year-End donors) – These are the donors at most risk of lapsing (other than P2P and Memorial/Tribute donors). Retention rates here are around 20%, and your window to retain them is already closing. Research shows that the faster you thank a new donor, the better:
“I could always expand giving a little, but I try to hold back in case there is a major need at one of the organizations I support. I always like to have a little in reserve in case a special need comes along.”
“There were two instances this year where I made gifts over and above what I had intended and they both involved personal contact from someone in the development office (director or gifts officer). Being thanked for my previous gift was much more persuasive than receiving multiple emails and direct mail letters.”
Many of these segments will include small donors. They are now more important than ever!