2020 Fundraising Part 3
Working from home is the new norm for many. Plenty of companies are asking employees to continue working from home until at least January 2021, and beyond. Similarly, we believe it’ll be a while yet before event fundraising returns to what it was pre-pandemic – that is, if it EVER does. In Part 3 of our series, we’re gazing into our crystal ball and making some predictions for the Future of Fundraising NOW through the end of 2021.
1. Virtual Fundraising is Here to Stay
If live Virtual Galas (VGs) and Fusion Fundraisers weren’t so successful, we’d be chomping at the bit to get back to our “old” model of live in-person events. But our orgs have had SO much success with virtual events this spring and summer, we’re predicting they won’t go away – even when it’s safe to hold large in-person events. We believe virtual fundraising will be yet another tool in big picture fundraising strategy.
2. Elevate with Tech + Innovation
Innovations in technology (live stream software, mobile giving software and decreasing latency) are consistently and constantly improving live-streaming capabilities. Expect these virtual fundraising events to continue to improve their games. They’ll evolve out of the telethon-style programs we’ve seen and more into interactive live-streamed TV shows. Engaging chats, interactive banter and fast-paced fundraising is the new normal in this format! Consequently, crafting the narrative and messaging of your show becomes more important than ever. Stay on mission!
3. Lingering Liability Issues
What’s one of the WORST things imaginable for nonprofit leaders (other than having to close their doors forever or discontinue vital services)? Going ahead with an in-person event too soon and spreading sickness. The liability could be devastating. Until a vaccine is readily available, there will be folks who simply aren’t comfortable going back to in-person events, regardless of what the numbers tell us or how flat the curve is. VGs and Fusion Fundraisers will always appeal to this crowd.
4. Fusion Fundraisers Fill the Gap
You’ll never be able to please everyone, but you can please almost all your donors with a Fusion Fundraiser. It’s a blend of an in-person event and a virtual event – people who are comfortable attending in person can do so, and folks more comfortable at home can participate from home via a live-streamed version of your in-person event!
5. Sluggish Return to In-Person Events
In-person live events will be back some day – no doubt about it. But the events industry as a whole has suffered a devastating blow. Sadly, many of these small businesses will not weather this storm, so securing quality event vendors may be an issue when in-person events return. Consumer confidence is shaken and the economy will likely struggle for some time. As a result, we predict donors will be slow to return to their normal schedule of in-person galas and events. Virtual fundraising feels less frivolous to some donors and they’ll continue to support those orgs they love online and virtually.
Live events are just too much fun, uplifting and lucrative to go away forever. But we also strongly believe that in a post-pandemic world, all events will likely always have some sort of virtual component. They are also fabulous and you’ve got to love the inclusion factors!
6. EVERYONE Can Attend . . .
even if they are elderly, ailing, avoiding crowds, or in a completely different geographical area. The world feels so much smaller when geography is irrelevant, and this means something WONDERFUL for you and your org – UNLIMITED DONORS! We’re always encouraged nonprofits to focus on expanding their donor bases for their causes. Now it’s easier than ever. Ask your donors to invite their friends and family members to watch virtually with them. Assure them the event will be entertaining! Encourage them to have some fun via the live chat. Who knows – maybe someone you don’t even know will be impressed with the great work you’re doing – and maybe, just maybe, that person will become a lifelong supporter. Unlimited guests/donors = unlimited capacity for fundraising!
7. Mobile/Online/Direct Giving Will Keep Growing
Mobile bidding software is convenient, effective, and necessary in today’s climate. Nonprofits are relying on direct giving through websites, virtual events, and text-to-give campaigns more than ever before, and we don’t see that trend slowing down anytime soon. Orgs are heavily relying on these methods during the pandemic, and likely long after, whenever that may be.
Ready to start raising money VIRTUALLY? Reach out! We’ll guide you and share all that we’ve learned through our pivot to virtual. Let us help you be a part of the Future of Fundraising!