Live Chat + Virtual Galas
Virtual events’ secret weapon for increased engagement and social interactions while fundraising. Add energy, excitement and education to your live Virtual Gala (VG) through live chat.
Donors are searching for inclusion – especially in the virtual fundraising environment. Who doesn’t want to be a part of something amazing – like changing the world for the better? Especially when folks feel pretty helpless but want so badly to lend a hand.
When produced thoughtfully, everyone can feel like they’re a part of your virtual gala, even if – ESPECIALLY if – they’re watching from home. The live chat was made for this moment! Here are some ways to help you use live chat to your advantage during your VG.
1. Mission Speak
Your live chat is the perfect place to reinforce your mission, educate new donors about who you are and what you do as well as commune with viewers while making new friends. Assign someone – or better yet, two people – from your org the task of responding to viewers in real time. As part of our Go Virtual! package, we assign a team member whose sole responsibility is to respond to questions and comments viewers at home send in. Rest assured, we speak your mission language! Between our chat responder and your org’s representative, viewers at home have no chance of misunderstanding what they’re watching or whom they’re raising money for. You can really drive home your org’s messaging, when people are reading and participating in a fun, lively conversation about your org.
2. Giving via Chat
This is a valuable and often underutilized feature of your live chat – you can give directly through it! Make it as easy as possible to donate for folks new to you or resistant to registering – and they often do! People don’t have to go to a separate site to donate or register anywhere. The more simple it is for people to give, the better! People don’t even need to be registered for the event to offer a donation via live chat.
3. Cheerleading + Fun
Use the chat feature to encourage people to bid, give, engage and have fun! Your dynamic duo – auctioneer and emcee – are looking for ways to better engage with folks at home, in between selling any fabulous items you’ve procured for your VG. Acknowledging the comments in the live chat is a nice way to keep up the energy during latency – the time between someone placing a bid and your auctioneer receiving that bid. Since your VG script needs to be even more concise than your in-person event script, we don’t ordinarily encourage digressions – UNLESS they’re happening in the live chat! How about the weather – are 95-degree days delightful or insufferable? Organic digressions can be fun, spontaneous and memorable. You can also pepper in fun facts to further educate folks about your org and the people running it – for example, did you know the ED of this nonprofit was a child actor? The sky’s the limit with topics that get folks opining, engaging and chatting – unless, of course, the topic isn’t suitable, in which case you’ll need to…
4. Banish Trolls
VGs are very public – it’s sort of the point. They’ve proven to be a very successful way to broaden your donor base, since they’re not limited by capacity – you can’t sell them out the way you can with an in-person event. And geography is now irrelevant. Everyone and anyone can watch; consequently, everyone and anyone hears about your org and learns about the great work it’s doing. And 99% of the time, that’s a great thing! But you may occasionally land a troll – a bored intruder who’s not necessarily on your side, who posts negative and/or inappropriate things. Grant your org’s representative ‘moderator’ rights to immediately delete these comments if and when they do come in. We’ll do the same from our end. Again, it’s not common, but it’s a good idea to be prepared just in case any troublemakers attempt to mess with your VG.
See all the ways live chatting can be an uber-valuable feature of your VG? It not only helps folks engage and participate, it makes it SO MUCH EASIER to give! The easier it is to give, the more money you’ll make for your org.
Contact us and let’s start planning your virtual event!