While in-person fundraisers are a popular way to engage with your community, and raise funds for your important cause, adding virtual fundraisers and hosting hybrid fundraising events is a smart way to broaden your reach, and ensure the maximum number of potential participants are able to join in on the fun.
Many organizations are now turning to hybrid fundraisers with great success, combining the best parts of in-person fundraising with virtual events to create a highly accessible experience that can live on well beyond the actual event date.
Here are three reasons you should consider hybrid fundraising for your next event.
Engage working parents with hybrid fundraising events
In-person fundraising events can offer the excitement of a party or celebration, however, they are limited to that specific time and place.
While your fundraising team may be conscious of the challenges working parents face with their demanding work schedules juxtaposed with after-school activities when planning your in-person fundraising event, there will always be potential event attendees who just can’t find the time to attend, or are unable to secure a babysitter or family member to care for their kids during that specific time frame.
This means you might be missing out on a large number of potential donors who would happily engage with your organization, but are unable to because they can’t attend your in-person fundraising event.
With a hybrid event, you’re essentially meeting your donor where they are, and capturing the number of busy working parents who may want to support your cause, but just aren’t able to attend your event. An online giving option helps reach these potential supporters.
The flexibility of hybrid fundraising events gives potential donors many opportunities to participate:
- An online silent auction for all attendees, in person and online.
- A recorded video of the event with the chance to donate after the event is over
- A virtual event on social media, like a Twitter party—if your event is fance, you could encourage people to create a virtual gala in their own homes
- Any of these hybrid fundraising events allows a larger audience to attend and gives them more flexibility
Be accessible to all and extend your reach
No matter how accessible your in-person fundraising event might be, there is always the potential that you could be reaching more people by offering the option of at-home participation with a virtual fundraiser as well, creating a hybrid fundraising event.
Including a virtual component, whether it’s a Livestream camera, a Zoom party room, or even an online event via live social media, you’re ensuring that all people, regardless of ability, are able to support your cause and participate as virtual attendees.
Even though your hybrid fundraising event might not be customized to specific participants, offering them a variety of ways to attend beyond the scheduled in-person event feels personalized; attendees can potentially pick an option that works best for them, thus increasing the opportunity for them to participate and donate to your cause. And it shows that you’re invested in including as many people in your community as possible, not just in the event, but in your organization as well.
Extend the reach of your budget
Hosting a successful fundraising event comes down to the size of your budget, which is why many event organizers are looking to hybrid fundraising to help extend the reach of their investment as part of their fundraising strategy.
And because virtual events are much more affordable, you can cut the costs from your larger in-person event – food, drinks, entertainment, and more – by hosting a hybrid event: a small, more intimate in-person event, supported by online opportunities that allow you to funnel more money to the fundraising campaign.
While some virtual fundraising approaches require the purchase of special software or hardware, depending on what you’re attempting to incorporate into your event, your organization will be able to use those investments year after year to achieve your fundraising goals, and more frequently. Just think about how your organization might use online silent auction software that would track the auction item donation and participant lists, ticket sales to a live auction, and host events several times throughout the year, or even as ongoing events.
Using an online fundraising platform as a donor management tool will help you set up and manage recurring donations, list potential donors in your donor base, save online donation forms to be reused – all saving you time and helping your fundraising effort
While in-person fundraising events are returning to popularity, adding a virtual element and increasing online fundraising and hosting a hybrid fundraiser combines the best of both worlds: the opportunity for guests at the live event to enjoy an evening supporting their favorite cause, as well as the potential for many more possible donors through your virtual fundraising event, many of whom may have never been able to attend an in-person event, to participate, all while saving your organization money and increasing donor engagement.