Selling Tickets to Virtual Nonprofit Events
Posted on June 14, 2021
Charity events like auctions, 5km runs, etc. were the mainstay of nonprofit fundraising till the end of 2019. In 2020, when the COVID 19 pandemic struck, nonprofits were left stranded!
How to organize fundraising events? How to connect with donors? How to raise brand awareness?
These were some of the questions that cropped up and needed to be addressed. While the nonprofits were struggling with these aspects, people in general and businesses had other issues to face! The economic downturn, health and safety issues were just the tip of the iceberg.
People across the globe were struggling with health issues, financial losses, loss of jobs, new norms of living, etc. In this tumultuous scenario, it is heartening to observe that the attitude of “giving” among people continued.
This implied that the onus was now on the nonprofits to connect with those who were willing to donate. And, this is where several nonprofits struggled initially!
Unfortunately due to the challenging circumstances, several nonprofits were forced to close down. However, some nonprofits adapted better to the changes and planned effective strategies to cope with the situation.
As we progress into 2021 several nonprofits have now learned to thrive in the new normal. One of the main takeaways from 2020 was that fundraising events are going to be virtual until the situation improves.
Virtual events have certain drawbacks. For instance, there is no physical interaction between participants, nonprofit organizations and participants need to familiarize themselves with technology, online fundraising strategies will have to be planned, etc.
However, looking on the brighter side, virtual events have a much wider reach. A nonprofit can connect with the audience from different countries. Besides, nonprofits now have an opportunity to engage a much larger audience. Also, the investment for engaging the audience virtually is much lower than that for a physical event.
So, if virtual is the only way, nonprofits need to think out of the box and organize creative events that can engage the audience.
Some of the most popular virtual fundraising events for nonprofits
- Online Auctions
- Virtual Galas
- Online Team Games
- Peer-to-peer Fundraising
One of the biggest challenges virtual events face is holding the interest of the audience throughout the entire duration of the event. Event hosts need to pool in the best ideas to organize engaging events.
Some of the best online events include
- An eminent individual as a keynote speaker.
- Keep the event duration under an hour.
- Drive engagement through high-quality content that adds value to the guests.
- Organize events that offer an opportunity for the attendees to interact through polls, chats, etc.
How do you do a virtual fundraising event?
Establish Your Goal
When organizing a virtual fundraising event, you need to clearly establish your goals. Your goal could be a specific amount of funds you need to generate through the event, or if you are trying to attract new donors or retain old donors, increase your brand awareness. Having clarity of your goals will simplify the process of organizing the event.
Understanding your Audience
Once you have determined the goals of your fundraising event, you need to plan the event so that it engages the audience. Therefore, you need to understand who your audience is and what they like/dislike, what their needs are, etc. This will help you organize the event customized to their needs.
Select the Mode of Online Event
An online event means an interactive zoom meeting or webinar for most people. However, there are different modes of delivering online content in an event.
- Live Streaming: It is an online event held in real-time with active participation from the attendees. However, live streaming requires technological expertise for successful hosting. Live streams are quite popular and can be fun for the participants.
- Pre-Recorded: In this case, compelling videos are created and recorded before the actual event. This is best suited for event hosts who are not very tech-savvy.
- Streaming: This is ideal for one-time events that are available on a specific day and time.
- On-Demand: The event is available to the audience for a specific time frame. These events can be watched again and again by the interested parties.
You can choose the mode that is best suited to the type of event you are hosting.
Before hosting the event make sure that the following aspects are on track:
- Plan the event well in advance with your team. Take care of all aspects of your event such as logistics, event platform, ticketing, etc.
- Create a list of attendees and send the invitation emails to them.
- Ensure that your technology is working seamlessly at least 24 hours before the actual event.
- Make sure that your linked donation pages, chats, etc. are in order before you start the event.
- Send reminders to your guests a week, a day, and an hour before the start of the event.
With all the above aspects in order, we come to a vital question, “How do I sell my fundraiser tickets online?”
For the past few years, even before the pandemic struck, most nonprofits had started using online methods for selling tickets for events. Several event ticketing platforms are available for nonprofits to streamline the ticketing process.
Here are some best online tickets sales practices for nonprofits:
Your online event page is something that informs your audience about your event. Create an attractive event page with an eye-catching image or a video. Make sure that your event page is aligned with your brand and it clearly communicates all details such as the event lineup and sponsors, and other relevant information about the event. This page should provide the contact details of your organization.
The page should be easy to navigate with a clear CTA (Buy Tickets). Make sure that the event page is mobile-friendly and loads quickly on different devices.
Hassle-free Payment Process
It is recommended that you provide your guests a seamless payment process. Using automation simplifies the ticketing process. Several nonprofits are using an automated process wherein a confirmation for the payment and the tickets are emailed as soon as the payment is made. Virtual event platforms like iConnectX include such automation that simplifies the process of selling event tickets.
Hosting virtual fundraising events is less expensive than a physical event because of the reduced overhead costs. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep the price of the tickets for your virtual event on the lower side.
Make Sure your Tickets are Ready at the Initial Stages
As soon as you conceive the event, there will be many supporters of your nonprofit who will be ready to purchase tickets. So, make sure that your tickets are ready as soon as you start planning your event.
Clear Ticket Descriptions
Clearly communicate details of your event on the ticket such as the date, timings, login, password, dress code, if any, etc. It is a good idea to communicate how the funds raised will be used. Be creative and write a concise description that covers all aspects.
Email drip campaigns are extremely effective in creating awareness about the event and driving sales.
Social Media Campaigns
Make sure that you leverage different social media channels to spread the word about the event. Create social media campaigns tailored to different platforms to create a buzz about the event.
Incentivize through Pricing
You can increase your ticket sales by offering “early bird discounts.” You can use the data on the tickets sold for creating urgency among your audience for ticket purchase. You can send messages on social media and other channels like, “X” number of tickets left! Buy before they get sold out!
A little creativity and out-of-the-box thinking can help you organize engaging fundraising events. The success of a virtual event depends to a large extent on the technology used. Several event management platforms with different features are available for hosting nonprofit events to choose from.
iConnectX is one of the best platforms for hosting nonprofit events! This platform includes all the features required for an efficient virtual event planner!