Today we're launching the Fundraising Everywhere Fund.

We always try to price our training and events at a level that anyone can access them. For €5 a week to access everything we feel that your organisation will understand that this is a bargain investment in your professional development.

For those whose organisations don't see the value in upskilling you, we still hope our prices are at a level that you can justify self-funding, knowing that on top of access to all of our events our members also get direct access to us for support.

But we've all been in the position where you can't justify another outgoing. You have other priorities and commitments. And we get that.

So we launched the Fundraising Everywhere Fund to help you.

Throughout the year we sometimes have unusual events or circumstances where it doesn't feel right to charge for tickets, but a free show wouldn't do it justice.

In those circumstances we are going to require or request a donation. All of which will go in to The Fund, granting Fundraising Everywhere Membership to people who might normally find it out of reach.

Please note: this is for a yet-to-be-scheduled virtual training session that will be broadcast on FundraisingEverywhere.com at a later date. However, your purchase and donation of €5 will be processed immediately and put straight to good use.

We're going to be following a small charity (Tiny Tickers) as they launch a donor survey from scratch, with help from one of the world's most famous fundraisers, Rory Green.

You can buy your ticket now, with all profits being split equally between Tiny Tickers and The Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Buy/Donate Now

Follow the journey as Rory Green starts a small charity's donor survey from scratch. From purpose and demand, to delivery and results, you'll see everything.

Later this year we'll broadcast a behind the scenes look at the project from start to finish, followed by a Q&A session with the stars.

Don't worry if you miss the live stream…recording will be made available afterwards to watch at your convenience.

All Ticket Sales Will Be Donated and split equally between Tiny Tickers and The Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund

The Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund is a secure way for individuals, philanthropies and businesses to contribute to the WHO-led effort to respond to the pandemic. The United Nations Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation have created the solidarity fund to support WHO and partners in a massive effort to help countries prevent, detect, and manage the novel coronavirus – particularly those where the needs are the greatest.

Tiny Tickers (tinytickers.org) is a small national charity that works to improve the chances of babies born with a serious heart condition.

Rory Green has been fundraising since the age of 10, when she volunteered to help run her school’s annual Bike-A-Thon for juvenile cancer research. Fundraising became her vocation at 14, when she lost a friend to Leukemia. Rory Green has been in the philanthropic sector for over eight years and is currently an Associate Director. In her spare time Rory is the founder and editor of Fundraiser Grrl, the fundraising community’s go-to source for comic relief.

Buy/Donate Now

Please note: this is for a yet-to-be-scheduled virtual training session that will be broadcast on FundraisingEverywhere.com at a later date. However, your purchase and donation of €5 will be processed immediately and put straight to good use.


Expert advice from the charity sector’s virtual summit provider, Fundraising Everywhere.

As the world tries to control the spread of Coronavirus, many countries have identified large public gatherings as an unnecessary risk. This caution, and the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen next, has left event organisers with difficult decisions. Google, Facebook, SXSW, IBM and many more have already cancelled events, and it looks like it won’t end there.

It’s heartbreaking for organisers and attendees and it’s creating another financial burden many of us aren’t in a position to handle. Combine this with the very real environmental impact conferences are already having and it’s clear that something has to change.

Organisers have hesitated in the past about providing a virtual element to their real-life events. The tech can seem complicated, they’re lacking networking and social opportunities, and we’ve all experienced flat and lifeless webinars.

But good virtual conferences are so much more than webinars and running one video after another.

At Fundraising Everywhere we wanted to share some tips to show you how and why you (yes, you!) should be bringing your learning or training event online.

These tips will engage your online delegates, reach new and existing audiences, and make sure you have an event you can run time and time again for the fraction of the cost.

First of all, let’s consider the advantages:

While we don’t think virtual conferences will ever fully replace the real-life experience, there are so many advantages to adding on a virtual element to your existing event, or to simply testing a virtual version before you take the financial risk of rolling out a traditional event.


So let’s do it! Here are your next steps:

Speakers
Some speakers refuse to speak at virtual conferences...and that’s fine. We can leave them to self-isolate and listen to their gramophones. But virtual events allow you to access other speakers who otherwise couldn’t or wouldn’t have been able to attend your traditional event. 

At Fundraising Everywhere we pay our speakers a fixed fee, but we understand this isn’t always possible. However, consider in the early days at least offering a profit-share with your speakers to recognise their time and expertise.

Try to ensure some of your speakers have a large audience and following of their own. You’re counting on them to bring in viewers that you otherwise wouldn’t have tapped in to, and this event is going to allow you to start a relationship with those people directly.

Start with speakers you already know. The trust they have in you from your existing relationship means you can work with them to develop their online content as you explore your first virtual event together.

Film Pre-Recorded Sessions
While you can stream live, we recommend that your event is at least partially pre-recorded. This allows you to do some quality control, add subtitles to make them more accessible, and it reduces the chances of the inevitable tech failures you’re going to experience on the day.

We recommend all sessions feature your speaker talking directly to camera. It’s much more engaging and humanising than watching a static powerpoint slide and there’s nothing worse than watching a speaker talking to a crowded room like you’re not even there. You can still use slides as well, but consider using video editing software such as WeVideo to have your sessions ‘picture-in-picture’.

Lighting is so important. Invest in a cheap ring light or position natural lighting so your face is fully lit from the front.

We also can’t stress how important good sound quality is. Unfortunately, your built-in mic just doesn’t cut it for these length of events. If the sound is too quiet or tinny then viewers start to drift. Invest in a cheap lapel mic or splash out on something a bit more serious. We’re both huge fans of the Yeti mics.

Don’t forget to coach your speakers. This may be new for them, so don’t be afraid to ask them to send through a short test video to make sure you’re happy with how it looks and sounds. You don’t want them to spend hours recording something only for you to discover they did it in portrait instead of landscape!

Also ensure your speakers leave space on their slides or video for any branding or information you’re planning on superimposing later.

Add Subtitles
Subtitles are essential. About 90% of people watch videos with no sound and for many it’s an accessibility issue. Not only that, but subtitles can be translated at a later stage opening up your event to an even wider audience.

There are many services who will do the subtitles for you, who usually charge a dollar or two per minute. This can add up. We’ve become pros at doing this ourselves but if you’re short on time (or patience) get it outsourced.

Alternatively, there are services (including YouTube) who will auto-generate subtitles for free. While it’s quick and cheap, the quality is terrible and you’ll almost certainly have to factor in time to go through and clean these up. We can guarantee there will be at least one swear word.

If you, your team or volunteers decide to do it manually then there are a number of tools out there to help you. But again, we love YouTube for this. It’s free, and allows you to type-and-watch while they set the timings for you automatically. These can then be downloaded or ripped to use on whatever platform suits you.

Choose Your Platform
Every platform offers certain advantages and disadvantages, but firstly consider where your audience is. If you already have a particularly large following on a certain platform then that might be where you start.

Consider these:

Sell Tickets
It’s time to decide whether this is a free or paid event. How much will you sell your tickets for? Rightly or wrongly, people still tend to feel virtual events should be cheaper than their real-life counterparts.  Is there an opportunity to offer free tickets to attendees who meet certain criteria (for example, the Fundraising Everywhere conferences are free to small charities).

Use deadlines and ‘earlybirds’ to offer a sense of urgency in ticket purchases. Virtual events are great because they don’t necessarily sell out. But this can make attendees lackadaisical about booking. You’ll find that your ticket sales will often spike the day before or even on the day of the event!

There are no shortage of ticket selling platforms. Eventbrite seems to be the most popular and they have a really great platform. If you already have an e-commerce feature on your website then consider selling tickets there as well or instead. Most platforms charge a percentage or fixed fee per ticket - Fundraising Everywhere Plus is the same.

You’ll find the same challenges as any sales or fundraising efforts. It’s almost always harder to sell tickets than you think, so consider your potential audience carefully and have a plan in place for how you might access them.

Interact
One of the key differences between a traditional webinar and a truly virtual conference is the level of interaction and engagement offered to attendees. Most platforms allow text-based chat alongside the video and this is a great opportunity for your team and speakers to chat with attendees and answer questions. Some platforms (such as Fundraising Everywhere Plus) even allow attendees to privately chat with each other by text, voice or video while they’re watching your event.

Encourage speakers to ask questions in their videos and prompt viewers to type answers. Read comments and questions during the live segments of your stream so attendees feel more involved. And consider running competitions or surveys throughout the day. You can just stream session after session, but we really recommend a ‘host’ ties them all together.

You can also encourage attendees to watch in groups. For example, Fundraising Everywhere ‘watch parties’ have allowed attendees to access great content on a big screen while still offering real-life networking breaks.

Have A Back Up Plan
Things can and will go wrong. They’re predictably unpredictable so ensure you have at least one backup plan. If your livestream falls apart then pre-recorded sessions give your audience something to watch while you try to get things fixed.

Prepare your ‘technical difficulties’ emails and web pages in advance...just in case. And ensure your audience knows where to go or what to do if something goes wrong.

What’s Your Call-To-Action?
As with all events, this is a great opportunity to inspire people to take action. Be clear about what you want them to do: buy tickets for the next event, donate, sign-up, share...whatever it is...know what your goals are going in to this.

Share your call-to-action through your videos, through captions, in the chatbox and through follow-up emails. People are going to be fired-up during and just after your event. But this doesn’t last forever so try to tap in to this energy while it’s there.

Fundraising Everywhere+

Fundraising Everywhere+ (FE+) is a no-hassle, virtual add-on for your physical conference, or service for virtual-only conferences. 

While you focus on delivering a great event to attendees, we provide the platform and logistics to amplify it to a larger audience across the world. 

You can stream a mix of live and pre-recorded content to support your existing event or provide a virtual-only conference for a global audience. Virtual attendees can watch on any device and virtually ‘network’ with other attendees and speakers through the FE+ platform.

We provide everything from virtual conference curation and speaker stewardship, right through to providing the accounts and streaming platform - so all you need to do is tell your audience where to watch.
We’re already working with some of the charity sector’s top conferences to provide their virtual version. Email us at [email protected] and find out how we can do this for you too.

Last week we ran a member's-only Fundraising Clinic with some really interesting questions and ideas. One question was around what you should say on a thank you call, and how you teach non-fundraiser volunteers how to make them.

For this week's Fundraising EveryWeek we thought we'd share some of our answer with you.

We don't want to overthink or overplan our thank you calls. We're trying to avoid sounding too rigid or formal or scripted. In fact, we don't use a script…I recommend just thinking of a general structure and letting the rest of the conversation flow.

Imagine you're talking to your elderly neighbour, or your friend's parents or a friend of a friend. We're not overly familiar but as non-profits we have the luxury of being a bit friendlier than a bank or insurance company.

This is the structure I recommend:

In reality our supporters are going to take us on random tangents. They don't follow a script…and that's OK. This is an exploratory call where we're listening for information and opportunities and helping our supporter feel heard and fee important.

So let's go through it briefly…

Introduce & Build Rapport
We want to try to take the cold out of the call as quickly as possible. They're suspicious and hesitant so how can we remove that? Tell them why you're calling. Tell them the connection. Tell them what you know about them. "You filled out our survey." "You get our newsletter." "You donated to us last year." Anything that tells them you're not a stranger.

Thanks & Achievements
Thank you, thank you, thank you. You can't thank someone too much, as long as it's honest. In fact we're going to continue thanking them throughout the whole call. Thank you for your donation, thanks for signing up to your newsletter, thanks for making a complaint. There's always a reason to thank someone. So tell them what has been achieved because of them.

Check Data
One of the things I love about phone is that we get something out of it even if it's not a financial ask. Now is the time to double check that address, capture their email address or find out anything else you'd like to know about them.

Feedback
Most importantly, find out what they think. "Why did you decide to donate?" "What did you think of our event?" "What did you think of the news story over the weekend?" Open questions that show your supporter they're valued gets them interested and gets them talking. And that's what we want. The more they talk, the more engaged they are and the more we learn. Asking questions is one of the greatest tools a fundraisers has.

There's more to how we can make them feel great and discover more fundraising opportunities. But that's a pretty good start.

The most important thing is that they get done. They help retain donors, spark further gifts, bring in employers and friends and tap in to volunteers. They're lovely.

Members get exclusive access to a monthly virtual Fundraising Clinic where we answer their specific questions and have an open discussion about the challenges they're facing right now. You can become a member here for only €20 per month.

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