The Charity Virtual Event Awards returned for a fourth year to celebrate the power of online events.
Thank you to Headline Sponsor, Enthuse, for being so enthusiastic about online events!
Winners were announced at the Charity Virtual Event Awards on October 26th 2023. They’re awarded a €1,000 donation and one year of free Fundraising Everywhere Membership.
👇 Check out your winners! 👇
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Best Virtual Fundraising Event
Knit Every Day in August took place in 2023, participants were asked to raise sponsorship by knitting every day of the month. We ran the virtual challenge on Facebook and recruited over 1700 people to our Facebook group. From there 665 people registered for the challenge and we raised £70,683. Although the event was only advertised on Facebook, word of mouth, especially in knitting groups, saw many others who aren’t on Facebook join the challenge, fundraising using JustGiving or even the old school paper sponsorship sheet. The community in the group become like a family, encouraging each other, and cheering each other on. They were stewarded by one member of the CHAS team who got to know the participants and answered their queries on a daily basis.
Best Innovation in Virtual Events
The virtual event we are nominating is our Walk 31 Miles in May 2023 challenge. This campaign challenged our supporters to walk 31 miles during May to raise funds for Dementia UK. To make this campaign successful, we utilized various features and strategies. We created a dedicated Facebook Group to engage with supporters, where we saw an average of 1,227 posts daily across two months. The team worked hard to ensure as many posts as possible had engagement, motivation and insight surrounding dementia care and support on. Despite facing challenges, such as a Facebook fundraising crash, we successfully stewarded over 16,700 supporters in this group.
A standout features was our data-driven approach. We identified one high-performing ad that brought in the majority of our sign-ups, and we promptly adjusted our marketing strategy to align with its success. Additionally, we were agile in adapting to feedback and quickly addressed issues, such as switching back to a one-click registration form that improved conversion rates.
Furthermore, we focused on diversifying our fundraising channels, offering specific journeys for supporters interested in offline and JustGiving fundraising. This approach led to 18% of our income coming from JustGiving, with an average gift that exceeded our expectations.
Best Virtual Non-Fundraising Event
Read for Good is a reading charity, encouraging children and young people across the UK to read for pleasure, because children who do so are more likely to do well in school, improve their job prospects, and have better health and wellbeing.
On World Book Day in March 2023, Read for Good hosted a free online ‘meet the author’ event with Sir Michael Morpurgo (renowned author of ‘Private Peaceful’ and ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’.) Celebrating 40 years of his book, ‘War Horse’, this event was open to any school that had signed up to Read for Good’s reading for pleasure challenge, Readathon, across the 2022-23 academic year.
The event was designed to support education, inspire children to read for pleasure, and to share the experience of hearing from an iconic author in an affordable and accessible way. With excerpt readings, a live Q&A (featuring children’s questions), and guided discussion by a Read for Good professional storyteller, the event was inspiring, lively and well-attended. There were over 1,500 registrations for the event from around 650 schools involving over 75,000 children. The event is now freely available on our website, with the YouTube link receiving over 3,300 views to date.
Best Online Stewardship
Dry January®, a Behavioural Change Program, excels as an exemplary online stewardship initiative. Crafted by experts in alcohol harm and behaviour change, it targets those struggling with entrenched drinking habits. It offers a robust approach to fostering behavioural change with a focus on personalised learning and empowerment. Dry January® kicks off with a month-long abstinence challenge, supported by powerful online tools like the Try Dry® app for accountability, daily email coaching, an award-winning blog with inspiring stories, and a supportive online community. Key to its success is the emphasis on education and understanding that knowledge is essential for lasting change.
Importantly, it refrains from dictating specific drinking limits, allowing participants to define their path to a healthier relationship with alcohol. In the digital age, Dry January® exemplifies effective online stewardship by leveraging technology and community support. It empowers individuals to control their drinking habits from the comfort of their homes. It has also played a pivotal role in reshaping societal norms, removing stigma and making it socially acceptable to choose not to drink during January.
Our mission is not anti-alcohol; it’s about championing freedom and choice. We stand for enabling people to make informed decisions about their alcohol consumption, free from societal pressures. This, we believe, leads to healthier and happier lives, a testament to our commitment to best online stewardship.
In summary, Dry January®, through its digital prowess, fosters an inclusive atmosphere, enabling individuals to embrace a healthier relationship with alcohol while championing freedom and choice in a modern, online world.