The Covid-19 pandemic, and subsequent social distancing guidelines, have meant that many in-person fundraising events, seminars and training courses have been postponed or cancelled. Instead, there’s been an increased uptake of these events and fundraisers online. Even with lockdown restrictions easing, virtual events appear to be sticking around for a little longer.
One type of event that’s particularly taken off, are webinars. Webinars are effectively a virtual seminar that’s held entirely online. Given the current climate, this makes them invaluable to charities. But, if you’re thinking about setting up your own fundraising webinar, perhaps you’re not entirely sure how they can benefit your nonprofit? Why are they so vital to your charity work?
When planned correctly, webinars can be a great way to help your fundraising campaigns; they promote your charity’s cause and impact, as well as reaching wider audiences that you would have not originally had access to. In the blog below, we’ll explain exactly why webinars are so important to nonprofit organisations, as well as everything you need to get started with your own!
Let’s dive in.
Why are webinars important to charities?
There are many different reasons why fundraising webinars are so important to charities. For example, they’re a good way for nonprofits to:
- Introduce their organisation and mission to new audiences: With virtual webinars, anyone in the world can attend. This means you have access to new audiences that may have never heard of your organisation before.
- Increase fundraising efforts: You can use fundraising webinars to promote your charity’s campaign, pushing for donations and support like you would in an in-person event.
- Keep in contact with donors: Webinars allow existing and previous donors to attend, no matter their location. They help you to keep them engaged and on your side.
- Publicise success stories: Use webinars to shout about your charity’s case studies.
The main purpose of a webinar is to put a group of people into discussion. Like an in-person seminar, attendees gather to listen and discuss various topics that are relevant to that charity.
Effectively, this means that you can use them to conduct any of the above, but completely online. Webinars also help you to continue your fundraising events and discussions virtually, in a way that complies with social distancing restrictions.
So why are webinars so popular with charities and nonprofits?
- They’re cost-effective: No extra money will be spent by your organisation on travelling, venue hire and refreshments for attendees. All you’ll need is a reliable webinar platform.
- They save you time: Because there’s no need for you and attendees to travel, this saves time for both parties. Anyone can attend the webinar, no matter where they are in the world. As long as they have a good internet connection!
- They encourage more people to attend: Because webinars are easy to attend, they inadvertently encourage more people to register to join. Plus, if they miss it, they should be able to access a recording of the webinar later on.
- They can be used as a future asset: The recording of your webinar can then be reused for your charity’s social media and/or website content.
What do you need to set up your own fundraising webinar?
So now you know why webinars are so popular, and why they’re vital to charities, it’s time to look at how you can host one yourself! It might seem overwhelming to plan your own webinar, especially if you keep getting swamped by the specifics and meeting planning.
However, they’re actually pretty straightforward to plan. Here are three things you need to start:
An audience and topic
The attendees of your webinar are the key to its success. That’s why it’s important to find out ahead of time what your audience wants and/or needs to hear. You need your audience to have an interest in the webinar programme before it actually goes ahead. Speak to your audience to find out if they’re interested, what’s the best time and date to host your webinar, as well as the key topics they want to discuss.
Set a date and time
Set a date and time for your webinar based on what your audience’s time preferences are. This can be tricky, as if you have multiple people attending from different locations or time zones. However, try and find a balance as best as you can; this might mean that you have to run multiple sessions throughout the day to be fully inclusive.
A streaming platform
And lastly, of course you’ll need a webinar hosting platform to actually run your fundraiser! Lockdown has boosted the popularity of Zoom for meetings, and event platforms like Everywhere+ (that’s us!) can create engaging experiences for big impact. There are plenty of other platforms out there to suit any budget or requirements. Pick a platform that you know how to use and has the features you need, as well as one that pushes simplicity. You need your attendees to know how to access and use it too!
Get involved with Fundraising Everywhere’s May Data Slam 2021 Webinar
It’s not too late to register for our May Data Slam 2021 webinar! In the webinar, we’re talking all about data and how fundraisers can use this to communicate with their donors and form stronger relationships.
The event will take place on Thursday 13th May 2021 and starts 2pm BST (9am EST). The entire summit is being broadcast online and will be three hours long. If you want to get involved, you can book your ticket here. If you’re already a Fundraising Everywhere member then there’s no need to register, as the event will be subtitled and recorded for you to watch back at any time for 30 days post-event.