Whether you’re a solo fundraiser or a part of a national charity, it’s likely that you already know the importance of hosting fundraising events. 

Not only are they a great way to raise money, but they can also spread awareness and attract future sponsors to your chosen cause. Unlike cold calling or sending mass emails to raise support and much needed funds, fundraising events are a much more efficient and personal method. But fundraising events aren’t limited to just in-person charity events. In fact, now more than ever, it’s important to get creative with your fundraisers. 

The more unique your fundraising idea, the more likely it is that you’ll engage supporters. The best part? It doesn’t have to involve a lot of work either! The best fundraising ideas can be made with careful planning and lots of creativity. We’ve put together a list of our top ten unique fundraising activities that are sure to engage people to raise money for your nonprofit, whilst still having fun while doing it.

Let’s dive in!

Here are ten unique fundraising activities for you to consider

Unfortunately, Covid-19 is still having an impact on the charity sector. The virus is still at large, making it impossible to go ahead with hosting most in-person fundraising events. However, there are lots of ways to fundraise when in-person events aren’t an option!

From virtual video game tournaments and online cookalongs, to mixology classes and remote fun runs, the possibilities are endless. You don’t need a huge budget; all you really need is a core message and a unique activity to attract attention!

Video game tournament

Video games are no longer limited to teenagers playing Fifa or Minecraft in their bedrooms. Virtual gaming is a million pound industry that continues to gain in popularity with the innovation of online streaming platforms such as Twitch. 

It only makes sense that nonprofits start using these platforms to their advantage. You can set up a virtual gaming tournament and ask supporters for donations to take part or place bets on the results, with all the winnings going towards your charity’s chosen cause. 

Remote 5K run or cycle

Running or cycling challenges are not a new idea, but they’re a firm favourite that can raise a lot of money for your nonprofit. And just because big in-person fun runs or cycling races aren’t possible with Covid, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be done remotely! 

These 5K races can be hosted virtually, all you need to do is to charge registration in the form of a donation. You then encourage the participants to complete the distance in their own time by themselves. The runners or cyclists can then share their time and route via apps like Strava.

Eco fines

This is an activity that pretty much anyone can take part in; from supporters to your fellow work colleagues. The idea behind eco fines is that when someone does something that isn’t considered eco-friendly, you give them a small fine which they must donate to your chosen cause at the end of the month. This can be anything from leaving a light or computer switched on, to printing unnecessary papers. 

Online cookalong

Some of the best fundraising activities involve food, and they’re popular with both fundraisers and attendees alike. Encourage people to channel their inner Gordon Ramsey or Nisha Katona with an online cooking class. 

Your nonprofit can partner with a local restaurant or chef and charge admission donations to attend the livestream. You could even go one step further by including incentives for big donations by offering one on one time with the chef after the cooking class has finished.

Marathon event

Marathon events don’t have to be related to running! This type of fundraiser can be used for football, rugby, tennis, swimming, pool or any other sport or hobby that works for you. 

Once everything is set up, you can livestream the entire marathon event virtually on your nonprofit’s website. You can raise funds by encouraging people to donate to spur your marathon efforts on. Think Joe Wicks’ 24-hour charity workout marathon for Children in Need.

Spinning 

Spinning is a form of indoor cycling that asks gym enthusiasts and cyclists alike to sweat for a good cause. 

You can partner with a local spinning studio or gym and ask people to take part for a suggested donation. Local instructors can lead the spinning class through an energetic and fun workout to raise funds. You can even put on post-spin refreshments/food for an after-workout fundraising event.

Silent auction

By shifting your silent auction to a virtual event, it actually becomes even more accessible for more people. You can promote the auction prizes in an email campaign and on your social media platforms to engage potential attendees. You can then take advantage of the opportunity to ask for donations throughout the event too.

Virtual pet event

Virtual pet fundraising events are so successful because people love to show off their furry friends. These events can be great in getting people involved with your nonprofit online. Usually, all you need to do is to ask people to take a picture of their pet and post it to social media using a curated event hashtag.

Virtual pet events will help to drive engagement across your social media channels through user-generated content. The more people engaged on your social channels, the more likely they are to offer their support for future fundraising campaigns.

Mixology competition

Hold a virtual mixology competition to see who can create the best cocktail in honour of your charity. Charge an entry fee that will go towards your fundraising target, and encourage people to take part by offering a lucrative prize for the winner. Users can submit their ideas and videos of their cocktail making skills via a social media hashtag. Make it more inclusive by adding an alcohol-free element!

We can help you plan your own virtual fundraiser

If you’re looking for external support with planning your fundraising efforts, Fundraising Everywhere is here to help.

Through virtual conferences, monthly webinars and virtual support, we connect you directly to the proven methods, people, and new ideas that are guaranteed to help you raise more money. This means you can learn wherever you are, in your own time, and at an affordable price. 

If you’re interested in finding out how we can support you, feel free to reach out. A member of our team will be happy to speak with you about your charity.

The mental and physical wellbeing of fundraisers and charity workers has been tested a lot this past year. The coronavirus pandemic has turned the fundraising sector upside down, and placed added stress on the fundraising efforts of non-profit organisations and fundraisers.

With the start of a new financial year, and with lockdown restrictions beginning to ease, the wellbeing of professionals in the charity sector has never been more important. However, it arguably has never been at more risk either. As the leader, or member, of a non-profit team, how will you balance the need for income, delivery and security with both your own, and your colleagues, wellbeing needs?

That’s why, this month’s webinar is a virtual summit focusing on wellbeing in the charity workplace. If you’re looking to support yourself and your team, then our Fundraising Everywhere Charity Workplace Wellbeing Virtual Summit is something you wouldn't want to miss.

Take a look at our insight into the summit below, including location, time, date and speaker highlights.

When and where is the event taking place?

The Charity Workplace Wellbeing Virtual Summit  is taking place on Thursday 22nd April 2021 and starts at 12pm (BST). The entire summit is being broadcast online and will be three hours and fifteen minutes long. 

We’re happy to announce that our sponsor for the event is the world's leading cloud software company, Blackbaud, who power social good. The virtual summit is also hosted in partnership with Claire Warner. 

What is being discussed at our Charity Workplace Wellbeing Virtual Summit?

Our virtual conference is looking to address the root cause of wellbeing within charity organisations. We’ll be looking at how a non-profit’s culture and processes can be changed to reduce employee burnout and improve productivity. The event is for staff and leaders at charities who care about the wellbeing of their fundraisers.

During the summit we will host a variety of sessions, including:

The event will be subtitled and recorded, and made available online for members who could not attend.

Key speakers

Professor Cary Cooper: Psychologist

Cary is a psychologist and a world-leading expert on wellbeing within the workplace. He’s the 50th Anniversary Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at the Manchester Business School, University of Manchester.

Janet Leighton: Director of Happiness at Timpsons

Janet is the Director of Happiness at Timpsons, and she will be talking about how her company put people at the heart of everything, and ways in which the charity sector can replicate this!

Paul Amadi: Chief Supporter Officer at British Red Cross

Paul is the Chief Support Officer at the British Red Cross, one of the world’s leading charities. He is also a fellow of the Institute of Fundraising, and has served as chair of the International Fundraising Congress, Europe’s largest annual gathering of fundraisers.

Simon Blake: CEO at Mental Health First Aid

Simon Blake is the Chief Executive Officer at MHFA England. He’s dedicated his career to working with young people and has a long track record of championing difference and creating platforms for people’s voices to be heard.

How to get involved

If you’re interested in attending our virtual summit, early-bird tickets are now available. But hurry, you have until the 15th April to get yours. You can purchase a ticket online. If you have additional accessibility needs please email: [email protected] before April 15th. 

We look forward to seeing you there.

Fundraising Everywhere is pleased to announce that our new website is now live! After months of design, planning and hard work, we’ve finally launched a new site where fundraisers and Fundraising Everywhere members can access our online resources and get involved in our friendly online community. 

Since our foundation, Fundraising Everywhere has always looked to lend a helping hand to fundraisers everywhere, whether they’re an individual or work as part of a bigger non-profit organisation. 

A good fundraiser knows that the actual asking of money is only a small part of the whole fundraising campaign. The real time-consuming and important stuff happens before and after the asking of money. That’s why we offer support to fundraisers; through virtual conferences, monthly webinars and virtual support, we connect them directly to the proven methods, people, and new ideas that are guaranteed to help them raise more money. 

We hope that with the launch of our new website, we can continue to help give fundraisers the clarity, confidence and connections for success. Take a look at some of the new features we’ve added to the website, and how you can get involved, below.

What do we currently offer fundraisers?

Access all areas membership

Users can become a member and get instant unlimited and extended access to our Fundraising Everywhere live webinars and online events.

Pick and mix events

Membership isn’t for everyone. That’s why we also give users access to anything from a full online conference to a single virtual event, for an affordable one-off fee.

Support in hosting your own event

Need helping hosting your own fundraising event? Run your own online event effortlessly, with our trusted platform and management package.

What new features can users access with our website launch?

So what new features are available to users and members? As well as all the above benefits, our new website also allows users to do the following:

Join our community of fundraisers

If you’re a fundraiser, and are interested in getting support with your fundraising efforts, then Fundraising Everywhere are here to help. Unsure why you should join? Here’s three simple reasons why:

  1. We’re affordable: Fair prices and free places for small charities. Pay-what-you-can and pay-it-forward tickets are also available.
  1. We’re accessible: Learn on your own terms, on your own turf, at a time that works for you. 24/7 access to all our videos which are always subtitled.
  1. We’re interactive: Feel free to ask questions, talk with other participants, and expand your network with our interactive chat features.

Get in touch today to see how we can help your virtual fundraising efforts.

As the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic continues, it’s clear that virtual fundraising campaigns are here to stay. Last year, thousands of in-person fundraising events were cancelled due to Covid-19, but the charity sector adapted quickly to virtual fundraising. As a result of this, nonprofit organisations have survived and look set to continue to grow in 2021.

Many charities are using virtual fundraising software and live streamed events as a new way of raising some much needed cash to support their cause. If you’re yet to hold your own virtual fundraiser, we’ve put together this handy guide on everything you need to know about the virtual fundraising world.

What is virtual fundraising?

Virtual fundraising is a nonprofit campaign or event that is held entirely online. There are all sorts of different types of virtual fundraising, but the main take is that it allows supporters from all over the world to engage with your cause.

What are the benefits of virtual fundraising?

One of the most important benefits of virtual fundraising is that it allows nonprofits to engage with their supporters and donors in a safe environment. This is especially important at the moment, where social distancing guidelines are still being enforced. 

As well as safety, virtual fundraising events also allow charities to engage new attendees, speakers, and sponsors in new locations across the globe. They also tend to be more cost-effective compared with traditional in-person events. Your organisation doesn’t have to pay for things such as venue hire, and participants aren’t required to pay for a hotel or transport to your virtual fundraiser.

What do you need to host a virtual fundraiser?

You might think that hosting a virtual fundraising event is a lot of work. Well, it doesn't have to be. Most organisations only need a few resources to set up their own online campaign. Of course, you’ll need to utilise technology so that you can engage your audiences and generate results for your cause. 

As long as you have a plan of action and either an online live streaming or fundraising tool you can ensure your virtual fundraiser is a success.

Who can host a virtual fundraiser?

One of the best things about virtual fundraising is that anyone, in any organisation, can use it. In the past, the lack of widely available technology meant that virtual fundraising events and campaigns were only used by charities with big budgets, but much has changed since then. Virtual fundraising software is arguably more accessible than ever, with a variety of solutions and technologies available for nonprofits of all different sizes. 

The different types of virtual fundraising campaigns

Virtual fundraising can easily be adapted to suit any type of campaign or event. Even though they’re all based online, these types of fundraisers are flexible enough to fit whatever idea your nonprofit has in mind. Here are a few of the most effective virtual fundraising campaigns you can incorporate into your strategy.

  1. Online Auctions: These virtual auctions are essentially the digital equivalent of an in-person charity auction. You can host one using bidding tools and online auction software to engage your supports and encourage bids.
  1. Virtual Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Most peer-to-peer campaigns already take place online, so this makes them easy for you to incorporate into any virtual events that you’re already hosting. Set up virtual challenges, walks and runs, or find ambassadors to generate excitement and drive engagement to your fundraiser.
  1. Virtual Fundraising Events: With Covid-19 stopping most organisations from hosting any sort of in-person event, moving it to a virtual format is definitely the best alternative. Through video streaming software you can basically do everything you planned to do in your in-person fundraising event, but virtually.
  1. Hybrid Events: Hybrid events are when your organisation holds an in-person event with an online component for any supporters who are unable to attend the onsite fundraising. When social distancing restrictions begin to ease, this type of event will become more common if venue attendance figures remain limited.

Do you need support with your virtual fundraiser? 

If you’re looking for support with your virtual fundraising efforts, then Fundraising Everywhere is here to help. Through virtual conferences, monthly webinars and virtual support, we connect you directly to the proven methods, people, and new ideas that are guaranteed to help you raise more money. This means you can learn wherever you are, in your own time, and at an affordable price. Get in touch today to see how we can help your virtual fundraising.

The past year has been difficult for many. The outbreak of coronavirus in March 2020 threw the world upside down. Many industries struggled, including the charity sector, which saw thousands of in-person fundraising events cancelled or rescheduled. Arguably, there has never been a more important time for your fundraising strategy to be perfected.

That’s why, this month’s webinar is a joint venture between Fundraising Everywhere and 3rd Sector Mission Control, bringing you the first international conference dedicated solely to Fundraising Strategy. Whether you’re a sole fundraiser, a fundraising leader, working as part of a team, or a non-fundraiser looking to support your non-profit organisation, our Fundraising Strategy Virtual Summit is something you won’t want to miss.

Take a look at our insight into the summit below, including location, time, date and speaker highlights.

When and where is the event taking place?

The Fundraising Strategy Virtual Summit is taking place on Thursday 18th March 2021 and starts at 12pm (GMT). The entire conference is being broadcast online and will be four hours long with two sessions running concurrently. There will be two streams for attendees to choose from:

Attendees will be able to ask questions to speakers live on the day. There will also be recordings available for thirty days to all attendees to watch in their own time.

What is being discussed at our Fundraising Strategy Virtual Summit?

The conference focuses on the theme of how you can build your fundraising strategy and how to implement it successfully. The sessions will feature practical advice you can apply to your fundraising strategy, case studies, and opinion pieces from fundraising experts across the globe. 

The aim of our Fundraising Strategy Virtual Summit is to not only inspire you, but to give you the confidence and skills to shape and implement your charity’s fundraising strategy. During the day we will look at a range of topics, including:

Key speakers to look out for

Cherian Koshy: The data you need to make decisions

Cherian Koshy is an internationally recognised expert in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. He works with hundreds of non-profits each year to help them solve their most intractable problems. With over 20 years of experience, he is one of the most sought-after trainers and speakers in the non-profit sector. As a coach and consultant, he helps struggling non-profit leaders find strategies that give them back time and develop sustainable revenue.

Chloe Amstein: Strategy is a feeling

Chloe is a fundraising strategy consultant with over 15 years of experience. She’s worked for WaterAid, Good Agency, and now, as a consultant, she gets to call charities like British Red Cross, FareShare, Teenage Cancer Trust and Barnardo’s her clients. Chloe specialises in individual giving, legacies, innovation and everything in-between.  

Rhodri Davies: Fundraising post-pandemic & beyond

Rhodri Davies is Head of Policy at Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and also leads Giving Thought, CAF’s in-house think tank focussing on current and future issues affecting philanthropy and civil society. He has researched, written and presented on a wide range of topics: from charity taxation to the civil society applications of cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence.

Zoe Amar: How to bring people with you, particularly trustees and non-fundraising team members

With twelve years’ experience as a charity trustee, Zoe Amar is widely regarded as one of the charity sector’s leading digital experts. She founded digital agency and social enterprise Zoe Amar Digital in 2013, and her clients include Sense, Anglia Ruskin University and The School for Social Entrepreneurs. Zoe was also recently voted one of the 25 most influential charity leaders by Charity Times.

Maeve Strathy: Maeve's Top 10 fundraising tips for 2021

Maeve Strathy is a passionate and driven leader in fundraising and marketing. As Blakely’s Vice President, Client Relationships, Maeve is proud to lead a team of Strategists and Account Managers, working together to meet and exceed their clients’ fundraising goals. She is enthusiastic about coaching teammates to bring out their strengths and make the time they spend working fun and purposeful. 

Wayne Murray: Human focused strategy

Wayne is founder of Humanity Squared, and his focus is on innovation, transformation and human-centred strategy. He has worked in the charity sector since last century; half charity side and half agency. He has held senior leadership roles for Amnesty International, Refugee Action and Prisoners abroad, where his focus was on step change, transformation and people power. His agency side roles have seen him work with over 100 charities and NGOs, all with the aim of connecting people to causes they believe in, and mobilising them to drive positive change. 

How to get involved

If you’re interested in attending the conference, you can purchase a ticket online. 

As a ‘thank you’ for buying your ticket, you will be able to enter into a draw to win a free day’s consultancy with Mandy Johnson from Sketchnotes UK and Richard Sved from 3rd Sector Mission Control, who will both help you hone your fundraising strategy.

There will also be bonus download sessions and resources included in your ticket.

We can’t wait to see you there.

Planning a virtual fundraising event, especially if it’s your first one, can seem pretty daunting. We all live busy lives, and as a result, fundraising might not be your top priority - especially if you factor in the work involved in actually setting up and hosting your own event. 

But even if your time and resources are limited, fundraising events might not be as complicated and time-consuming as you think. All you have to do is make sure you’ve covered all the key components. Whether your fundraiser is big or small, we’ve put together a step-by-step plan you can follow inspired by our brilliant Fundraising Everywhere speakers to ensure that your fundraising event is a success.

Step 1: Outline the purpose of your fundraiser

Ask yourself, ‘what is the purpose of this fundraising event?’ 

Perhaps you’re hoping to raise money at the event, but the main focus is to spread the word about the work your charity does or reach out to a new audience? Are you targeting a large group of people who don’t know much about your chosen cause or a smaller group of regular supporters and donors? 

It’s vital that you make it clear to everyone involved what you’re raising money for and why. This will help your fundraising donors to know the impact their participation or donation will have, as well as making them connect to your cause on a personal level as well. 

Step 2: Set a fundraising goal

Once you’ve outlined the purpose of your fundraising event, you need to decide how much money you plan on raising. For example, if the sole purpose of your fundraiser is to generate donations, everything will be geared towards raising a specific sum of money. 

The amount of money you choose should be what you hope to to raise after expenses of the event are deducted. Of course, your goal doesn’t necessarily have to revolve around how much money you can raise, but, if you are thinking of having a set figure to work towards make sure it’s a realistic amount to aim for. 

Step 3: Create a budget

Most charities and non-profit organisations have tight budgets to start with, so making your own budget for your event is crucial. 

Budgeting is a good way to ensure that you won’t overspend when it comes to organising the elements of your fundraiser. Think about how money will influence the activities you’re hosting. For example, the cost associated with big events can increase gradually as the number of attendees goes up. This could then affect how much you charge for attendance.

Alternatively, hosting a virtual event can help to control and minimise the costs of food, space, and materials, as well as ensuring the safety of attendees during the pandemic. Whatever your plans are, be sure to leave a little wiggle room in your budget for any unforeseen costs.

Step 4: Plan everything up in advance

Both you and your event staff should plan and set everything up well in advance. This includes all the particulars of the fundraising event, so make sure you have the following questions covered:

Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get set up, and don’t be afraid to ask for external support if you need it.

Step 5: Spread the word

Making people aware of your fundraiser is vital to its success, as without any guests or attendees you’re not going to meet your target goal. There are plenty of ways in which you can tell people about your fundraiser, but one of the best and most cost-effective ways is to use social media. 

Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter can make people in the community aware of your event quickly, and at no additional cost to you. If you do have a bit of budget for advertising, paid adverts on these social platforms are often much more effective at drawing attention to an event than traditional media.

Having a good marketing strategy will not only help you get attendees, but it can also convince supporters that your charity and fundraising event is worthy of their time and money. Get the word out early about your fundraiser and then follow-up to find out who is planning on attending.

Need support with your fundraising efforts?

It can take a lot of money, skill and finesse to plan a successful fundraising event, so if you’re looking for external support with your fundraising efforts, Fundraising Everywhere are here to help. 

Through virtual conferences, monthly webinars and virtual support, we connect you directly to the proven methods, people, and new ideas that are guaranteed to help you raise more money. This means you can learn wherever you are, in your own time, and at an affordable price. If you’re interested in finding out how we can support you, get in touch with us today. 

2020 was a challenging year for the charity sector, but it also proved that it is resilient and versatile too. The coronavirus outbreak caused the economy to go into recession, something which has historically led to a decrease in charity donations in the past. But surprisingly, according to a recent study by Open, donations actually increased during the first national lockdown in the UK.

The rise of virtual fundraising events and other innovative solutions for charity organisations everyday operations meant that plenty of support and donations were still being made during the pandemic. With 2021 well underway, there’s no doubt that there’ll be plenty of new challenges for charities who are looking to navigate the ‘new normal.’ We’ve put together some of our predicted fundraising trends for 2021 that are set to define the charity sector.

Virtual events are here to stay

The biggest impact that coronavirus had on the charity and fundraising sector was the cancellation of thousands of in-person events. In response, there was a drastic shift from in-person fundraisers to virtual ones. With Covid-19 continuing to impact the world in 2021, it’s no surprise that we predict that these virtual fundraising events will continue. This is because they allow charities to:

Hybrid events that combine small in-person events with virtual audiences will also continue to grow in 2021, as Covid restrictions are set to be in place until June at the earliest. Hybrid fundraisers are great at balancing both aspects of physical and online events. They allow organisations to comply with social distancing measures, as well as maintaining personal elements that are often missing for virtual events.

More digital fundraising

With the continued use of virtual meetings and events, it’s not surprising to predict that digital fundraising campaigns will also be popular in 2021. They’re simple and cost-efficient, something that most charities and nonprofit organisations are looking for as a result of the pandemic.

Crowdfunding, digital auctions, pledge drives and prize draws don’t require a lot of time and only a small amount of work involved. Even simply adding a donation button to a charity’s website can bring fundraising success with little effort. Online fundraising was increasingly adopted in 2020, and it’s set to continue to grow throughout this year too. For more ideas, read this post from QGiv.

More donors will come from social media platforms

2020 saw plenty of people go online and proactively engage donors in virtual social spaces. This year, charities and non profits will have to continue to look for support on the online platforms where audiences spend most of their time. They can do this by strengthening their presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, as well as creating a presence on up-and-coming social platforms like TikTok.

Live streaming is another exciting trend for 2021. By engaging your supporters through live video streams, you’re creating a new source of engagement and revenue for your charity organisation. You can also use it to show supporters the direct impact your charity has had with the simple click of a button.

Get the most out of your team with Fundraising Everywhere

Seeing these predicted trends, it’s no surprise that digital fundraising efforts will continue to grow online. If you want to get the most out of your virtual fundraising, we’re here to teach you the skills you actually need to raise more money for your charity.

Through virtual conferences, monthly webinars and virtual support, we connect you directly to the proven methods, people, and new ideas that are guaranteed to help you raise more money. This means you can learn wherever you are, in your own time, and at an affordable price. See how we can help you, today.


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.