The majority of 2020 saw the cancellation and postponement of in-person events, and this looks likely for 2021 as well.
In-person fundraising events have been fundamental for charities and good causes to raise vital funds, increase engagement with their supporters and help forge strong relationships between donors and their organisation. So of course, the inability to hold these types of events for almost a year has had an enormous impact on charities and their fundraising.
A new normal
We’ve seen tremendous innovation and resilience from the charitable sector through this challenging time. Where they haven’t been able to hold their traditional in-person fundraising events, they’ve taken them online.
We don’t think this trend for virtual events is going anywhere anytime soon by the looks of January 2021.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Charities may have been forced to adapt and take their events online, but there are actually many benefits for charities making things virtual.
What are the benefits for charities taking fundraising events online?
The pandemic may have forced their hand a little bit, but sometimes one door closing is actually an excellent opportunity to open a new one.
Making an in-person event into a virtual one:
- Limits costs
There are no venue hire costs, no catering fees and many of the administrative costs associated with large in-person events are significantly smaller.
- Increases the scope for larger participation
There are no geographical limits on a virtual event (apart from maybe time zones). Attendees and potential donors can attend in the comfort of their own home, as can guest speakers and sponsors. It removes barriers to attendance, such as pricey flights and hotels and other necessities of travel. Virtual events are even better for the planet – If all a guest has to do is switch on their computer, your event will have lower carbon emissions too.
What about when this pandemic is over?
The restrictions we are under won’t last forever. There will be a time when normal life will resume, and charities can get back to their more traditional ways of fundraising.
But what can we take from our current situation? We’ve outlined above, just a couple of reasons why running successful online fundraising events can actually be beneficial to charities.
So perhaps the future is a combination of the two – A hybrid event utilising the best of both in-person functions and online technology.
We’ll have seen some of these already in 2020 (where they have been possible) and it’s likely we’ll see a lot more of them this year. These hybrid events take a small in-person event, and combine it with an additional online audience.
This combination helps overcome obstacles with social distancing at the same time as making things more personal and engaging for their supporters and potential donors.
Those who adapt, survive
All kinds of businesses and organisations have had to adapt over the last year in order to survive. From businesses, to educational organisations to charities – We’ve all seen the need for technology and digital innovation.
It makes sense that the lessons we’ve learnt during this time will carry us forward even after social distancing regulations start to ease.
We’re excited to see how charitable organisations will utilise their new technological experience in order to innovate their virtual fundraising strategies and online events. Watch this space!