How to Host a Virtual Spring Gala
ZGIVE’s online auction app is a turn-key solution for nonprofit organizations looking to host their spring galas from a safe distance. Discover how ZGIVE’s exclusive Text-to-Give, Link-to-Give, Text-to-Engage, Scan-to-Give, and virtual auction features can help you exceed your gala’s fundraising goal.
Virtual Spring Galas - The Basics
Traditional spring galas are best known for gathering and energizing donors for one big, fancy in-person dinner. Typically, these include auctions, raffles, performances, testimonials, and guest speakers before “the big ask.” For many charities, spring galas are often its biggest fundraiser of the year.
With COVID restrictions and social distancing measures still in place, traditional in-person galas are not going to be a viable option for most. The good news is, virtual spring galas can still be just as effective for nonprofits to engage donors and raise funds.
Before we dive into what to do before, during, and after a virtual spring gala with the ZGIVE online auction app, consider these basic tips for pivoting your spring gala online:
Most supporters are “Zoomed out.” How can you make your virtual event a unique experience? Consider mailing a physical gift to registrants beforehand that they can enjoy during your gala. For example, a bottle of wine or a gift card to order dinner from a local restaurant.
Online engagement is possible! Consider using formats that would drive engagement such as texting or using chat throughout, and allowing attendees to keep their screens on. It can also be fun for attendees when you ask questions and invite attendees to participate.
Believe it or not, the majority of donors give the same amount online as they would in person when asked directly. Even major donors. So, don’t be shy or hold back when you make “the ask”!
What To Do Before Your Virtual Spring Gala
Before your virtual spring gala, Text-to-Give can help you sell more tickets and raise additional funds. ZGIVE’s Text-to-Give feature can be added to all save-the-dates, RSVPs, email registrations, and flyers for your event. Be sure always to include Text-to-Give instructions as well, as some donors may be more comfortable with this feature.
What To Do During Your Virtual Spring Gala
At your gala, you can include ZGIVE’s Scan-to-Give feature on graphics, itineraries, slides, and donation pledges, and sign-in forms. This allows donors the option of quickly scanning a QR Code to reach your donation page. To garner more Scan-to-Give donations, you could also try a ‘donate-to-win contest’ in combination with the Live Auction feature, where anyone who donates via QR Code scanning is automatically entered in to win a prize.
What To Do After Your Virtual Spring Gala
After your fundraising event, be sure to send out an email to event attendees. Explain how you are now connecting with donors via mobile, and invite them to join your mobile donor community via a Text-to-Join campaign so they can receive updates, future event info, and more throughout the year. With ZGIVE’s Text-to-Join feature, you can build your mobile base to stay connected with your donors, closing the gap on your retention rates. This is invaluable! Each year, U.S. charities lose between 50-55% of all new donors.
The Bottom Line?
ZGIVE’s online auction app makes giving easy to manage for development staff and fun for donors to use for virtual spring galas. Want to dial it up a notch, host a virtual auction during your Spring Gala for added fundraising opportunities!