To say the last few years forced non-profits to be more creative than they’ve ever been is an understatement. First, non-profit organizations had to raise money during a time when meeting in-person was out of the question. Then, non-profits had to navigate the post-pandemic reality where some things returned to normal and other pandemic adjustments stuck around.
Luckily for us, the HGAFundraising community offers a wealth of expertise we can lean on. Recently, Matt Burnell, Founder and CEO of ClickBid, joined our webinar to discuss how non-profits can incorporate the things we learned over the past few years. Here are 4 fundraising trends he predicts will help you raise more money for your non-profit.
Streaming fundraising events offers an opportunity to raise additional funds beyond the event attendees. ClickBid’s average remote donation is $500, so even one donor brings an additional $500 to your organization.
Matt Burnell wants to see non-profits continue offering a virtual component to allow donors out of town to participate in the giving. As he rightly points out, people have been phoning in to donate or bid on auction items for decades, so it’s not a new or difficult undertaking. There are several ways non-profits can do this.
The first is selective streaming to cut out the aspects of the fundraising gala that only benefit in-person attendees. Watching people socializing or eating dinner would be boring for people streaming the event. Instead, non-profits can stream the foundation director’s speech, the ask, and the auction portions of the evening.
Another option is to have a podcast team that walks around conducting interviews while event attendees socialize. There is a secondary program for virtual attendees during the social portion of the fundraising gala.
Technology makes this really easy to do. ClickBid has a streaming platform built into their donation page. There is no extra production cost to stream your event. If you have an AV setup at your event, then you already have everything in place to stream or selectively stream your fundraising event.
Jason Ledlow is a fan of saying that if you want to raise $100,000 at a fundraising event, you need at least $50,000 raised before the event through underwriting opportunities and sponsorships. In addition to that, you should be getting donors excited about the event and the items up for auction.
If you use bidding software, you can encourage event attendees to register ahead of the event and browse the items available in the live and silent auction. You can also advertise these auction items on your social media pages and via email so that virtual attendees will get excited about the items up for auction.
We have found that unique packaged items or experiences perform the best in live and silent auctions. Amazon has made it easy for people to buy physical items and get them delivered to their door. They can even order these items at a fundraising event instead of bidding on them. This limits the number of bids and the amount they raise for your non-profit.
At the end of the day, donors are consumers, so your auction items need to capture their attention. Your auction items need to be something that they can’t just find on their Amazon app. For example, we’ve seen schools raise vast amounts of money by auctioning prime parking spaces or dinner with the principal. We’ve also seen a lot of success by combining a number of items and experiences to create a unique, high-value auction item.
Short-Form Video Content
One trend that has only continued to grow post-pandemic is short-form video content. It is an excellent way for non-profits to expand their reach. TikTok, Instagram, and even YouTube are prioritizing shirt-form video content, and there is more demand than content on many of these platforms.
Your short-form video content doesn’t have to be a high-production undertaking. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past few years, it’s that the most successful non-profits are those who embrace creativity and aren’t afraid to push the envelope.
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