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Why and How to Host Virtual Fundraisers

In a digital world, campaign strategies must adapt, and one of the most vital aspects to adapt is fundraising. While traditional, in-person fundraising events still have their place, virtual fundraisers offer advantages that first-time candidates can’t ignore. If you're new to the political scene, here's why you should consider virtual fundraisers and how to make them work for you.

Why Go Virtual?

  1. Accessibility: A virtual event is accessible to anyone with an internet connection. This removes geographical barriers, allowing supporters from different states or even countries to participate.

  2. Cost-Effectiveness: Renting a venue, catering, and other logistical aspects of a physical event can be costly. Virtual events cut these costs, directing more funds toward your campaign.

  3. Flexibility: Virtual events can be conducted at various times, making it easier for people with different schedules to participate.

Types of Virtual Fundraisers

  1. Webinars and Q&A Sessions: These informational sessions can be ticketed. Participants pay a fee to attend and have the opportunity to ask questions.

  2. Virtual Auctions: Supporters can bid on items or experiences, with proceeds going to your campaign.

  3. Gaming for Good: Leverage popular online games where players can donate to participate in a game with you.

Best Practices for Hosting

  1. Platform Choice: Choose a reliable, user-friendly platform. Whether it’s Zoom, WebEx, or a more specialized platform like Crowdcast, ensure it’s easily navigable for attendees of all tech levels.

  2. Promotion: Use social media, newsletters, and your campaign website to promote the event. Consider leveraging existing donor data to send targeted invites.

  3. Content Planning: Have a well-laid-out agenda. Include key talking points, special guests if applicable, and clear instructions for how attendees can donate.

Engaging the Audience

Engagement is crucial to the success of any virtual event. Live polls, interactive Q&A sessions, and breakout rooms for more detailed discussions can make attendees feel involved and valued. If you've segmented your donor data, you can tailor these interactive sessions to cater to the interests of specific groups.

Post-Event Follow-Up

  1. Thank You Messages: A personalized thank-you email or video message can go a long way in showing your appreciation.

  2. Feedback: Request feedback on the event to understand what worked and what didn’t. This can be invaluable for planning future fundraisers.

  3. Regular Updates: Keep your donors in the loop about how their funds are being utilized in the campaign.

Virtual fundraisers are not just a pandemic-induced necessity; they are a long-term, sustainable option that offers inclusivity and efficiency. By employing the right strategies, you can make your virtual fundraising event just as impactful, if not more so, than traditional methods.

To help you get your campaign started right, we’ve built the Campaign Readiness Checklist that will help you begin to build a competitive campaign with confidence.

Sign up here to get immediate access to our FREE downloadable PDF - Campaign Readiness Checklist from You Could Run. Click Submit and check your email.

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