Best Practices – Givergy Virtual +

Best Practices – Givergy Virtual +

Best Practices

How long should my event be? 
Traditional in-person galas typically last 4 or 5 hours. Virtual galas should last 30 – 45 minutes – every second counts! It’s important to realise that it’s tough to grab and retain people’s attention with this sort of format, and this must be factored into the ‘run of show’ and content. Think of it as a Netflix show, keep it concise, clear, and entertaining!

When should I host my event?
We’re not met with the same reservations as hosting an in-person gala. Days that were avoided due to people traveling to and from an event are no longer as restricting. However, be mindful of the time you are going to host it – avoid children’s dinner/bedtimes as unlike an in-person gala, there will be no childcare during the event!

How should I market my event?
When hosting a virtual event, guest count restrictions are not applicable, so suddenly your whole database can attend. This makes it very desirable to sponsors, who can now potentially gain exposure to thousands – utilise their database too!
Use the Internet to your advantage with social media sharing; Facebook, Instagram Live videos, Twitter, your own website, email marketing, co-branding with your sponsors, etc.
Think about time frames – send out your Fundraising Website pre-event to get people registered and to start bidding in the silent auction.
Access your ambassadors to create a buzz – celebrity endorsement can really push your campaign out to a wider audience.

What should the tone/tempo of my event be?
There cannot be any lulls, keep the tempo upbeat. A virtual gala will not capture the same energy as an in-person event easily, but it can be done! Keep the speeches and videos relatively short – trim the fat! Pre-record as much content as possible.

How best should we communicate to our guests about how to access the platform? 
Your Fundraising and Events Consultant (FEC) can provide you with a guest facing guide to attach to your launch email. We can also send custom messages to all registered guests through the Event Management System.

How should I best utilise technology?
Use a mobile bidding solution, ensure that it’s marketed pre-event and introduced at the start of your virtual event. The host/auctioneer should walk guests through how to make a bid/donation and if possible, insert graphics on the screen to assist.

How should I run my fund-a-need/pledge moment?
Absolutely have a formal ask. Bring this element forward in the programming, whilst guest attention is at its highest peak. Just before this moment play an impactful video to remind donors why they are there. A great way to encourage participation is to tie the individual increments to very meaningful topics.
Set a goal and have a live totaliser to update guests where you’re at and how close you are to your goal.
Seeded donations help generate momentum, particularly at the higher levels – perhaps ask known donors to get pledging underway for you.

How should I host the Live Auction? 
There is no denying the fact that the typical live auction format is difficult to replicate in a virtual setting, however Givergy can make this as seamless and exciting as possible.
Bidding can take place through Givergy’s Fundraising Website – the items will be added as silent items but released on the day of the event or close to the live auction slot. Your host should prepare the guests by instructing them to head back to Givergy’s Fundraising Website and drawing their attention to the live auction items that have just been added – directing them to the specific item number is always helpful. We will provide the host with a specialised leaderboard to ensure they can clearly see all bids. Please speak to your FEC about our recommendations on how to host your live auction.

What should my run of show be?
We recommend the following run of show:

  • Welcome messages (with an introduction to the Fundraising Website, encourage registration at this point)
  • Emotive pieces, why’s this non-profit so important?
  • Celebration of auction items
  • Testimonial speech
  • Fund-a-need/pledge moment
  • Thank you, more relevant messages/stories/videos
  • Entertainment (a pre-recorded video)
  • Thank you to those who attended and credits

We recommend using pre-recorded content as much as possible, making the event look processional but also taking away the pressure of the event on the day. Of course, having a live host is still essential if you want to encourage live interaction with guests and to drive fundraising throughout the event.


Do I have access to behind the scenes of the virtual platform? 
Your Fundraising and Events Consultant (FEC) will provide you with login details to access the platform. Within here you will be able to upload the relevant information pre-event, live chat and helpdesk during the event, and download reporting post event.

Is the Virtual Event a different platform from my Fundraising Website? 
Yes, we will build you two separate platforms: the Givergy Virtual Event and your Fundraising Website. Please view the demo’s by clicking: Givergy VirtualFundraising Website.
The Givergy Virtual platform is where your guests will watch the virtual event, and the fundraising website is where they will conduct their bidding and donating – we recommend for guests to watch on their laptop and give through their smartphone. Please note, users can access the virtual platform without registering through the Fundraising Website.

How will our guests view the event? 
It’s strongly recommended to watch the virtual event using a laptop or computer using Google Chrome as the web browser. You can usually connect your laptop to a TV using a HDMI connection, if guests want to watch full screen for the whole family to enjoy. It is not advised to access our virtual event using your mobile device as the view can be restrictive.

How do guests give during the event? 
They can do this by using a smartphone to access your Fundraising Website via the address given pre-event or using a QR code displayed on screen during the event. There will also be buttons on the event page for guests to access the fundraising platform.

What format should I supply my content in? 
All your content (pre-recorded videos and slides) will need to be uploaded to a Google Drive provided by your FEC 2 weeks prior to your event.
See below the format for video and image files for your event and where to upload them to:

  • Videos: 1920:1080 resolution (30fps minimum if possible), MP4 file format
  • Images: 1920:1080 resolution, JPG or PNG file format

Do I need to be mindful of Copyright?
As our content box will be streamed using YouTube live, playing popular music songs can be limited by YouTube. As you can see here they do operate strict rules so our advice would be to avoid playing any copyright where possible.

Can we set the event up so that different Givergy leaderboards are shown throughout? 
Yes, you can! Pre-event we can decide on the leaderboard screens you would like to display and input them at the relevant times throughout the event. We will also have a ‘ticker’ running throughout your event for constant fundraising updates. Contact your FEC to find out more about the interactive Givergy leaderboards.

How will guests log into the event?
Guests will enter the following details when first accessing your event: name, phone number and email address.
Please also note, email addresses are not validated against the Givergy platform to ensure participants are ticket holders – anyone who has been sent the event link can access the show.

Can you provide a bespoke URL for the Virtual Event? 
Yes, we can purchase a bespoke URL for you if required.

How can I brand the virtual platform? 
You can brand the platform with; a background image for your login screen, a background colour throughout the event, your event logo and sponsors logos. Your FEC will provide you with access to the Givergy Virtual + admin site to upload these elements.

Is there a live chat feature on the Virtual Event?
Yes! We can enable live chat for guests to write comments in the chat box. Your moderator can accept/decline comments before they appear to all guests.

Can we make edits to the event once it is live?
We have a small level of flexibility to update the Run of Show, but we do not want to stray too far from this as our production team will be producing the event live and following this in detail. You can of course edit the Fundraising Website though!

What do I do during the event? 
There are two roles you are responsible for during the event – moderating the live chat box and answering the helpdesk. You will be trained in both elements pre-event and don’t worry, it’s very easy! We will provide template answers for the helpdesk and should you need to, the Givergy Tech Manager will be available for escalation.

Can I download reports post-event? 
Yes! You can download the analytics from your event. Don’t forget, you can also download all the fundraising reports from the Givergy Event Management System (the back end of the Fundraising Website).

What pre and during event support does Givergy offer? Will it include rehearsals? 
You will have a dedicated Fundraising and Events Consultant (FEC) who will work alongside you throughout to create the event and Fundraising Website using this event brief document.
Providing content deadlines are met, you will be supplied with a ‘pre-event review video’ so you can watch your event from start to finish in your own time (with placeholders for your live stream).
We will conduct one rehearsal with your FEC, Givergy Tech Manager and Production Specialist*.
Throughout the event, the Givergy Tech Manager will oversee the smooth running of the Fundraising Website and the Production Specialist will be producing the show. Both will be available through your pre-agreed form of communication (i.e., WhatsApp). You will manage the live chat moderation and guest helpdesk throughout the event.

*Note that 95% of your content and run of show must be completed before the rehearsal can take place. Your package will include one 60-minute rehearsal and it’s important that any hosts attending are fully briefed on the event, run of show and what they are responsible for in advance of the rehearsal starting, to avoid eating into valuable rehearsal time. All edits must be submitted within 24 hours of the rehearsal taking place.

What considerations should I make when preparing my event, including equipment? 
Click here to view our article on this.

How could I ensure my live speakers and moderator have stable internet connections?
Click here to view our article on this.

What fail-safe do you have to ensure the platform remains stable? 
Contingency planning:

Your Fundraising Website – Givergy:
The Givergy platform is hosted on 5 regional servers on Google Cloud, one of the most trusted providers worldwide. In addition, we host a backup server in each region which holds an identical copy of the core server – should the primary server experience any difficulties, it will fail over to the backup server and at worst, the guest may experience downtime for a maximum of approx. 30 seconds. We also constantly monitor the performance of our servers and our Product Team are alerted if they experience high loads that are a concern so that our team can intervene and support. It’s important to note that our platform can handle up to 5,000 concurrent users on a standard website at any given time. If you are using our leaderboards within the virtual platform and you expect more than approx. 1,000 viewers, we suggest you discuss this with your FEC in case we need to increase the capacity for your event and enough advance notice is provided. On the night of your event, you will have a Givergy Technical Manager who has direct access to our Product Team in case any support is needed.

Live Stream – iSiLIVE
iSiLIVE maintains multiple production stations to provide broadcast redundancy. In the event of primary failure, the iSiLIVE producer will advise the host to leave the meeting and return using the original call-in link provided. iSiLIVE provides a ‘Technical Difficulties’ slide to be inserted in the production in the event of bandwidth or audio/video difficulties from the host. During the technical rehearsal, the iSiLIVE producer will work with the host on camera position, lighting, audio recommendations, and testing internet connectivity. In all cases a wired connection is recommended, with 5 MB/s upload speed available to their computer on their network. While iSiLIVE cannot guarantee resolution of any of these issues, iSiLIVE will provide their best recommendations to resolve them. iSiLIVE maintains multiple gigabit connections for their international client productions and has operational staff in North America and Europe.

Ella Jacques

Ella Jacques

Global Client Services Manager at Givergy

Ella heads up the global Fundraising & Events team. A key part of Givergy’s growth for four years, Ella has a passion for event planning and ensuring her and her teams’ clients exceed their fundraising targets. Furthermore, Ella’s exposure to some of the highest-profile fundraising events gives her a unique insight into the newest and most innovative way in which charities are engaging with their audiences.