Ultimate Guide to Hybrid Fundraising
The world of fundraising has developed immensely in the past few years. Everybody has had to adapt to a new way of living at some point. Whether that’s through lockdowns and remaining at home, working from a remote location or cutting back through the cost of living crisis.
It’s fair to say that ‘normal life’ hasn’t returned and won’t be returning, so we must find a new normal to live in. In the fundraising world, a new normal means excelling at hybrid fundraising. While it can be difficult to navigate what hybrid fundraising is at first, we know that once you have the hang of it, it’ll be a breeze.
So, to stop you from going through the whirlwinds of trial and error, we’ve created the ultimate guide to hybrid fundraising. Take a look and see what you can learn for the next era of fundraising.
What is a hybrid event?
The term hybrid fundraising might be new to you. But when you break it down, it’s quite familiar. Combining an in-person event with one online, simultaneously, so that both audiences may enjoy your fundraising at the same time. In some cases, it’s as easy as streaming your event online as it happens and charging people a fundraising fee to receive the password to watch. That’s as simple as it gets.
But what is a hybrid fundraising event? It’s the perfect event to maximize your audience, profits and publicity all in one hit. It’s something that can seem daunting because it requires more organization than your typical fundraising event, but it also brings more success. So if you’re ready to transform your fundraising efforts towards a future of big money and big plans, then a hybrid event is the perfect opportunity.
We know what you’re thinking – more organization but you don’t have more manpower. Don’t worry we’ve thought of everything and we’ve figured out how to plan a hybrid fundraising event without stretching your already busy fundraising team. Take a look.
How do I plan a hybrid fundraising event?
We all know that a lot of planning goes into every type of fundraising event, so you may think that a hybrid event is even more difficult. However, in some cases, it can be just the same, if not, less work. Remember, a hybrid event means you have a lot of technology on your side so there are plenty of services out there that can help, like Givergy.
Set a budget
Like any fundraising event, you need to set a budget. Yes, a budget, not a target. Putting on any type of fundraising event usually means you need to have some money in order to put it on. Whether it involves renting a hall, organizing food, or purchasing software to promote and host your event online. There are plenty of things you will need to host your event. So, set a budget. That way you know how much you need to raise to break even which can help dictate the price of your event tickets. Be realistic with your budget but don’t stretch it too far. Just because there is plenty available for this event, doesn’t mean you need to spend it all, remember profit is the goal here – which means keeping costs to a minimum.
Choose a virtual platform
For a hybrid event, you’ll need a virtual platform. Not just any virtual platform. You aren’t using this platform to just promote or stream your event online. Make the most of the technology available to you. Virtual fundraising platforms can be so much more than a co-host to your event. Givergy will handle your ticketing, payments, organization, bidding, messaging, prizes and handle data. Think beyond social media for your event, don’t limit yourself and certainly waste your time finding one platform to accept donations, one to advertise prizes, one to engage with and another to stream from. It’s one way to make your simple hybrid event turn into a chaotic nightmare. Hybrid events are simple as long as you choose the right platform.
How to get supporters
Getting people to your event is the only way you’re going to make money. After setting a budget and creating your event, now you need to drive the footfall otherwise there’s not a lot of hope of making much profit. So it’s time to get the supporters in and honestly, there’s no wrong way to do this other than not putting in the effort required. Don’t hold back.
No matter the size of your event or its prestigiousness, use as many techniques as you can to sell tickets, gather interest and have people tuning in to your fundraiser. Use social media to spread the news and direct people to your event. When we say use social media, don’t just use Facebook, use Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, TikTok – everything at your disposal. Use town, village and city bulletin boards to spread the news. Get your family and friends to invite their friends and so on. But one area that you definitely shouldn’t forget about is the list of contacts you already have. If you’ve hosted an event before, it’s likely that you have a list of emails filled with previous donors – those are the people you should contact. They’re already supporters of your cause and you can make them feel like a VIP with a direct invite to your event.
Relationships with event sponsors
You may or may not be familiar with event sponsors but we can assure you they are essential for boosting the profit margin of your fundraiser. By putting a logo on your event, announcing a sponsor or having a business co-host your event can get a huge amount of positive publicity. That’s how you convince them that they want to sponsor your event. On the other hand, they may not need much convincing. If you take a close look at your regular donor list, you may find a business owner who would be happy to sponsor the fundraiser. If you’re clever about how you approach certain sponsors you may be able to get other contributions that aren’t financial. For example, instead of renting a hall in a local hotel, they could sponsor the event and you could hire it for free. Think outside the box when it comes to your event sponsors, don’t restrict yourself to just one either!
How to get people interested in a hybrid fundraising event
Selling a hybrid event to an audience isn’t too challenging, just think of the pros for each side of the coin and promote. If they live far away, let them know they can have a choice between a fun evening away from home, grabbing a hotel and really making a night of it. On the other hand, taking part virtually means they can save money on travel, have no need for a babysitter and take part from the comfort of their home. Remember, no matter who you’re talking to, there are only positives to share no matter if they participate in person or virtually.
Hybrid event ideas
You finally realized that a hybrid event isn’t so intimidating after all. You can cope with the small increase in the organization that’s required, you’re ready to get going and bring your non-profit into a new age of fundraising. But now, you’re still struggling with what to do for your event. A bake sale isn’t something you can host virtually… well you could, but it wouldn’t exactly be a hit. So here are some ideas that can guarantee success in the hybrid fundraiser world:
- Silent Auction
- Cook along classes
- Craft nights
- Movie screenings
- Scavenger hunts
- Live shows
- Trivia nights
- Live auctions
What to do after your hybrid event
After the hustle and bustle is over, your event has gone off without a hitch and you’ve made huge profits – it’s not over. Too many organizations have their event and then they consider the job done. However, we think that’s foolish. You wouldn’t accept a gift from a friend without saying thank you, so make sure you reach out to your attendees after the event to say thank you. Let them know how much you raised, that you appreciate their donations and that should they wish to contribute more after such a fantastic event, they can do so directly. You’ll be amazed how many donors donate once during an event then remember how much fun they had a week later and are happy to donate again.
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.