Hybrid fundraising has gained momentum as a way to bring fundraising events to both live and virtual audiences. Think of it as the “best of both worlds,” blending fundraising best practices and technology to create seamless giving experiences – anytime, anywhere.
But here’s the trick: How do you engage with supporters and keep them bidding and donating when half are in the room and half are at home?
The good news is you don’t have to focus on one or the other. Both audiences can connect with your mission, be entertained, and drive up your proceeds for a successful event.
Our OneCause consulting team is sharing 10 effective strategies for capturing interest and keeping supporters coming back for more during a hybrid event.
Anyone who donates or bids during the live-streamed program is entered into a drawing to win a prize. It also encourages supporters to stay online for the full program to see who wins the attendance award!
– Kim Haugh
Create a site with “rooms” to mimic an onsite event. Rooms can include:
– Lisa Ehrlich
Utilize social media heavily. Give a prize for the person who shares your Facebook posts the most (FB will track shares for you).
Make sure to create an event hashtag and ask your ambassadors (board, volunteers, social media-savvy influencers) to use the hashtag in their posting. The A/V company (if using) can even pull public posts and share them during the show.
– Stacy Engstrom
Bring your watch parties and virtual attendees into the ballroom by sharing watch party live feed or pre-recorded supporter videos so virtual attendees see themselves on screen.
– Pam Stusio
Secure entertainment and place it at the end of your program. Keep your virtual attendees watching!
– Sara Brunner
Create dual experiences. For example, during one event, a chef shared the steps of a recipe on camera for virtual attendees prior to the event.
In-person attendees could taste in the room, while virtual attendees made their own at home. The organizations provided the list of ingredients in advance and even add menu boxes to sponsors’ benefits.
– Kayleigh Layton
Have virtual attendees receive their box of goodies in advance. Another popular dual experience idea: chocolate & wine tastings.
– Chanel Henry
Using Chat as part of your virtual programming can enhance participation. But don’t just monitor it for comments—create conversations with pre-crafted conversation starters.
– Stefanie Zachery
Hire two engaging emcees—one for each audience. Virtual attendees won’t feel like they are just “watching a show,” rather that they are participating in a full, wrap-around experience tailored to them specifically.
– LeToya Boyne
Before the event, record casual videos from sponsors and board members with the theme, “Why I Give” and post those on your fundraising site and social media.
Make sure to send out email blasts and/or text messages letting supporters know that new content has been added.
– Crystal Ward
For more information on hybrid fundraising, be sure to check out these additional resources: