Virtual Event Recommendation for Multi Affiliate Organizations

As the reality that in-person social and fundraising events are changing, national organizations are faced with diverting from a steadfast, longstanding and successful fundraising strategy to something new – a Virtual World. There are several things to consider when determining how to take an event portfolio online, including:

  • 1:1 ratio of physical event to virtual event OR combine efforts/inventory into 1 national or several regional virtual events
    • Location of virtual event – rent studio/from HQ office/other place of significance
  • Important to discuss reality of space
  • Sales Tax Rate applied for online items sold – rules vary by state/Online raffle laws
  • If you have relationships with celebrities, is there a way for them to participate? Emcees/Auctioneers?
  • National Sponsor Recognition – for organization with national relationships, is this a way to recognize their support and contribution?
  • Streaming platform: YouTube, Facebook, others

Via the below, we aim to give a scoped and repeatable process that a national leadership body can equip their affiliates with.

Assumptions for National Body

  • You have OneCause Mobile Bidding and are using it
    • As your full Event Fundraising platform (a la tix sales here)
    • As your payment processing solution
  • You want to have an online auction component and have desirable inventory
  • You have an email messaging tool for e-blasting
  • While a streaming component is recommended, it is not required

How to Transition Components:

  • Overall
    • Require credit card for all bidders
    • Require complete mailing address for all supporters
    • Require Payment Upon Purchase ON
  • Silent Auction
    • Consider duration – we recommend 5 days of online bidding
    • Consider won item logistics – we recommend charging a flat rate shipping fee per package for each won item
    • With vetting for your audience, consider additions to auction that support Social Distancing
      • Ex: Your Quarantine Life Saver, value $50 – This basket is the answer to your prayers. Includes coloring, drawing and sticker books, kinetic sand, modeling clay, slime and more!
    • Use of Countdown Timer with 20 min minimum duration a must
    • STREAMING CONTENT: Use of Top 5 Items scoreboard, use of Auction Countdown scoreboard, talking up Featured Items
    • Planner considerations: photo for each package, clear descriptions and restrictions, clear fulfillment plan with any shipping costs/timeline, strategic layout of mobile interface
  • Raffle/Chance to Win
    • Easiest game to transition to virtual
    • Easy buy for donors, socioeconomic buffet – the low-end offering
    • STREAMING CONTENT: Show/model prize if tangible, Easy to pull winner from Fixed Price Ticket Randomizer report, easy to announce winner(s)
    • Planner considerations: Enticing language on prize(s), clear reinforcement in package description that you buy online, when/how winner chosen, how winner receives prize
  • Live Auction
    • Consider moving any of these packages to a Super Silent category in your Online Auction
    • STREAMING CONTENT: Have slide for each package reviewing specifics and showing multiple photos, Show/model prize if tangible, could use Show on Scoreboard flag with All Silent Items scoreboard to highlight these, Could use Watch List report to call out interested parties and build competition
    • Planner considerations: Could use Override Auction Control Times to start/end bidding for this category/packages uniquely, would need to be accompanied with clear messaging
  • Appeal (use your chosen branding – Mission Drive, Fund A Cure, Fund A Need, etc)
    • A must!
    • If have always done via raised paddles, donors will embrace the simple and logical change to confirm via smartphone/desktop
    • Ensure Package Description is specific on how monies used, tie each button to an impact statement, explain what reaching Goal amount will allow NP to do
    • STREAMING CONTENT: The core of your content – your why, personal testimonial or story followed by ask
    • Planner considerations: Populate button amounts strategically, Have Current Amount and Goal Amount ON so thermometer IN package fills

Recommended Timeline

  • As 7-day sprint allows nonprofit to tease out promotional messages, then transition to active engagement and finish strong with the streaming component!
  • High-level Channeling
    • Days 1-2 would be mostly email with Friendly URL (generic web link)
    • Days 3-6 would be combination email + One Click Logins from Planner (OCLs, or personal texts) for growing supporter list
    • Day 7 is likely mostly OCLs + live stream
  • Day 1: Messaging is: be a prepared virtual guest by signing in and completing profile, hype Friendly and Text to Register as jumping off points, drip teasers on auction, mission-centric content, mark calendar for virtual event is 7 days!
  • Day 2: Messaging is: be a prepared virtual guest by signing in and completing profile, hype Friendly and Text to Register as jumping off points, drip teasers on auction, mission-centric content, mark calendar for virtual event is 7 days!
  • Day 3: Messaging is: Online Auction is OPEN! Browse and use Watch function to build your watch list
  • Day 4: Messaging is: Online bidding continues! Share our generic link with your network so they can bid with you and us!
  • Day 5: Messaging is: Online bidding culminates in 2 days with virtual event! Drip teasers on packages
  • Day 6: Messaging is: Reminder of who/what/when/where/what to wear for virtual event, suggested in-home menu or sponsor activation with local restaurants and get carry out
  • Day 7: Messaging is: Today’s the day! Your impact is the greatest today with appeal participation and conclusion of online bidding!
  • Day 7+: Fulfillment, Payments, Responding to questions/comments submitted via stream, Keep donation package open and drip out a few more texts, Ensure stream recording is on social platforms and org website for posterity

Streaming Content (30-45 min duration; example below is 41 min)

  • 2 min Open, intros
  • 2 min Acknowledgement current state but there is still needed support for your mission
  • 2 min Sponsor highlight
  • 1 min Point out online auction timer is ON
  • 5 min Talk thru each Super Silent (formerly Live Auction) package
  • 5 min Hype raffle prize(s) and draw winner
  • 3 min Hype online auction and do close with auction countdown timer
  • 15 min Do Appeal
    • Framing the why, need
    • Ask with scoreboard
    • Celebrate
  • 3 min Housekeeping on
    • Fulfillment, emailed receipts
    • Save the Dates for what’s next
    • How to stay in touch, Review any viewer comments
  • 2 min Sponsor highlight
  • 1 min Close

Streaming Production

  • Basic Considerations
    • Internet
      • Conduct Speed Test (free smartphone app) to confirm upload speed
    • Backdrop – set dressing or greenscreen options
    • Use of screenshare with streaming
    • On camera personality
    • Off camera “engineers” managing planner and stream comments
  • Advanced Considerations
    • Mic
    • Lighting
  • Best practices
    • 30-45 min
    • Be human; don’t worry about fumbles
    • Continue intro’ing yourself as organic viewers will join and need context

OneCause Virtual Services

  • Support for National Body
    • Initial Call to review concept/process laid out within
    • Would need revised standards/SOPs
    • Co-present webinar for affiliates
  • Conceptualized Support for Affiliates
    • Pre-requisition Learning via OneCause University
    • Pre-Event Consulting Call
    • Virtual Event Manager on Day 7



This guide and format allows you action plan after postponement/cancellation, and a way to continue to engage and connect with your attendees, donors, and sponsors. Supporters haven’t stopped caring about your cause. They want to support you, they need an opportunity and easy way to do it.

We hope this provides a guide to get your once in-person events into the Virtual World.  Should you have a need to do Online Fundraising, to activate supporters and donors so they can fundraise for you, OneCause’s Fundraising Platform can be added.  For more information on OneCause Online Fundraising and Peer to Peer, reach out to us.

Wrapping Up!

More fundraising resources are just a click away.