How Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit Created a Unified Hybrid Experience
The Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit was founded in 2016 as a religious community who ministers to the poor and spreads the teachings of their faith. With ministries in both Phoenix and Detroit, their brothers work day in and day out to aid surrounding marginalized communities with compassion and prayer.
The Friars dedicate their lives to serving others and their church, and they rely on the fundraising efforts and donations of their members and supporters for financial support.
To support their mission for the upcoming year, the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit were ready to host one of their main fundraising events of the year, FriarQ.
The brothers were committed to creating a lasting and impactful experience for all their attendees, whether they joined the fundraiser in-person or virtually.
After hosting a virtual event in 2021, the Franciscan Friars were eager to offer an in-person experience to engage their donors. However, with a large, nationwide, virtual audience, the Franciscan Friars knew they needed to provide an experience that allowed online attendees to still feel deeply connected to the event and the mission.
As Anthony Maza, Director of Mission Advancement at the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit, stated:
“We chose a hybrid event because we didn’t want to exclude all who participated virtually last year. However, with a hybrid event, you must make sure to give equal attention to both virtual donors and those that are joining in-person. With this in mind, we needed a platform that would support all our event goals and help us reach a wider donor base.”
With the new goal of a hybrid event experience, the Franciscan Friars needed flexible software that would provide an equally impactful experience for all donors.
After searching for the perfect hybrid event solution, the Franciscan Friars found the OneCause Fundraising Platform. The software provided the Franciscan Friars team with the ease and flexibility needed to reach their event goals.
Unified Event Experience
As they prepared to add an in-person element to their annual fundraiser, the Franciscan Friars wanted to ensure an easy and synced experience for both attendee types.
“To reduce confusion of different processes for our virtual and in-person attendees, we really leaned into the OneCause software to create a singular participant experience. This helped reduce the frustration of our team tracking different attendee processes and gave everyone a chance to engage with our event in the same way – on their phones,” explained Maza.
To unify the giving experience for all attendees, the Franciscan Friars directed everyone to their giving site. Within the site, donors engaged with the organization through the:
- Silent Auction
- Live Auction
- Targeted Achievements
- Donation Appeal
The singular giving experience helped boost traction to their giving site and increased the likelihood of supporters engaging with their mission before, during, and after the event.
When hosting a fundraising event, there are so many tasks for an organization to manage. The Franciscan Friars needed an efficient process to stay organized and create a flawless attendee experience.
With the OneCause Fundraising Platform, the Franciscan Friars were able to host a successful event leveraging four key areas:
With proper training in easy-to-use software, volunteers can provide great value to an organization on event night. They are the lifeblood of any nonprofit. Your services, fundraising campaigns, and even the day-to-day operations of your nonprofit can depend on volunteers, so it is important that your first impression goes well.
To ensure their volunteers were set up for success, the Franciscan Friars dedicated time to training their volunteers and building their confidence in the Event Day Tools on the OneCause Fundraising Platform. The training covered processes such as:
- Check-in and check-out
- Attendee look up
- Payment processing
After completing their training, volunteers were empowered to answer attendee questions. This took the stress off the organization and improved the overall guest experience during the event.
“Having our volunteers trained allowed for my team to not have to worry about minor problems occurring during the event. We were able to focus on connecting with our donors,” said Maza.
PRO TIP: Establish communication channels for volunteers to use during your event. Not only will this help streamline any questions that come up during your event, but it will also build stronger relationships with your volunteers.
Check-in is often a point of friction in a typical event experience. However, with their trained volunteers, the Franciscan Friars were well-equipped to provide a seamless welcome for their 300 in-person attendees.
Volunteers easily grasped the check-in system and were able to rapidly move attendees through check-in. This seamless process allowed guests to quickly get checked into the event and onto focusing on what matters the most – supporting the Franciscan Friars’ mission.
With the OneCause Fundraising Platform, the Franciscan Friars were able to:
- Reduce the bottleneck during check-in.
- Enable donors to immediately start engaging with the event.
- Process all attendees without any delays to their programming schedule.
PRO TIP: Consider having volunteers as “greeters” during check-in. Not only do these volunteers provide a more welcoming experience, but they are also able to direct the guest flow during check-in.
Live Streaming Capabilities
Live streaming your event is an easy way to get virtual audience involved and engaged. The Franciscan Friars live streamed their event through the OneCause Fundraising Platform to connect virtual attendees to the event programming.
Virtual attendees were able to watch the event programming all while simultaneously:
- Bidding on auction items
- Purchasing raffle tickets
- Chatting with other virtual attendees
The best part – it’s all on one screen! No need to toggle back and forth between a YouTube live stream, donation page, and event site. The experience is all right there in the OneCause Fundraising Platform.
“Having live streaming within the giving site was the perfect way to engage virtual attendees. We were able to create an amazing experience for our nationwide audience through the virtual platform,” explained Maza.
PRO TIP: Create a virtual live stream team. Don’t try to handle everything on your own! This team will help monitor all tasks related to the virtual attendee experience and live stream, which will simplify the process from planning to execution.
Onsite Event Support
The final element that allowed Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit to run a successful fundraiser was leveraging onsite event support.
With onsite support, a certified event manager and trained event staff were there to:
- Answer any attendees and staff questions
- Train staff on the software
- Assist in last minute event changes
- Monitor all technical systems
“I was blown away by the support we received from the OneCause team – before, during, and after the event. It was so nice to have people to rely on for any event questions. It allowed my team not to stress over minor event elements because we knew the event staff was handling it,” stated Maza.
Minimizing event day stress allows for organizations like the Franciscan Friars to focus on what is most important during their fundraiser – their donors!
PRO TIP: When using onsite event support, ensure that your attendees know how to access your support representatives during your event! This will help reduce the number of questions you receive and the time spent directing guests.
The Franciscan Friars saw great success through their unified and flexible hybrid event. Check out these awesome results!
- $460,000 in total proceeds
- 115% of total fundraising goal
- 300+ in-person attendees and 100+ virtual audience
Connect with a Cause
To learn more about the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit, please visit their website.
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