Holy Cross High School: Going Virtual in 2 Days
This small Kentucky private school made up of 240 students, dedicated staff, and 1 fearless Director of Advancement, took their gala virtual in 2 days.
Our gala is our biggest revenue generator of the year. We have to have the event. Without it, we can’t fund tuition assistance, which 60% of our families rely on. To say we were freaking out is an understatement. But we divided and conquered—and made it happen. Anyone can do this!” Karen Ernspiker, Holy Cross High School
Online Fundraising Activities
Even with such a quick-turn of events, Holy Cross High School was able to bring their in-person fundraising activities online. These included:
- Online Auction
- Online Donation
What Made This Event Unique?
They credit targeted marketing, social media and a consistent communication strategy across social, email and texts with their pre-event donor communication.
They emphasized how important the event is, the real need for financial aid and how donors could help virtually.
The team also engaged teachers and staff to share on social media, and social influencers in the alumni base to rally support.
Virtual Fundraising Strategies
This small team was able to exceed goals and reach new donors online. They estimate 50% of the virtual event supporters were new donors or donors that weren’t previously active. Their virtual fundraising strategies included:
- Authentically emphasized need, urgency, impact
- Personal calls to all table headsto continue support – $0 refunds
- Added items as they came in
- Used Constant Contact for daily blasts to donor base
- Detailed item descriptions/pics
- Featured hot packages and bidding links on social media
- Leveraged text communications to engage donors
- Used Covered Costs to cover credit card fees
Best Practices and Lessons Learned
#FearlessFundraisers all over the world are learning as they go with the shift to virtual fundraising. In retrospect, Holy Cross High School implemented these best practices to make their event a success:
- Rally your base with honest communication
- Tell the need on social media, email and text
- Use social influencers
- Feature auction items in email with pictures
- Divide up tasks and just do it
Holy Cross High School didn’t know what to expect but were ecstatic by the overwhelmingly positive results. A move to virtual paid off for them to say the least:
- 665 Bids
- 8.5 Bids Per Item
- 81% of Item Value
- 100% of Items Sold
- 226 Raffle Tickets Sold
- $160 Average Donation
- 465 Supporters, 147 Bidders
- 101% to Goal
Connect with a Cause
You can learn more about Holy Cross High School and support their mission by visiting their website.
More fundraising resources are just a click away.
- Virtual Fundraising Resource Center: Whether you’re undertaking an online pivot or looking for new virtual fundraising strategies, we’ve compiled resources to help.
- How to Host a Hybrid Fundraiser in 10 Steps: Ready to combine the power of in-person and virtual fundraising? Our guide to hybrid fundraising has you covered!
- Ultimate Virtual Fundraising Guide: Ideas, tools, and resource to help you plan a successful virtual fundraiser and raise more for your cause.