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

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:

What made this event unique

What Made This Event Unique?

Holy Cross High School Giving Center

Check out Holy Cross’ Giving Center!

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

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/Lessons Learned

Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Download the Holy Cross One Sheeter

Download the Holy Cross High School One Sheeter

#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.

Wrapping Up!

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