Lincoln Park Community Services: Shattering Goals with Virtual Fundraising

In the current reality of social distancing, Lincoln Park Community Services (LPCS) knew they had to take action to pivot their in-person annual spring gala, scheduled for April 24th, to a virtual event. The LPCS team took an event that donors look forward to every year and successfully flipped it to a donation-only virtual event with more success than their prior year.

We had an incredible experience with OneCause. It was great to feel confident in our fundraising technology and use it as a tool to enhance our fundraising strategy. We knew that our mission was needed now more than ever in the midst of the pandemic, and, thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to deliver for those we serve.” Mary Johnson, Chief Development & Strategy Officer

Online Fundraising Activities

Online Fundraising Activities

Even with such a quick-turn of events, Lincoln Park Community Services was able to bring their in-person fundraising activities online. These included:

What made this event unique

Lincoln Park Community Services: Shattering Goals with Virtual Fundraising Online Giving

What Made This Event Unique?

Lincoln Park Community Services adapted their most popular annual gala to a virtual, donation-only event with a paddle raise using OneCause Online Fundraising.

They had strong donor communication before, during, and after their event to give donors clarity in the switch to virtual and emphasize how important the event was to fulfill their mission.

On event day, they used YouTube Live to broadcast their livestream and incorporated mission moments in the prerecorded livestream video as well as plenty of fun.

They were able to continue to support their mission of empowering individuals facing homelessness and poverty by being decisive and creative to execute a virtual fundraising strategy that worked for them!

Virtual Fundraising Strategies

Virtual Fundraising Strategies

LPCS made adjustments to their in-person event to create greater reach and inspire giving. Their strategies included:

  • Pre-event promotion on social media
  • Personal outreach to sponsors to convert ticket/sponsorship to cash donation
  • Opened up donations early (2 weeks pre-virtual event)
  • Used YouTube Live
  • Event Programming: Feature mission moments and awards
  • Embed the livestream event on the Online Giving Site
  • Keep it fun: Signature LPCS event cocktail
  • Thank attendees & donors post-event

Best Practices/Lessons Learned

Best Practices and Lessons Learned


Download the LPCS One Sheeter

#FearlessFundraisers all over the world are learning as they shift to virtual fundraising. In hindsight, Lincoln Park Community Services recommends these best practices:

  • Utilize social media (especially video).
  • Foster connection with direct phone calls to donors.
  • Pre-event: Keep constant communication with supporters.
  • Use a specialized event hashtag.
  • Test the giving experience on your fundraising solution before going live.
  • Anticipate lag from your livestreaming technology.
  • Invest in technical livestreaming equipment with the reduced expenses of going virtual.
  • Short program: 1 hour.



The results were in… and LPCS was ecstatic with:

  • 340+donations
  • 123% of fundraising goal
  • 40% more raised compared to prior year
  • 400+ livestream views
  • $197,387 total raised

Connect with a Cause

You can learn more about Lincoln Park Community Services and support their mission by visiting their website.

Wrapping Up!

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