We’ve officially entered the age of the social video call for remote work, social events and family/friend gatherings. This virtual event checklist will help guide you as you dig into the details of your virtual fundraising event. From start-to-finish, we’re helping you set up your fundraising page, select an event idea, plan an event agenda, thank your attendees and more! If hosting a virtual event online is new to you, make sure you read our ‘How to Host a Virtual Event’ instruction sheet first. We share 5 steps to get started, video platforms, resources available and more.
☐ Select a Virtual Event Idea!
Before selecting an activity, check out the section below about partnering with a small business for an easy additional way to fundraise. Select an activity that you’ll enjoy planning and isn’t too complicated. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Scavenger hunt at home
- Game night (virtual card & board games)
- Wine & Cheese tasting
- Holiday Trivia Party
- Amateur cupcake wars baking class
- Pre-Thanksgiving Family Reunion
- Do crafts or a DIY project
- Video Game Competition
☐ Ask a Friend or Family Member to Co-host
Co-hosts can support each other through the planning process, learn how to set up the video call together and guide attendees through the online event.
☐ Create a Fundraising Page & Set a Goal
A fun event idea combined with a cause you care about will inspire people to not only attend your virtual event but also donate! Don’t hold back, present a strong call to action to drive donations and attendance. Fundraising is key but it can be kept simple. We suggest two easy ways to collection donations:
- Create an Event Fundraising Page to collection funds and follow up with each donation with a link to access your event.
- Create a Hirshberg Foundation Facebook Fundraiser to collect funds and follow up each donation with a link to access your event.
☐ Collect Donations or a Suggested Donation Entry Fee
It’s a fundraising event! In addition to collecting donations, if you partner with a business there may be a fee to purchase a product or service. If not, ask for a ‘suggested donation admission fee’ for an appropriate amount. Attendees donate to your fundraising page to cover the fee.
☐ Create your guestlist
Virtual fundraising events can range from small to large-scale depending on the activity. Set a limit of attendees based on what you’re comfortable with and the activity you choose.
☐ Plan an Agenda
Set an agenda so people know what to expect and how long you’ll dedicate to each part. For example: “We’ll chat from 6 to 6:30ish, then at 6:35 we’ll share the instructions for the activity, we begin the activity and at 8pm we wrap up by thanking everyone for participating and donating.
☐ Provide a Virtual Background
Zoom video conferencing allows you to upload your own photos, so you can really go wild with this one or allow everyone to spice up their own lives by adding backgrounds to their screens.
☐ Purple Décor
For pancreatic cancer awareness, add some purple accessories and decorations. The Hirshberg Foundation provides a Purple Spirit Box in our e-store that you can suggest or send to attendee households!
☐ Keep it short
One-hour-to-90-minute range tends to be the sweet spot for most online gatherings. Give them too much and their brains will shut off, give them too little and they will get bored. Give attendees a chance to get up, walk around, and grab drink.
☐ Keep it interactive but monitor noise
Even if your audience is not outspoken enough to ask questions, they typically will be willing to participate. Make sure you can mute everyone when the host needs to speak or if someone has to step away and there’s background noise.
☐ Play games
Tap into your attendees competitive side. Puzzles or riddles, crosswords, memory games, ordering tasks are all great ways to keep your attendees engaged and on-task. For added drama, impose a time limit. Try introducing a quick quiz and offer a small prize for the winner.
☐ Offer reward or prizes
Attendees will be more motivated to participate You should also consider extra incentives such as a competition or small prizes. Ask the Hirshberg Foundation if we can provide a few fun items to offer!
☐ Thank your donors and attendees!
As you finish your event, remember to thank your attendees for participating and giving. Let them know how they’re making a difference and send a thank you email or note to people who donated but didn’t attend.
Partner with a Local or Online Small Business
Before you decide on an event idea, consider whether a local small business would be interested in partnering with you. Do a little local research and you may find a business that provides a service or product to be the theme of your event. Many businesses are taking their in-person services and transitioning them to online while mailing products. Ask if they’ll donate 20% of their sales towards your fundraising. Examples include: a yoga studio teaching a virtual class if you sell the tickets, they’ll donate a portion of the proceeds; a wine bar that provides a cocktails/mocktails recipes or wine & cheese package and then offers an online tasting class; or a local baker willing to teach a pie making class online, provides a list of ingredients and offers a discounted pie for attendees for Thanksgiving. Get creative and simply ask. Small businesses are looking for exposure and community support and they recognize the value of supporting something their customers believe in and partnering with a charity!