Hybrid Fundraising Events: 3 Things to Consider Before Hosting One
Remote working and virtual volunteering aren’t the only digital trends on the rise for nonprofits!
Nowadays, more and more organizations are looking for creative ways to accommodate more of their supporters with fundraisers.
And the one thing that’s popping up everywhere? Hybrid fundraising events!
We’re here to explain how these incredible events are the future of fundraising (and what your organization should consider before hosting one):
What Is a Hybrid Fundraising Event?
A hybrid fundraising event combines both an in-person and digital fundraiser. People can have their choice of attending in-person and experiencing everything firsthand. Or they can participate and support your organization from the comfort of their home.
Either way, it’s an excellent way to offer your donors a night of fun and excitement, all while proceeds go to your nonprofit!
Why Are Hybrid Events Considered the Future of Fundraising?
Technology has been working in our favor when it comes to events for years now. But with the rise of the 2020 pandemic, nonprofit organizations had to adapt quicker than ever before.
As the world gets back to normal, we’ve been left with one clear thought: the world of fundraising events has forever changed by technology. We can’t deny how helpful tech tools are for nonprofits, and especially for fundraisers.
But we also can’t forget our roots and how wonderful in-person fundraising events were, too.
That’s why the future of fundraising lies in hybrid events.
What Are the Benefits of Hosting a Hybrid Fundraising Event?
Surely, if the future of fundraising is through hybrid events, then there must be some incredible benefits to hosting them.
What are the benefits of a hybrid event versus hosting a traditional fundraiser? Here are our top 3:
1. Reach a Larger Audience for Those Who Support But Aren’t Local
For many nonprofits, support comes from all across the city, the country, and even the world. Yet, in-person events limit the number of attendees to those who are local. Or (at most) to those who are willing and capable of traveling to the event.
A hybrid event opens the door for those who are local and for those who aren’t. You’re now offering access to an engaging event for the majority of those who already support your organization.
Those who can’t travel to be there in person can attend from the comfort of their homes. And your organization still feels the benefits of those attendees, as well as the ones who made it to the venue.
2. Provide an Easier to Access Timeline to Accommodate Schedules
With an in-person event, many would-be attendees end up missing because of schedules that coincide with the fundraiser.
Through a hybrid event, your organization can accommodate those schedules and responsibilities, while still offering them the opportunity to participate!
The virtual portion of hybrid events allows for attendees to pop in and out as they want or need to. So, rather than missing out on their support altogether, you’re still getting it just by giving them an online option.
3. Give Flexibility and Engagement for All Preferences
You may be wondering – how do the other two benefits support hybrid events? After all, it sounds like a case for a virtual event.
While that may be true, and your nonprofit may benefit more from a virtual event (more on that in a minute), there’s still a major case for hybrid fundraisers.
That’s simply because of the opportunity to accommodate and engage all preferences. There are some people who can’t travel to the venue. With an online fundraiser, they can now participate.
But there are also people who are local or who can travel and want to attend in person. Having that half of the hybrid fundraising event is beneficial for their desires.
3 Things to Consider Before Planning a Hybrid Fundraiser
1. Can You Devote a Team to Hybrid Fundraising?
Hybrid fundraising is a unique beast to tackle. Because it’s a combination of both in-person event planning and virtual event planning, your organization will need a team that can handle both.
The two types of events have different requirements and need to be handled accordingly for a hybrid fundraiser to run smoothly.
While every hybrid event is different, there are a few things that typically remain constant across the board. Your team will need to handle these:
- Determining what engagement methods to use for the virtual event portion
- Finding a virtual event platform to use
- Selecting an in-person event venue
- Staffing the in-person event and the virtual event (this is a great opportunity for virtual volunteers to shine!)
2. Is This an Ideal Event for Your Target Donors?
Before planning a hybrid event, your organization needs to make sure hosting one is worth the effort. Do your donors think it’s a great idea and would they participate either in-person or virtually?
If the majority of your donors say they would rather show up in-person (if their schedules allow), then it may be worth your while to only have an in-person event. The same goes for a virtual event.
But if you have a split down the middle of supporters, those who’d like to show up in-person and those who’d like to show up from their couch, then a hybrid fundraising event may be ideal.
Ultimately, knowing what works for your ideal attendees is one of the major driving factors in deciding whether or not to host a hybrid event!
3. Do You Have the Appropriate Tech Tools to Help You Streamline the Event?
The right tech tools will be a game changer for a hybrid event! From marketing to ticketing to engaging activities during the event, tech tools can help so much. Here are two types of tools that may work well for your fundraiser:
Virtual Event Platform
For many hybrid events, organizations want to prioritize a virtual event platform. This is, essentially, the “venue” for those who are attending online. You may want to find one that offers features like:
- Ticketing and registration for online attendees
- A dedicated event page for your hybrid fundraiser
- Live streaming so attendees can see what’s happening at the in-person event
- Text notifications which are helpful for those who need to bounce in and out of the event but don’t want to miss certain activities
- Donate options to make supporting much easier
If you’re searching for a platform to integrate with your hybrid fundraising event, then take a look at Trellis! It’s a platform that offers all of the above features plus plenty of others to help you create an incredible night for your donors!
Digital Auction Platform
Many large fundraisers for nonprofits include an auction or a silent auction at the in-person event because they do such an incredible job of raising funds for the cause.
Well, now both your in-person attendees and virtual ones can participate in silent auctions with the right tech tools. Whether they’re standing in the venue or sitting in their living room, supporters can bid on auction items straight from their phones.
If you’re thinking of including an auction of some kind in your next fundraiser then we suggest taking a look at ZGive’s auction platform!