‘Tis the season for giving: How to incorporate giving into your virtual events

This year has posed so many challenges for individuals, businesses, and charities alike. But while individual charitable giving has been decreasing steadily in past years, something wonderful has happened in 2020. With all that is happening in the world, individual giving is once again on the rise.

In this season of giving, people want to help their communities. Some just need assistance in deciding where their limited resources are best spent. Events hosted by charities or on behalf of them are great ways to encourage a community to come together to support a worthy cause.

What virtual events go well with giving?

Just because your in-person event pivoted to virtual doesn’t mean you have to lose your charitable component. There are also some types of entirely virtual events that are on the rise in popularity and give attendees the opportunity to donate.

  • Galas and concerts – If you’ve taken your annual gala or community concert online, you can still engage attendees to donate to a good cause. Keynote speakers can bring inspiring remarks and tell stories of the impact that attendees have when they donate to the charity the event is supporting.
  • Webinars – If you’re running an informational webinar, consider tying in a relevant charity. For example, if your webinar is about mental health, you can highlight local mental health initiatives. This gives your guests the opportunity to donate, while educating them on the great resources available to them should they need it.
  • Livestreams – This style of event is growing in popularity. Examples of livestreams include gaming watch-alongs on platforms like Twitch, or telethon-style events on YouTube or Facebook Live. Artists, gamers, performers and more can work together to provide entertainment to raise money for charities of their choice.
video camera recording a livestream

How can you incorporate giving?

As mentioned above, people want to give. They want to help. As an event planner, all you’ll need to figure out is how to make the process straight forward and accessible. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A case for support – A statement as to why your charity, or the charity your event is supporting, is a cause your attendees should care about. Make sure your case for support is authentic and narrative. As we’ve mentioned, stories are engaging.
  • A call to action – This could be as simple as including button that says “donate now” on your event website, or having the MC of your event explain to attendees how to purchase raffle tickets or place silent auction bids.
  • A means – Speaking of silent auctions, you’re going to need a way to collect money. Companies like Givergy support virtual silent auctions, which are perfect for a virtual gala. Many events have also adopted a pay-what-you-can model so as not to discourage potential donors, whether they are able to give $1 or $100. Most charities have a donation portal with a link you can provide to attendees. If you’re raising money on behalf of a charity, get in touch with them before your event and ask if they have a preferred means of online donation.

Where can you give?

If you’re planning on supporting a charity with your event, make sure it’s a cause close to your heart. When you care about a cause, that authenticity inspires others. If you want your event to support a cause and you’re not sure which one  yet, here are some ideas:

  • Community resources – Consider food banks, shelters, counseling centres, community centres, your local hospital or clinic. All of these places provide crucial support to vulnerable members of our society. In a year when so many more are vulnerable, your donations have that much more of an impact.
  • The arts and sciences – This could be anything from donating to your local art gallery, science centre or museum, to helping fund a school’s orchestra or robotics team. With so many restrictions and closures this year limiting typical revenue streams, these cultural touchstones are definitely in need of a boost.
  • Animal welfare – Our furry friends are close to so many of our hearts. Donating to an animal shelter, or services that provide free or subsidized animal care can make life easier on animals, their owners, and the service providers that care for them.
  • Education – Everyone deserves an education, but cost can be a barrier, particularly for postsecondary students. Donating to scholarships and bursaries at your local college or university means that many students won’t have to make the choice between tuition and grocery shopping.
a nursing student with a training mannequin

No matter what charity event your plan, attend, or support this holiday season, our team at Georgian Conference and Event Services thanks you for caring and for giving to your community at a time when the need is greater than ever.

If education is a cause that’s close to your heart, we encourage you to consider donating to student scholarship and bursaries here at Georgian this holiday season.

And as always, if you are looking for assistance in planning your next virtual event, let our team help with the logistics so you can focus on engaging your attendees.

Happy holidays, and look for more blogs in 2021!

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