We recently asked JOIN Israel's Director of Development, Alex Schieber, to comment on their fundraising events in light of Covid-19. Some of the questions we asked Alex were:
Here are Alex's responses to those questions and more.
Due to the timing of COVID-19, we replaced three in-person events with three virtual events. Thanks to video conferencing capabilities such as Zoom, we have been able to have the same number of events thus far in 2020 that we would have had if we had held in-person events.
We chose to use Zoom and Zoom Webinar to host our events. With attendees of 50+ for our virtual events, we felt that Zoom Webinar gave us a much more professional feel.
It definitely took time to adapt our events to the online format. I initially spent hours researching other organizations who have already had online events. I explored what has worked and what hasn't. I've learned a lot, but we are still learning and have the ability to grow even more.
Some of the new events we have tried include a Paint Night, Comedy Show, Webinars and a Wine Tasting Event. We have learned that the more interactive the experience, the more positive and engaged the supporters felt after the event. Our donors spend the majority of their day staring at a screen for work so incorporating an interactive component to the event brings a new and exciting factor to the experience.
Unfortunately, we have raised less during our online events then we might have in person. We have found that supporters aren't willing to spend as significant of an amount of money for online events. However, on the bright side, there is very little overhead cost with a virtual event.
Being a small organization, online events have given JOIN Israel the opportunity to connect with new supporters around the country that we wouldn't have previously had. For this reason, online events are worth keeping. The online medium has been an invaluable resource during this unprecedented time. On the other hand, we will be very happy to eventually go back to in person events since ultimately nothing compares to connecting with your donors in person.