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Virtual Event Expert Shares Best Practices for Virtual Fundraisers

HubSpot Video


July 30, 2020

As it becomes more real that large, in-person gatherings aren’t taking place any time soon, nonprofits must turn to a virtual fundraising component to stay relevant and keep their mission alive. 

Yet, it’s no small feat to get a virtual event off the ground, make it successful, and most importantly, bring home the dollars. (Especially if it’s your first go-round!)

For our next FREE webinar, we’ve teamed up with university faculty-turned-entrepreneur and livestream video personality Jill Schiefelbein of Dynamic Virtual Events, a master in turning any in-person event to an effective virtual one. 



Full Transcript

Dave Asheim  0:02: All right, I'll introduce myself. And then I'll have Jill tell us about herself. I started a company called Give by Cell about 12 years or so ago. And we have lots of different services for training and for museums and for HR. But the one we're going to talk today is for nonprofits. Everybody we invited today is a nonprofit. I will demo in a second one of these mobile services where people can text in. But Jill is our star of the show. Tell us a little bit about your background.

Jill Schiefelbein  0:41: Well, my background in particular as it pertains to virtual events, and from the nonprofit angle. I have never worked directly for a nonprofit but I've been on the board of a not for profit organization. I have also volunteered and raised money for many a not for profit organization and done pro bono work for a number as well. So well, I don't know your industry is inside and out as you do, and I will never claim to, I'm not completely unfamiliar, pertinent to the topic of virtual events, virtual fundraisers, excetera. Here today, I was playing in the virtual space before it was the norm. I ran my first virtual presentation Live Meeting in 2008. So quite a long time ago by now virtual event standards, and ever since have been working with organizations and groups of all sizes to make their virtual events as engaging and as outcome focused as possible, if not more so than some other in person experiences, because now we can reach more people in different ways and aren't hindered by physical and geographical constraints.

Dave Asheim  1:46: Well, and Jill has a fabulous website. Jill, while we're chatting, maybe drop that in the chat window. And for people that are just coming on, let us know who you are and where you're from, and start asking questions. in the chat window as well, Jill is going to share a LinkedIn article should that she just published as well as material about herself and we'll give you all of her contact info at the end. So, a little bit about us. We work with maybe 3000 or 4000 different nonprofits around the United States and Canada. And services range from text messaging to thermometers that go up when people are making donations to donations that can hit a cell phone bill, so everything you can imagine that you can do on your phone. That's what we do. So much of our work these days is helping nonprofits navigate the waters of virtual. We know the donation piece of that very well, but we're anxious to learn from Jill to about all the other pieces of the puzzle you need. So that's why we're we're lucky to have Jill here. I'll be talking about kind of the mobile aspect. But I'll be interviewing Jill about how to really pull off a great, great event. So it would be fun if everybody takes out their phone just to show you how this mobile piece works. So this is very interactive here, everybody. So take out your phone, and open up a new text message. And Jill and everybody in the team feel free to do that. And what I'd like you to do is imagine that Jill's your moderator, and she just said, All right, everybody, it's time to make our goal of $100,000. So everybody, take out your phone and open up a new text and send to text to 56512. You're gonna text in "SCREEN", put a space, then maybe donate 500 or thousand, whatever you like. And then put your name and that will appear on a live screen. And if you don't want to put your name just like in real life, that's okay. I'm going to do this too. And text in and you'll see instantly there's Katie, and more people. There's Molly and Cassie and Liz and the thermometers going up. And Jill as your MC is getting everybody all worked up. "We're 75,000 now but we'll be short, we're 64,000 short. Come on, everybody!" Jill, I'm sure you're very good at getting the crowd all revved up.

Jill Schiefelbein  5:02: Can I chime in on this one right now?

Dave Asheim  5:03: Yes. Okay. Yes.

Jill Schiefelbein  5:05: Yeah. So anytime you're emceeing anything, especially for a not for profit, a fundraiser, an event like this, you want your emcee to really be able to communicate to everyone on the line what exactly those dollars are doing. And dead air is actually damaging in the virtual space. So when you think about it, when there is dead air, even for a couple of seconds, if we're not seeing any movement on the screen whatsoever, we're not hearing anything. We our brains immediately think, did I lose connection, did something freeze, did something break, and in those split seconds, the neural pathways in your brain have changed the trajectory of your thought and it takes time to then reset the stage for a type of fundraising conversation. So you want to make sure that you have an emcee who's super engaging but also educational as it pertains to your foundation. So for example, I could be annotating this and let's say I'm just gonna make stuff up on the fly here. "But Anna oh my gosh, thank you so much for your pledge of $100. Do you realize what that $100 can do? You just provided a Thanksgiving meal for 24 families because of the massive buying power that our organization has. Anna, massive round of applause $100 24 families, that's incredible. You guys, we're nearing that $50,000 mark. If we get there, that means half of all the families in our entire tri state area who have identified as families of need are not going to go hungry. If we can hit that hundred thousand mark, we're gonna hit every one that we need to hit. So even if you've already donated if you can add even just five more dollars or four more dollars to cover the cost of that meal, that would be incredible." And you can start to add those things in there so people know exactly the type of dollar amounts, where they're going to. You're adding commentary, engagement and you'll notice I did something, I picked out a person, not even the person that had the highest amount, I would do this with a handful of different people. Obviously at a bigger event you wouldn't have time to run through and thank everyone, but by saying one person's name and talking about that amount, and then doing it to another, "Oh my gosh, $3,000! What an amazing contribution. With funding at that level, you're helping us reach our goal even faster. And once we hit that hundred thousand massive buying power, our partner suppliers have agreed to reduce the cost of every meal by a quarter, which may not sound like much but over 100,000 meals served that's a massive savings to our foundation. So thank you for that contribution." So it's always times someone's name. So it's a shared experience to the dollar amount and then to something that that dollar amount can support or achieve.

Dave Asheim  7:54: You've done this once or twice I get the feeling that we are in the midst of greatness everybody, but I'm so excited we exceeded our goal because you've got everybody excited, Jill. I'm exhausted. I don't even know that we need to continue the program, but we're going to anyway.

Jill Schiefelbein  8:12: I asked a real quick question in the chat for everyone while we're navigating this slide back? Everyone in the chat a simple response here. "Y" for Yes, and "N" for No, let's make this a rapid fire chat response. "Y" for Yes, and "N" for No. How many of you could see how you could add energy and dynamism and value to your audience by doing that technique, right, by having someone. The energy is genuinely engaging by really honing in on what that is. And then of course, that education piece, because that education piece is hugely important as is showing that it's a shared experience because unlike Dave's example, the Four Seasons, we're not looking around the room to see the beautiful gala dresses or nice tuxes and bow ties and vests of everyone in the room, or we're not hanging around at a park, this amazing picnic that we put together to celebrate families and have kid friendly events and see what people are doing. So the emcee has to build in that community aspect by calling out people by name. And thank you guys so much for those quick chat responses too.

Dave Asheim  9:18: Yeah, fabulous. Fabulous. Okay, let's move on. Jill, we've talked a little bit about you, but we're going to put in the chat window if you have a second, more background on yourself. But why don't we get started here. This is a pretty unusual climate, Jill and really virtual for many organizations is the only way, at least for the next six months, that life can return to any sort of normalcy. You're seeing probably a huge amount of people moving towards virtual.

Jill Schiefelbein  10:03: Absolutely.

Dave Asheim  10:06: Today we're going to talk about how to actually do that. Alright. So, and also, by the way, in the background, Patty, one of our sales consultants is going to send out a few text messages to people throughout the presentation, kind of emulating, pretending that you're using texting to reach people maybe before and during the event. All right, so let's go forward here. Kim or Molly.

All right, what we're going to do here is I'm just going to take 10 seconds. This little video we're going to show shows Chorus America, the leading association for choruses in the country. They got an opera singer do a little singing. Go ahead, Molly, hit play, we'll do five seconds of this.

Jill Schiefelbein  11:18: That's good.

Dave Asheim  11:20: Just the audio wasn't good through zoom. But the idea here is you can put live and/or recorded videos in and you can have this call to action. You can have a thermometer going on. So we've got lots of examples we'll share with you when we send our email tomorrow. All right, so let's go to a few questions that I prepared for Jill and we'll start with when you think about a virtual event, what are the various forms or virtual events there are and what's kind of the gamut that virtual events run?

Jill Schiefelbein  12:06: So some basic terminology to be aware of when it comes to virtual events. It's are you doing a live virtual event or a not live virtual event? So are you doing synchronous, which is live or asynchronous, which is not live, meaning that maybe over a period of a week, a month, two days, a day, whatever it is that people can access the content and the information and have the ability to donate at any given point in time in that bigger period or into perpetuity, however you choose to do it. So the first big decision when going to virtual a lot of the time is people are so stressed about the technology. But really what I want you to think about when you're starting to conceptualize how you may move your gala event, your fundraiser event, different telephone talk, whatever it is, whatever that event is that you're thinking of converting to a virtual format. The first thing to think of is not the technology, although I know that that's on a lot of people's minds. But instead, it's the experience you want people to have. Put the experience first, the organization goals and stuff like that second, the technology, third. That's the hierarchy you should use when you at least start to think about that. Because once you have an experience in mind, the question of synchronous versus asynchronous of live or not live or live that can also be asynchronous later is going to be an easier one to answer. And then the experience you want your attendees to have, your donors to have, your potential donors to have, is really going to be kind of like that mission statement like your organizations all have a mission statement. Consider the experience you want your attendees to have at this virtual event, your event mission statement, and then every decision runs through that filter throughout the curation and creation of the event.

Dave Asheim  14:03: A question that I get or maybe a statement almost every day, I probably talked to 10 nonprofit executive directors a day. I heard it yesterday. They just don't know what to do. And they are convinced that virtual events can't hold a candle to live events. That's not your history here at all. Virtual events, if they're done right, can have a tremendous amount of advantages for an organization. So I would like everybody to walk out of this webinar thinking that maybe this is not the end of the world. And in fact, this is an incredible opportunity to do things differently. And I know Jill, when we were talking you had mentioned there's five or 10 positives to virtual events, maybe you could just go through that checklist of why this is not such a such a negative. In fact it's a positive.

Jill Schiefelbein  15:09:  Sure. I mean, and even before going through that list, I think if we really zoom out and look at our climate that we're in, you know, not just COVID but now with the economy, two people spending money to travel is not an easy thing to do right now, people who would come to an event from further away to support a big national event, for example, aren't going to be able to spend that funding as easily. So when you look at where we're at now, and the events that you used to put on, physical events carry an incredibly high cost. So I've had a nonprofit say to me, "Well, our gala event raises half a million dollars every year. And then I ask, "And how much of that is left over after you pay the event expenses?" You raise half a million dollars is not the same thing as you brought away half a million dollars that goes directly into the foundation -- those are two very different things. So first and foremost, really, when you're looking at the funds that your organization needs to operate, the goals that you have, do it as the number that is your take home to the foundation, right? Know that number, and make that really first and foremost in your mind. And now your expenses for a virtual event. From most events, most are not going to be as expensive as those physical events. And in addition, a lot of time and physical events, we spend chasing down different companies who want to donate to different aspects of the event. Now, this is twofold. You can ask those companies to donate in a different way for virtual or you reallocate that staff person's time to something else if those things are no longer relevant. So you can have a net positive from the balance sheet side on the virtual events. So think, at least optimistically about that. It's a little more nebulous, because unlike a $500 a plate fundraiser, you don't know the exact number that you may or may not get in on some types of events. But on other types of events you do, and you'll have more control over your overhead and unanticipated expenses won't be as high virtually as they are in many physical events. So that's really one consideration. The other one is with virtual you are no longer geographically bound. What I've seen happen in the past three to five years, which is absolutely beautiful, and type in the word "Me" into the chat if you have seen this, the mass amount of donations to organizations you've never even heard of on Facebook, or on any social media platform. And maybe some of you have even donated through Facebook. So type in "Me" into the chat right now. If you are one of those people who has experience that you've seen this, and I've donated $10 for friend who was raising money for a tiny animal shelter in a small town in Washington, because I like my friend, they were raising money for their birthday. And I decided to support that. Well, now this is not for profit that I have never heard of before has my information, don't misuse it, of course, but you have that data and you're able to attract a different type of audience, which means that anyone who is supporting a cause and although I know that all of us working for our own foundations and not for profits, yes, we want those funds to come directly to us. But I think we could probably also all agree that any bigger contributions to the overall causes we are trying to support or the overall problems we are trying to solve is just a better world for everyone. So we are able to do this. Molly asks, "Facebook giving doesn't provide donor info. Do they?" Depends on the settings and depends on the settings that you as a user allow. There are check boxes in there. So you just have to pay attention to that when you donate. So that's really important to know. But case in point there, you can attract a much wider audience. Now, let's say you have a huge donor or even maybe a new donor. And you know what, when someone first starts supporting, like I remember when I first became like not the highest level donor, I don't have that deep of pockets, but like a donor on a museum that lists you at the very, very bottom in the tiny print with the biggest category. But I was like, yes, I have now contributed at a level that my name gets to be put somewhere like, I was proud of that. And that's something that when you're proud you want to share with people so now you can allow those people to have family members and friends come to these events as well. And even if they don't have the pockets that you want them to have, and I'm just being very blunt with all of you, we all know that $1 is $1 and we're grateful for that. The awareness of the organization is huge. I love that Kim from Give by Cell wrote, "I'll always remember when I decided to become a member of my local NPR." Like, most of us remember that feeling. And so virtual allows that geographic reach that physical events never did. And the cost per head changes dramatically again, so back to the overhead. Those are just a couple of quick things. But I'll pause now, Dave, because maybe some other questions came to your mind.

Dave Asheim  20:21: Well, I remember reading something that you had written, or maybe it was in one of our pre chats, about how this could be an incredible opportunity to not just have the big fall gala, and the golf outing, but lots and lots of mini events, maybe if it's for university, it's by class, but you're replicating this and maybe some of the same speakers, celebrities can participate because they don't have to travel. So instead of just one big event, you might be able to get really granular now, this, like you said, some of the material can even be pre recorded. So it just all offers such a granular way to do fundraising and have many of these events that are not just geared to the people that want to dress up in a tux.

Jill Schiefelbein  21:09: It's absolutely correct. And I really want you to think about, you know, I'm just going to use a celebrity example. And we chatted about this in our pre conversation before today. There are so many celebrities right now who when they don't have to make a physical appearance, security is not involved. Lights and travel aren't involved. Coming to a physical event takes 24 to 36 hours off and out of someone's schedule, which makes them, if they are looking at themselves as a commodity, less profitable in that period. Now because everyone is doing things from their own living room, from their office, from their homes, their backyards, you can actually get celebrities, high visibility people in your community to your cause to be able to donate and give time in a different way than before because really all it takes now let's say for example, let's say you're doing a silent auction. And maybe at your event you had a gala dinner and the top five donors got a behind the stage meet and greet with whatever celebrity was coming into the event. Well now what if you can have those five donors and now make it 10 donors who donate a certain amount, get a 15 second recorded video message to whomever they want. You know, if my dad loves Phil Mickelson the golfer, I got Phil and he's like "Hey, Paul, your daughter tells me you need to work on your backswing. You might want to watch a video I have to check that out. But anyways, she made a great donation to this organization on your behalf and I just wanted to say hi and glad to know another fellow golfer is out there in the world. Keep on swinging you know!" Whatever it is, you can get those messages and in less than like 10 minutes a celebrity can knock all of these out and you've gotten huge donations. So start to think of ways you can leverage the lack of travel, the lack of security, expensive lack of time that goes into that. And most people right now with TV shows, movies, all these things and productions still being shut down, are only incrementally coming back. The time that these people have available is very different than it will be in other situations too.

Dave Asheim  23:21: And, along with the celebrities, something that's incredibly powerful that people forget about is these can be recorded. On Saturday night, a friend of mine runs a festival in Napa Valley, and they had Joshua Bell, they had some very famous people that had pre recorded their segment of the event. Well, it got on Facebook and YouTube. So the live number of people were in, I don't know 20, 30, 40,000 range. And the number of views that I saw recently was over a million views. So here's an organization that normally would have an event. How many people would have been there? Maybe under 1000 people. They had 20,000 people or more participating live and then a million views. And I think we forget about the power of recording this. And then through social media, how it can explode.

Jill Schiefelbein  24:18: Yeah, I think there's so much potential for what I often call repurposing. Now with my business by repurposing content, interviews I've done, articles I've written, books I've written etc, repurposing different pieces of it, I've been able to gain a bigger following and more consumers of my content. That same philosophy can apply to you and your organization. But I want to say again, that yes, these are individual tactics and strategies, but I want to zoom out a little bit and there's a question I'm going to keep it anonymous that just came in via chat that I really want to hit on, someone asks about and again, this is a granular thing. You know, a tiny small thing and the big picture but it is part of the experience. If you're doing a event, do you recommend having a thermometer on the screen the entire time and simply talking in the background? Or do you toggle between them or not have it until the end? This is an example of a question that only after you have had the big picture experience conversations only after you have talked about your organizational objectives and goals for the event. And then when you're in the technology selection process, after those things have been achieved, that's when you start looking at that and then running that through that experience filter. Because depending on the technology you choose, that may or may not be a possibility easily. And again, the thing is, it depends on the event. One thing I know is that when people are in any event of any type, not just virtual, but especially in virtual, you have to vary the status quo. If the status quo is a person talking or a person talking with slides or playing pre recorded video is the status quo. You have to change that up regularly enough to keep people's attention. Just like I've been queuing you guys to go to chat to make sure not that you're all listening, I am not worried about that at all, but that we're on the same page. And by seeing everyone's fast chat comments come up, we create this shared experience together that if you did not attend live, you would not have a part in that experience, which again, goes back to that key point, what is the experience you want people to have with this event, with your foundation or nonprofit, then the goals, than the technology.

Dave Asheim  26:32: Great. One of the things I wanted to cover with you are four or five tips for or pitfalls to avoid for pre, during and post. So let's spend maybe five minutes on each one. In the pre: promotion, size, time of day, how long it should last. What are the things people should be thinking about? What's going on? Like the best practice for thinking of setting this up.

Jill Schiefelbein  27:03: Back to the experience. I sound like a broken record, but it is something that people do not pay enough attention to. I just ran a five day event. Five day live, each day, half day event for AARP's foundation. Now this was an internal event. This was not donor focused. So I will give you that caveat. But most people think a five day live virtual event. Are you kidding me? We had 95% retention in every single session every time because the experience was designed intentionally to keep people engaged throughout. So when it comes to this, what are you trying to do? Are you trying to recreate a gala in a virtual space? Because if so, there's some aspects of it, that you're not going to be able to recreate well and give a quality experience to people. Now maybe you are doing more education. Maybe you're bringing in leadership speakers because you know your top donors are all executives and bringing in a top leadership speaker, for example, is something that those leaders could share with their teams and they would find benefit and value in. So maybe you're looking at the fundraiser completely differently, thinking more innovatively about what value you can bring to people. So the timing it really depends but, you know, some quick and hard fast rules of thumb. Most people will not even watch an entire three minute video if they are not engaged in it or really, really interested without getting distracted in some way, shape or form. I mean, my cat's asleep over here, there's a dog out there. Whatever it is, we are creatures of any movement is going to take us away so you have to focus on the experience. Never ever, ever, especially if it's just speaker after speaker after speaker with really no bigger purpose, no shared experience or collaboration, an hour would be way too long for that. A virtual event lasting longer than 90 minutes without giving a break to me is just putting a nail in the proverbial coffin. You do not want to do that to people. So think of in the experiential aspect, the energy flow of the event. If you're going to have someone do a very emotional, gut wrenching heart tale, you need to also balance that out with some levity, right? We know the psychology of donation, of persuasion is triggered a lot to not only emotions but the ethos and the logos of an organization. If they're coming to watch this, you can already assume to some extent, the ethos and the logos, your credibility is there. And some of the logic is there. Again, a good emcee can drop in that logic when you're talking about donations. But the pathos, the emotion of it, really needs to come in from stories. So how can you have those stories come across in a virtual space in a really meaningful way, and then have that ebb and flow? So if you're looking at things to keep people's attention, think of 30 to 60 minutes if you want to have like a dedicated isolated time. The reality is now we can't physically take ourselves away from home to attend a five hour four hour whatever it is fundraiser dinner. But we can say for these 30 minutes or these 60 minutes I'm going to stay really focused.

Dave Asheim  30:10 : If we move to during the event, Jamie in the chat window has an interesting question about when people would go to events in the past there was the schmoozing and the mingling and I haven't seen you in a long time. Sometimes I'm that at these events as much because I want to socialize as much as it is the support in the organization. So what when you read Jamie's comment, I think it's kind of an insightful one. How do you respond to that about the networking aspect and how to put that in a virtual event?

Jill Schiefelbein  30:47: Hmm, number one, know your audience. If it's something that they do not typically like, that they just want to come, be seen, be entertained, and the schmoozing is at a minimum, know that about your audience and design the experience around that. Which means have a lot of entertaining, engaging, provoking different pieces of content that are going to keep them engaged and want to open, you know, their envelopes of money to be able to donate, right? When it comes to people who do like the networking, you can accomplish both. So let's say you wanted to have an event where you put like a cocktail reception, a virtual cocktail reception at the beginning, and then pair that with the hour long event at the end. And then it's an optional reception. People come for as much as that as you want. Just like in person, you have people who come for that whole reception because they love the open bar. And then you have people who don't really care to mingle, they just want to get down to the program, do their thing and go. So give them the option. I have run some very biased statements. Fabulous virtual cocktail parties for organizations where you can utilize technology to randomly break people into groups with each other, giving them challenges and questions and talking points, unifying people back and being able to share some information and ideas, and then sending them back out to break out, just kind of like rotating virtual cocktail tables, if you will. So you could have that type of energizing thing, if you really want to be on top of that, they sign up for that, send to their house, a bottle of wine beforehand that they can enjoy with that virtual cocktail reception, right. Get that in their face, they've paid to be part of the event. So you don't have to pay $20 per glass of wine at the venue. Now you can get that bottle sent, you know and use that. So there's so many ways to combine physical elements of experience with virtual elements. So you can even say "Hey, thank you for registering for this. To team you up for the virtual cocktail reception, we know we can't pour you a drink in person, but we would love you to select a drink of your own. Here's a $50 gift card to you know Total Wine or whatever. Please go select what you'd like and bring it to the virtual event." And you can combine those strategies.

Dave Asheim  32:58: Many of these events in the past have had a price tag of $50 to $5,000. What's your advice for the folks that are on the call in terms of do they charge to attend the event or not charge to attend the event?

Jill Schiefelbein  33:14: Depends on the experience and goal. I know you're probably like, "Why don't I log in to talk about this experience and goal type thing?" Like I get that, but most people get it but they don't actually take the time to think about it. So for example, if you can provide something of value that you know people will pay for, you know your audience will pay for, you can bring in a specific speaker, you can give them access to something, then by all means, do it. Maybe perhaps a silent auction is a massive part of your annual fundraiser, bi-annual golf tournament. Whatever it is, well, now let's facilitate that in the virtual space. Let's use the technology to make that happen. And in that case, maybe you have to pay $250 to attend the silent auction. You're going to hear the CEO, you're going to hear from some people that the organization has helped. And of that $250, $200 of it is available to you as a bid credit for the silent auction. So then you get people more involved in the bidding as well. So then you're making sure you have the bottom line profit that you're going to have no matter what from everyone. And then the silent auction keeps adding that up in it. So a lot of different ways to think about it. But again, it's really, you know what your audience will bear in terms of costs, and you also know what the goals are that you need to achieve. So knowing that, again, think of the experience you want to have, and let's get realistic about the goals. Sometimes that means we need to refine the experience again before picking the technology and all the parameters.

Dave Asheim  34:45: Aldo has a question and I was going to ask you the same question about the use of VIPs. And of course a VIP could be a leading scientist studying this disease, or it could be the mayor, or it could be a former grad of a high school that's now famous. How important are VIPs to getting people to these virtual events? What's your suggestion on the use of VIPs? And maybe even charging, like you said, for access?

Jill Schiefelbein  35:19: It's really about what people value, what do your donors really value. And sometimes that's going to be mixed, which is why it's amazing and virtual. It's not just let's put all our eggs in one basket at this big annual event. Maybe now we have quarterly virtual events. And in the first quarter, it's always a celebrity VIP in the second quarter, it's more educational in the third quarter, it's an internal thing. And in the fourth quarter, it's more like a party fun. Whatever it is, there's so many different things that you can do to think of it and again, your overhead is different when you're running virtual versus in person. The other thing is, even once in person, things come back, using virtual as a way to engage I think is very strategic. You'll see a lot of people think of when you've watched an award show like the Oscars, the Grammys, Academy Awards, etc. And oftentimes there's a cause there where you can text this number and $5 comes from your phone bill. So that's a way that people are participating in an event live without being there. So you can make hybrid experiences. So the oldest question directly it's what does your audience want, and if they want different things, now you have the ability to segment instead of trying to cram all five top things that people want into one specific event. So with that, a celebrity is typically a draw for the average person, right? If they're interested in the celebrity that is a draw in the ability to have a celebrity, you know, do whatever so I'm a big art lover, museum supporter, art lover, whatever. And I went to an auction and one of the things that was up for charity was having Peter Max paint a version of a portrait for you, which was incredible. Now the bidding got too high. I could not afford it. But I'm like I even you know, when you really want something like that, and it's live in the moment and every fundraiser development person knows people are in the moment, they're going to end up spending a little more than they anticipated spending to try to get that once that adrenaline gets going. So it's not to me just about necessarily the speaker as a VIP, but it's what experiences are you bringing to people now? Is it you know, um, Oh, my gosh, I'm blanking on the guy's name. The guy who played Harry Potter

Jill Schiefelbein  37:34: Who played who played Harry? I totally blanked. Daniel Radcliffe. Thank you so much.

Jill Schiefelbein  37:40: I just totally had a brain fart on that. But let's say you have, you know, a donor whose child is like the most massive Harry Potter fan or Heck, maybe the donor is a massive Harry Potter fan and an experience you can offer because he can't attend live, but a personalized birthday greeting from the guy who played Harry Potter to this person, now that's something you're going to have people clamoring over. So you got to think about that. And Steven, you know, Ron Weasley better, of course, you know, or you know, Hermoine, whatever character you pick, but you get the point, right? We can use those things. And now because again, time and place aren't a thing that we're competing against. Think of the experiences you can give that are uniquely for you. And I would even say, any celebrity that you've had in the past five to 10 years, do something at your event that you paid them for in some way or even if you didn't, they've been a supporter, reach out to them. Just say, listen, like everyone, we're, you know, we're pivoting in this virtual space. And one of the things we really want to offer our donors is a unique experience. You know, you were so fantastic. Would you be willing to create one to five, you know, ask for a number specific, but would you be willing to do three separate like 15 to 3 second videos for the highest bidders? You know, and then amazing, great and take it from there. But now's a chance to reengage those people who had associated with you previously as well. Because again, people are in a very giving state of mind with what they are able to give right now.

Dave Asheim  39:13: Moving from the event to now the event is over, it's 9:30 or 10 o'clock, what are the next five things over the next hours or weeks we should think about?

Jill Schiefelbein  39:26: So number one, you do not want to, from a communicative perspective, getting into my little neuroscience bit here, which is my main keynote topic right on people making decisions and the communication that follows, once someone has made a big donation, the absolute last thing you want them to feel is any sense of remorse for that buyer remorse, consumer's remorse, donor's remorse, whatever that is. So what you really want to do is when that donation hits the next morning, make sure there is an email in their inbox. If you can arrange a physical package even more impressive, right? Whatever it is, something that not only thanks them because that's easy: "Thank you so much for your support, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." And I'm not saying we shouldn't show gratitude, please know that but anyone can do that. Your gift last night literally just changed the lives of x people, or whatever it is. Maybe even having a personal video to some of the big donors from some of the, let's say you work on Children's Cancer, some of the kids pre recorded some videos or are ready that morning to record those videos and you have staff at some of those facilities ready to get those to you with the morning rounds. Whatever it is, something that is personalized, that gives people that emotional tug, that warm fuzzy that they're like, wow, this was absolutely the right choice. So there's that. After that, you want to make sure you have the ability to repurpose and get people to share. People don't automatically share on social media, some do, some are just in that life and they love it. But some will if you ask, so make sure you have that type of hashtag strategy or sharing strategy at your virtual event and then even encouraging that post throughout all of the repurposing of what is legal for you to reshare.

Dave Asheim  41:20: Excellent. While we're kind of winding down, although we have probably another hundred questions. If your question hasn't been answered, go ahead and and restate it in the chat window as Jill and I do a little recap here. And Molly or Kim, if you want to kind of show JIll's email and contact information too. We'll show that on that screen. Jill has a fabulous website. So you should all go to The Dynamic Communicator and she is as you can tell, so make sure you do that. Jill, you are in the business of helping nonprofits, and, and obviously are very effective, what are the ways that some of the folks on the call today might want to reach out to you and for what reasons and how can they do that?

Jill Schiefelbein  42:13: Sure. Well thank you for asking that. If you are looking to pivot to a virtual event, and you need some help, number one, any non for profit organization, this is something that I am doing from my business perspective. At this time any not for profit organization hoping to pivot something to virtual, no questions asked free 30 minutes, you can pick my brain on whatever you want, you just need to email me and get in touch. Because of my schedule, it may be a week or two before I can get you into those slots right now. But please know anyone on the line 30 minutes picking my brain for whatever you want. This is a time to serve. Not a time to be greedy. For I've seen some vultures in the virtual space try to capitalize on this and that is not me. Now, I also am a business owner. So that being said, after we chat if you think we want to engage, whether I'm emceeing or hosting, helping your team creative, being project manager, working on the tech, whatever it is, I do any and all of those things, but please know first and foremost, that genuinely 30 minutes, I am not going to try to sell you if it's something that you asked me about, I will. That's not my ethos at all. So please know you can do that. And you can get that by just emailing me and reaching out. Any questions that I didn't get to today also, would love for you to do those on social media, if you would. I'm @dynamicjill, everywhere, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, on social and that way other people can benefit from the response. I really like building the community and making it better for people. But yeah, any other questions you have after that we'd be happy to follow through and I'm just grateful that you guys have asked me to do this because I know when I was talking with Molly and Kim, they said, Well, we want to talk about virtual events and you know, one of the things we said is can we make it just about not for profits and fundraisers? Because that's where a lot of our hearts are at right now?

Dave Asheim  44:07: Yeah. And it's so important and people are just struggling with not really knowing how to pull this off. And you just gave us about 25 killer ideas. So I hope everybody wrote those down. A lot of people have said, Are you going to send a copy of the recording? I saw that about 20 times. So yes, Molly, and Kim will will put this together. So you'll have the slides. And you'll have a copy of the recording, probably tomorrow. And I'll make a little pitch for us. Patty's gonna send out a text, anybody that wants to use that thermometer, that wants to use any text messaging, any of these things that we offer. Mobile Giving for virtual events, anybody that mentions that you're attended this webinar, and you get 50% off, so Patty will send out a text you can reply to that text or you can email me. Or if you receive some emails from our sales consultants, you can do that too. So that's a great a great offer. All right, Jill, I think we have filled everybody's brains with some great, some great ideas, some final thoughts and tips before we leave the webinar, Jill.

Jill Schiefelbein  45:19: You know, let me repeat something I said, and you all know what it's in what is the one thing you should think about and prioritize first? Everyone type it in the chat. It's like this massive, we're all going to yell it out at the same type of thing. You know, where is experience, right, really focus on the experience you want someone to have and that experience may not be replicating the type of event that you used to have in the virtual space. And in fact, don't pigeonhole yourself into that because it can be so much more innovative and unique to really change that status quo of what your donors are used to, which is an incredible thing. So that experience, that shared experience is huge and please, technology can be the greatest uniter if we let it. Don't let a fear of the technology working or not working hold you back from doing something virtual. What I found is if you are honest with people on the line, like listen, guys, and let's do a test market, for example, why don't you reach out to maybe some mid range donors or newer donors and say we are so grateful for your support of our organization in 2019 for our 2020 event. We're pivoting to virtual but we're going to be honest, we don't have all the kinks worked out. Your opinion is so valuable to us. Would you be willing to get on a mini event with us for 30 minutes and give some advice to our team, we know you support the mission of this organization and your advice would be invaluable. I mean, talk about making like your entry level donors more invested in the organization. Now they have these opinions. Now they're giving them and you've gotten them hooked at a different level. There's so many ways to do it. And since you're not physically bound, you can do it very inexpensively. So really think of all those ways and don't shy away just because you don't have the tech experience because there are people out there who do who can come in and help.

Dave Asheim  47:12: Mm hmm. Great advice. Jill, you can help a lot of people raise money and raise awareness. So make sure you write down her phone number and her email. And as Jill said, use social media so everybody can share. Thank you very much, Jill and to our marketing team, I hope. Let us know in the chat window if you learn something today. I learned a ton. It's been great. Jill and I will hang out here for a few minutes. If you guys have some more questions, we'll keep it going. But this officially ends our webinar and we'll hang out for five minutes or so if there are some more great questions that we want to ask Jill. So thanks very much.

Everybody gets back a thank you from Jill and Dave. Alright, so thanks everybody and we'll hang for a few minutes if there are some more questions. All right, I like that, "Now I know how to move forward on my virtual event Jill", so you've got a convert. Okay, there we go. God bless from Jerry. Excellent. Okay. Got my brain thinking, Jody. All right. And Rena, yes this recording will be recorded and sent to you. "Truly the best virtual content webinar I've ever attended!" Cindy okay, you get the gold star for sucking up to Jill and Dave, that's really I love it.

Jill Schiefelbein  48:47: If you would post that on my LinkedIn profile, I would be so super appreciative. Recommendations go a long way, thank you so much

Dave Asheim  48:56: Okay, well Well, Jill, I think we'll wrap this up. And thank you so much for helping us so much on this.

Jill Schiefelbein  49:06: Great. Thank you for having me.

Dave Asheim  49:08: All right. Bye, everybody.

Virtual Event Expert Shares Best Practices for Virtual Fundraisers

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