In early 2021, when an in-person event wasn't possible, Matt Armstrong, Director of Marketing and Communications, and Haley Bowman, Director of Develpment for the BSA's Heart of America Council, began looking for a platform that would streamline their livestream and make this BSA council's traditionally large luncheon easy to take online.
How did BSA pull off a successful virtual fundraising event?
The 1000-attendee annual luncheon was Heart of America's largest event, and Matt and Haley found that while COVID was a pain point, the scouts and alumni had an even bigger need: the need to connect.
So, when they discovered Funraise's custom fundraising sites and user-friendly campaign site editor, Haley and Matt knew virtual was the way to go.
Instead of going completely live, the council rented a professional studio and prerecorded much of the programming, giving them the time and space to present a polished, professional performance to their attendees without stressing over speaker scheduling or unexpected technical issues.
In addition, by tapping into Funraise's Facebook integration and customizing the event's fundraising campaign site, Haley and Matt were able to offer a centralized home base for peer-to-peer fundraisers as well as a way to extend the event past the organization's own network.
But did it work? Yep! Heart of America ended up beating their $700,000 goal.
Here are a few of the other bonuses going virtual brought to this successful event:
- By recording the event, the council created multi-use video content
- The standalone campaign site served as a place to direct donors—even after the event
- Heart of America was able to engage speakers and activities that weren't possible with in-person events
The risk that BSA's Heart of America Council took in flipping the switch to virtual was well worth the reward.