Bright Idea: Host a Virtual Fundraiser

Bright Ideas

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Who they are

B.I.G. Love Cancer Care is a Texas-based nonprofit founded in 2007 that works tirelessly to ease the childhood cancer journey. They reach more than 140,000 individuals annually and offer 20 service-based programs at five Texas hospitals.

What they did

This April, B.I.G. Love Cancer Care kicked around the idea of hosting an event that could get their supporters active while keeping them safe by practicing social distancing.

They then put the idea of a virtual fun run into practice by creating their COVID-19 Virtual Run event. Participants could take part in the event from anywhere and in any way they liked. This freedom created an inclusive event for those who wanted to get involved in their own way.

Not only did B.I.G. Love Cancer Care give participants creative freedom for how they completed their fun run, they encouraged participants to decorate their printable fun run bibs, too. This suggestion helped maximize the potential fun involved with participation and gave participants a reason to share information about the event on social media.

Participants could take part from April 19th to May 1st and were encouraged to share their progress on social media. Overall, B.I.G. Love Cancer Care made this event highly shareable on social media. They encouraged participants to share progress and branded the event with the hashtag #inthistogether. The visibility of this event is likely what caused people from across the country to sign up and get involved.

B.I.G. Love Cancer Care shared this image of the event graphic and hashtag on their event page. They then proceeded to use the hashtag in their event posts on social media.

Not only did B.I.G. Love Cancer Care promote the event on social media, they shared a great thank-you video on their Facebook page and shared a map of where their participants took part from after the event.

This heartfelt thank-you also hinted at a #GivingTuesdayNow surprise the nonprofit unveiled the next day. Click the image to view the video.
This idea was brilliant. This map showed where participants took place from. Participants from outside of Texas got to see that their participation was recognized and those within Texas got to see just how far this event reached thanks to them sharing it on social media.

What you can do

Come up with a fun and interactive virtual event idea. A lot of nonprofits can’t host in-person events right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t host events at all! Virtual events are quickly becoming a popular way for families to entertain themselves during quarantine. Take time to brainstorm a virtual event that your participants can take part in from anywhere. Make it interactive so your supporters are engaging with your nonprofit. Setting a goal for participants (like running a certain distance) is a great way to keep them actively participating in your event.

Maximize the fun of your virtual events by giving participants activities they can do leading up to the main event. B.I.G. Love Cancer Care encouraged decorating fun run racing bibs and sharing their bib art on social media.

Virtual events are more successful the more visible they are. Your virtual event information should be on your nonprofit website and on social media. Communicate about the event before, during, and after the event takes place. Adopt a hashtag and encourage participants to use it on Twitter posts. Thank your participants personally with messages on social media. It’s important to remember to wrap up the event with posts on social media, too! Post-event thank-you messages are a great way to make participants feel good for taking part and keeps them coming back for more!

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