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Combatting coronavirus: A nonprofit's guide to going digital on Givebutter - streaming events, online fundraising campaigns, website donations

From canceled events to budget crises, nonprofits around the world are scrambling to come up with solutions for their 2020 fundraising plans. We're here to support.

Max Friedman
March 17, 2020
Nerd Mr Butter

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Our hearts go out to all who have been affected by the coronavirus. We encourage everyone to participate in all safety and health measures being put in place to help stop its rapid spread. Last updated: June 1, 2020.

With cases of COVID-19 rising exponentially by the day, people and organizations around the world are left to wonder, when will things get better? While we certainly don't have all the answers, we do know one thing: Givebutter will be here to support those who have been impacted and doing the incredibly important work needed now more than ever.

One way we're doing that is by offering 0% platform fees for the next two months. Until July 31st, Givebutter is WAIVING platform fees until July 31st πŸ’›

Fundraising events – What to do?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially recommended that events of 250 or more individuals (previously 50) be canceled or postponed for the foreseeable future, with no clear guidance on when that will change. While this is truly disruptive news for everyone, affecting everything from weddings to galas, the CDC does offer one simple recommendation for event organizers:

When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.

Streaming your fundraising event 🎊

Whether your fundraising event is a gala, sport, show, or something else entirely, there are many opportunities to engage your audience virtually. In fact, leading up to the event, not much needs to change at all – if anything, your logistical overhead will hopefully go way down (i.e. no expensive venues to pay for!). If you've already started selling tickets and made deposits, then it's time to start picking up the phone and doing everything you can to hold on to those ticket purchases and ask for refunds or deferred payments where appropriate.

However, if you're starting from scratch, the world is your oyster.

Introducing Livestream, a virtual giving experience unlike any other.

Just two weeks after hearing about the first nonprofit fundraising event that may be canceled due to COVID-19, Givebutter announced the launch of Livestream, a new product built specifically for virtual fundraising events. With Livestream, nonprofits can sell tickets, stream events, and collect donations – all in one place, all in real-time, and all online. Virtual events on Givebutter are able to live stream video from any of the major providers (Youtube, Facebook, Twitch, Vimeo, Zoom) right on top of a fundraising page, and watch as their community comes together with supporter feeds, goal bars, and donations that light up without ever needing to refresh the page. Best of all, Livestream is completely free forever and included with every Givebutter account.

Read: 7 Easy Steps to Move Any Fundraising Event to Virtual

Watch: BBYO hosts LARGEST Jewish teen giving live stream in the world on Givebutter

Sell tickets, stream your event, and collect donations – all in one place, all in real-time, all on Livestream

‍Fundraising campaigns – How to engage?

Social distancing is a key factor to "flattening the curve" of the coronavirus outbreak. However, without the same kind of in-person community buy-in nonprofits are used to having, it may be particularly difficult to engage supporters when soliciting donations. In our experience, one of the best ways to engage donors this is through team fundraising, a fun, social form of raising money commonly referred to as "peer-to-peer fundraising."

Read: What is "Peer-to-Peer Fundraising"? [2020 update]

Fundraise as a team πŸ…

Givebutter has always invested heavily in team fundraising, and during a time where many people will be staying at home lacking any traditional sense of community, we believe this investment will pay huge dividends for our partners.

Givebutter is one of the most innovative and engaging platforms I've seen.

β€” Rebecca Kaplan, former Executive Director of It's On Us

Here are a few of the many benefits team fundraising has to offer:

  • Individual messages of support
  • Personalized fundraising pages
  • Friendly competition (optional)
  • One-click social media sharing
  • Automated one-to-one email marketing
  • Learn more about all of these free features and more, available on Givebutter

Read: The ONE thing you need to have in your next online fundraising campaign

Watch: Success Story: Trinity Habitat raises $100k+ with Givebutter Livestream, Team Fundraising

Bring your community together through the social power of Team Fundraising

Online donations – Where to go?

It's never been more important for nonprofits to have modern, well-designed, high-converting donation forms and buttons on their websites. We already know that in 2019 more people donated online than ever before, but now with COVID-19 leaving millions of people at home and in quarantine, traditional payment methods of cash and check will border on obsolete.

Watch: Success Story: Music City raised $103k in emergency relief aid in less than 24 hours on Givebutter

Grow your one-time and recurring donations πŸ’»

Fortunately, thanks to modern fundraising platforms like Givebutter, it has never been easier or more cost-effective to collect online donations.

See a full, side-by-side comparison of Givebutter vs. PayPal, Classy, GoFundMe, Eventbrite, Snap! Raise, Kickstarter, and DonorBox.

Read: Best fundraising platforms to use during coronavirus for nonprofits, small businesses, and individuals

Watch: Success Story: RASA surpasses fundraising goal in less than 24-hours on Givebutter to provide 5,000 free meals to medical workers and school children

Embed a simple yet powerful donation form on your website, or host it on Givebutter

Ideas? We'd love to hear from you.

Supporting all of the impacted nonprofits, communities, and families during this time will be a team effort, and we'll continue to update this article as we hear about new ideas and resources.

Please reach out at [email protected] πŸ’›

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