10 Takeaways for Planning a Virtual Philanthropy Event!

by Sarah Rayman in Focus on Philanthropy

In May of 2020, I hosted a Virtual Philanthropy Events webinar with Foundation Board Member Rebecca Zanatta to explore virtual event ideas, logistics, and questions. It was wonderful to connect with chapter officers and advisors about how we can best navigate and move forward in planning and executing virtual philanthropy events. So let’s continue the conversation!

Watch the recorded webinar today and keep in mind our key takeaways below!

10 Key Takeaways

#1. Get creative

You are among Alpha Phi’s best and brightest! Get inspired and think of ways to engage your audience on a virtual level. Check out Tau (Oregon)’s Philo Instagram highlight for details on their virtual Alpha Phifa!

#2. GiveSmart is your friend

We are grateful to partner with GiveSmart and to have already integrated it into our fundraising plans. Alpha Phi members continue to use this tool to host auctions and collect donations online.

#3. Expand and think strategically about your audience

Virtual events allow you to invite everyone! Think about the event you’re hosting and communicate with each of your audience groups based on how you’d like for them to get involved! For example, are you asking for donations, in-kind contributions, participation, or social media support?

#4. Communicate with your donors

Use phone, email, and social media to make up for the lost in-person touchpoints. You can use GiveSmart’s email and texting features to easily communicate with your attendees and donors before, during, and after your event.

#5. Consider what you can do virtually

Event aspects such as decorations, music, and seating arrangements won’t apply to your virtual event, but event speakers, videos, and senior ceremonies can still happen with a little finesse and magic!

#6. Don’t forget your finances

Your virtual event won’t require an expensive venue or catering, but there may be new costs you haven’t considered. Work with your VP of Finance and advisory board to plan and prepare for any possible finances associated with your event.

#7. Reach out to local and corporate companies

COVID-19 has had a major economic impact in our communities, but local and corporate businesses may still be willing to work with you on securing in-kind donations and sponsorships for your event.

#8. Do your research

If you are planning on utilizing a third-party website for an aspect of your virtual event (e.g. a virtual gaming site), look into the website first, connect with someone from the company with your questions, and make sure your advisor and Alpha Phi Fraternity review contracts and agreements prior to signing up with them.

#9. Be realistic about your goals

Your event and fundraising may look different this year, and that’s okay! You may not reach as many people, or you may reach even more! Your fundraising may not meet previous years, or it may exceed your goals. Many things may look different, but know that we are incredibly grateful for your efforts and contributions that make Alpha Phi Foundation programs possible.

#10. Our mission is more important than ever

Our work won’t stop or slow down due to COVID-10, and your philanthropic efforts—whether in-person or virtual—help put our mission into action. Your contributions continue to support new and powerful leadership programs, life-changing scholarships and grants, and our funding of innovative and front-of-the-line advances in women’s heart health.
Watch the 2020 State of the Foundation video to see the difference you have helped make possible.



Thank you for your continued support of Alpha Phi Foundation! For any philanthropy and event planning questions, please feel free to reach out to chaptergiving@alphaphifoundation.org. Stay tuned for the launch of our new Virtual Philanthropy Events Toolkit in August and watch the recorded Virtual Philanthropy Events webinar today.

Happy virtual event planning!
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