In 2020 we experienced a massive shift of in-person events coming to life on digital platforms. This change pushed us to find ways to ensure that these virtual events would have the same impact as those we previously had held in person. For the philanthropic world, this meant getting creative about ways to excite and inspire our donors to contribute when we couldn’t be with them in person.
A recent study found, much to the surprise of many, that virtual and in-person attendees were nearly equal to donating at an event. As The Chronicle of Philanthropy explains, “Twenty-one percent of virtual attendees said they would kick in $100 or more on top of event registration fees while 19 percent of in-person attendees said the same.” The study found the most common reasons participants attended an event virtually was being able to enjoy the activity from the comfort of their home and being able to support a charity event they might not have attended because it wasn’t close to where they live.
We know finding ways to amplify our virtual platforms will be the future of philanthropic events. At the Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, we saw the power of virtual fundraising events firsthand in 2021, when we transformed our annual “Walk With Love” to “Move With Love.” Although we are excited this year we can be back in person — and we so look forward to seeing you! — we continue to value our virtual registrants and see enormous potential for virtual growth within our mission. If there is one thing we learned from the pandemic it is that there is an entire world beyond our home in Southern California that is waiting to join us in achieving our goals!