After 18 months of an unpredictable pandemic that caused many of us to pivot or adjust plans, in-person events are slowly making a comeback.
Prior to Covid-19, there’s a good chance that major events such as galas, trivia nights, auctions and golf tournaments played a crucial role in your yearly fundraising.
These events were likely a large portion of your marketing and fundraising budget and took immense amounts of time and effort to pull off. After a good 12-16 months without these home run fundraising events, you might be thinking it’s time to schedule one for next year.
While we do not believe these events should or will disappear from fundraising calendars, micro events have our attention in a much greater way.
Micro events can engage your audience and provide you a powerful way to connect with your top advocates. Micro events are free or inexpensive live activities that take place online or in-person and last for about 60-90 minutes. Webinars, social media events, coffee gatherings, happy hour, game nights and live video broadcasts are all examples of micro events.
So why should your organization look at micro events as part of your marketing and fundraising strategy?
Build lasting relationships
When you throw a massive event with hundreds or even thousands of individuals, you lose the opportunity to connect in a meaningful way with your top advocates and prospective donors alike.
Micro events give you the opportunity to connect with 10-25 individuals in a one-on-one way and truly make them feel like they’re part of your community. They should because after all, they are!
Whether you host a small group at a coffee shop or do a “Lunch N’ Learn” over Zoom with a dozen or so guests, you create an authentic connection with your audience that can’t be achieved elsewhere. The pandemic showed us just how important community is and these types of events cement that community.
Once you host a few micro events and experience some success, feel free to ask your advocates to bring someone new to the event. This will allow you to engage in new conversations and fill your pipeline.
The ease of organization
How difficult are large fundraisers to pull off?
Depends on who you ask, but we’ve seen immense pain and struggle for organizations who work to do this over the course of a year. The beauty in micro events is that it’s the exact opposite. Instead of taking up your calendar for months at a time, a micro event can be organized within as little as one week’s time.
This allows you to replicate these events on a quarterly or even monthly basis, depending on the turnout and success rate. If you are looking for a quick way to connect with your top advocates routinely, or a more entertaining way to reach a new audience, this strategy will fit right in with your plans.
Pull back the curtain
One of the biggest takeaways from the pandemic is that brands need to be more authentic with their target audience. This means that there is no more business-to-business or business-to-consumer. It’s all human to human.
The more authentic and personable your brand can be, the more likely you are to attract new individuals to your mission. Micro events give you the opportunity to pull back the curtain of your organization and let your advocates and prospects meet the people behind your cause.
You might find that your audience would rather attend a coffee session with the opportunity to ask your executive director about the community and your impact than to attend a fancy gala.
Whether you’re looking to have a large event or a micro event, we at Firespring are glad that this type of fundraising is back and available to you. In your planning process, feel free to sign up for a free and virtual strategy session with a Firespring strategist.