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5 Strategies to Developing Your Virtual Event Marketing Strategy

August 19, 2021

Do you have a virtual event marketing strategy in place for your next big nonprofit event? If not, you might be leaving money on the table.

Here are 5 steps to developing a solid strategy that can help your organization raise funds and awareness using online tools!  

Set Relevant and Strategic Goals

Every great marketing campaign begins with identifying your campaign objectives. For virtual events, your objectives are likely related to registration numbers, dollars raised, or new supporters.  

Many people just set big goals because they think it will inspire people. The reality is that when you set unrealistic goals that you don’t reach, donors walk away feeling unsuccessful, even though they may have stretched themselves to help. Realistic goals manufacture momentum during your event because of the goal proximity effect: the closer you are to your goal, the more people see the potential of their gift to move the needle, and the more they will take action.

By setting realistic expectations and goals, you and your donors will feel successful and each donor will feel that their gift had an impact, regardless of the size.

Campaign Objectives to Set

Here's an outline of the three main goals you should be setting in your campaign:

  • Fundraising Goal - How much money do you need to raise with this event? We suggest setting an internal goal early in the process to motivate your actions. Keep the goal internal until one or two days before the event, or until the event itself.
  • Registration Goal - How many people do you need to attend to reach your fundraising goal? To help set a goal look back at past events data showing the fundraising history and average gift size.
  • New Supporters Goal - How many new supporters or donors do you want to reach with this event?  

When you are clear on your registration and fundraising goals, you can set your key performance indicators (KPIs) for social media and email too!

Write Your Event Communication Guide

With your event theme determined, your next step is to bring it to life through copywriting. With every campaign, write an overarching story theme with supplemental talking points. You’ll use these talking points to write your email and social media copy.

Your talking points should address the problem you’re solving, position your organization as the guide to solving this problem, and call your audience to action to join you.

Example:

  1. Problem: The pandemic has skyrocketed housing insecurity and its disproportionately impact on communities of color.
  2. Solution: We must step forward, in bold and unified ways
  3. Relief: Build equity faster than this pandemic is tearing it down.
  4. Call to Action: Register now

Bringing that together, you get a powerful theme description:  

This pandemic has skyrocketed housing insecurity and its disproportionate impact on communities of color. The King County housing community needs us all to step forward, in bold and unified ways, to build equity faster than this pandemic is tearing it down. Register now.

Sounds a little better than “sign up for our virtual fundraiser!” doesn’t it?

Design Your Visual Brand

When your event’s visual design doesn’t reflect the value of your organization, you leave money on the table. With a beautiful event brand that represents the value of your impact, you’ll stand out from other virtual events competing for your donor’s attention and raise the funds you need to continue living out your mission. In fundraising, branding is even more essential because visual cues prompt emotional connections that drive people to donate.

You’ll want to reflect this aesthetic across your entire event, including the following elements:

  • Custom brand identity, including event logo, colors, typography, and textures
  • Graphics for your website, social media, and email
  • Live-stream graphics for titles, nameplates, donor recognition, and impact goals
  • Customizable peer-to-peer fundraising captain instruction guide template
  • Printable or digital thank you card design for attendees

With a beautiful visual event brand that helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace, word of mouth starts to spread like never before. You get higher donor engagement and increased donations because people are proud to be part of the work you are doing.

Even better, they are even prouder to introduce others to your organization.

Write an Engaging Email Campaign

Your marketing plan is coming together! You have set your campaign objectives, developed a theme, wrote your talking points, and designed your visual brand. Now you just have to create your promotion campaign to encourage people to register and sign up!

Your email marketing campaign is a must for virtual events. If done right, nonprofit email marketing will help you connect with your audience, raise awareness of the event, and eventually convert people into attendees, donors, and engaged constituents.

For virtual events, we recommend sending the following emails:

  1. Save the date with a calendar invite
  2. Registration announcement
  3. Problem and solution
  4. Event program highlights
  5. 1-week registration reminder
  6. 24-hour countdown
  7. Attendees only: day of email with instructions on how to watch and donate
  8. Thank you
Use our 7 plug & play emails for virtual events to plan your entire campaign in one sitting.


When your event's visual design doesn't reflect the value of your organization, you leave money on the table. If we want our donors or supporters engaged with our campaigns - whether they are at home or donating online - then we have an obligation to create compelling content that will encourage them to take action so they can be part of something meaningful happening.

With the right marketing strategy in place, you’ll get your supporters tuned in to your virtual event and excited to support the amazing work you’re doing in your community.

Here’s to you raising the funds needed to serve your community.

We’re rooting for you.

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