5 Fundraising ideas for your Virtual Homecoming
It’s that special time of the year again - Homecoming! For schools, colleges, and universities across the country, the Homecoming weekend is a grand, festive celebration where students, alumni, and faculty come together to show their school pride. For alumni, homecoming is a truly memorable experience as they look forward to meeting their old friends, teachers, mentors, current students and making new memories. The nostalgia associated with homecoming also encourages alumni to give back to their alma mater and learn more about the philanthropic possibilities.
While the pandemic has definitely made it difficult to host a traditional Homecoming this year, it is incredible to see how institutions are coping up to deliver the best experience to their communities via a virtual or a hybrid format. As raising funds become all the more crucial amidst a pandemic, schools, and universities are leveraging creative opportunities to maximize fundraising profit potential at their Virtual Homecoming this fall.
Here are the top 5 fundraising ideas to boost alumni donations at your Homecoming this year.
Virtual Talent Show Fundraiser
A virtual talent show is a great, fun-filled way to encourage your alumni to showcase their talents and are perfect for making small fundraising appeals. Inspire alumni to flaunt their artistic side, be it singing, dancing, music, or even magic. Set a theme that your alumni would be excited to perform to and collect registrations well in advance. You could also use an event management tool to create a branded event page with details about the theme, attendees, timings, and urge alumni to make a donation on the page.
Make the event more interesting by conducting a live poll amongst your alumni to decide the winner. You can also live stream the event on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram to boost engagement during the event and appeal to those engaged online to make a gift. In addition to making fundraising appeals a part of your event registration process and promotions during the online event, you can also add a payment link to your communications (emails and social media) after the event.
Online Retail Store
As the pandemic has forced everyone to stay confined to their homes for a majority of the year, health, and wellbeing has become a priority across the globe. So, this homecoming is a wonderful opportunity to help your alumni take actionable steps towards their health and well-being with a virtual race/walk-a-thon/marathon.
Post inspiring posts on your event page, garner support from alumni volunteers, and create awareness via social media. Also, remind your alumni that your institution too needs the support of their loyal donors to be able to power through this economic crisis. You can charge just a nominal fee per ticket for participants and also encourage alumni during the course of the event to support your cause.
See how Manchester University in Indiana hosted a 30-day Virtual 5K race at their Homecoming 2020, encouraging alumni to embrace the community spirit by joining the event along with their family and friends.
Watch Party Fundraiser
Since the onset of the pandemic, people have missed going out to movies with their friends. Bring the movie watching experience home to your alumni this homecoming by organizing a watch party. Take a poll to select the movie and set a designated time for the watch party. Connect your alumni over a Zoom call, so they can watch the movie together while being able to chat with each other real-time. You can also have all your alumni assemble on the call and then assign breakout rooms for different class years to have their own watch parties while they get to talk to their friends.
You can create a ticketed virtual event and encourage alumni to make a contribution to support your cause. Choosing a compelling theme and making a personalized appeal for donations can go a long way in boosting your fundraising this Homecoming.
Drive-through Dinner Fundraiser
Good food and conversations are a usual part of homecoming, but this year calls for a different approach. As your alumni cannot come together for a dinner party, you could organize a drive-through dinner to comply with the social distancing guidelines in your state.
Set up your registration page early and inform your alumni about what they should be expecting. From tacos to hot dogs, take your pick and promote the drive-through via social media, emails, and your alumni website. To spice it up, you can even create a themed-dinner and your volunteers can go live on Facebook or YouTube right before the event starts to boost engagement. It is also integral to let your alumni know how you plan on using the proceeds from their purchases.