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Your COVID-19 Event Response Toolkit

Your COVID-19 Event Toolkit

Do you have a fundraising event being impacted by COVID-19? A team of experts from Greater Giving, The AV Department, Artisan Auctions and Swaim Strategies have gathered together to provide you a variety of resources for a variety of possibilities. Our goal is to help you continue your fundraising.

If you’re trying to figure out your options, we hosted a free webinar in which covered all of these variables and demoed a virtual event for you (click the video above).

The Show Must Go On—Fundraising Despite the Odds

In this post you will find the following:

  • Cancelling an Event: What steps to take if you are cancelling an event

  • Retaining your Sponsors: Recommendations to help you retain your sponsors in the event of a cancellation

  • Going Virtual: Resources and tools for alternatives to gathering large groups

  • Decision Making: How to decide to move forward with an event or not

  • Toolkit: Communications templates to help you with your announcements and downloadable resources [link to toolkit:]

  • Webinar: Our free webinar about options and alternatives to your fundraising event and how to respond to COVID-19

We want to state that we are not Coronavirus experts. But we are fundraising event experts and our goal is to help you continue fundraising in light of restrictions being placed on gatherings during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Cancelling an Event

While you should still expect to pay contract costs, if at all possible cancelling earlier may save you a little cost on food. If the food supplies have not yet been purchased by catering, you may be able to see a slight savings.

When you are cancelling your event, we recommend early communication go out to all vendors, volunteers and attendees.

We have provided you template language to get you started with your announcements to sponsors, your broad audience and guests who had purchased tickets or tables. All can all be found in our toolkit here.

Be ready at the time of your announcement to also communicate alternatives. Are you exploring a future date alternative, are you going virtual or is there a donation link to give in lieu of attendance?

Retaining Your Sponsors

Cancelling an event can feel devastating, but retaining your sponsors is a way that you can reduce loss and can assure a lasting partnership. Communicate with your sponsors directly, get creative with future ways to sponsor and have an alternative to your sponsorship fulfillment plan. Here is a resource guide for you about maintaining your sponsorship support

Going Virtual

We can help you transform your in-person celebration into a virtual event. The benefit is that you might be able to hit a bigger audience. The downside is that you may not see the same return as you had hoped for without the excitement of being live in the room. But going virtual still allows you to fundraise! Here are some virtual options for you to consider.

Online Auction

Host an online auction instead. If your procurement is done, upgrade to mobile bidding in your Greater Giving account. A promotional discount is being offered at this time and allows you to turn your event into an online campaign. Swaim Strategies can help you to make the switch, set up your auction packages and promote your campaign.

Virtual Event

You don’t have to stop with an online auction. You can actually hold a virtual event that allows people to log in, watch and participate. A virtual event will allow you to share your program, fulfill your sponsorship benefits and raise money during the broadcast by doing an appeal. We recommend tying your online auction into the virtual event but announcing the closing during the event.

If you are going virtual, we have drafted communication templates to help you make those announcements to your sponsors, broad audience and guests who already purchased tickets to your in-person event. You can access and download these template here.

We have assembled a team ready to help you flip your event to a virtual event or to answer questions. Contact Kelly Russell at Artisan Auctions to engage a virtual team. She can be reached at 503-688-4744 or

A Virtual Team

Effectively raising money through a virtual event will require communication, production, a mobile-giving switchover on Greater Giving, an auctioneer host and powerful, concise content. Here are the critical resources we can provide:

  • Data Team: Our data team can set up your mobile giving platform on Greater Giving, prep all of your packages to go online, source photos for every package and support data tracking and registration support during the virtual event.

  • Content Team: We will reshape your 3.5-hour event into a powerful 30-minute virtual event.

  • Communications Team: We will craft all of your communications to attendees and sponsors, plus create email, website and social media content for you to market to a broader audience.

  • Production Team: Come to our studio or we’ll come to your event venue to film and host your virtual event. We will create overlay tools for you to promote your sponsors, market your auction and track your giving. Additionally, we can use content such as videos for your live feed.

  • Pre-Virtual Event Production: Are you interested in capturing a few speakers such as sponsors or honorees to include in your virtual feed? We can pre-film them at their own convenience in our studio and build them into your virtual feed.

Do you need help figuring out how to live stream? Call The AV Department and they will take care of you. Regardless of your location, they can either come stream for you or provide tools and resources to your onsite AV team:

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