DO GOODER Shout Out to PCOA!

Development professionals everywhere are being forced to re-invent traditional fundraising events in order to accommodate stay-at-home orders and social distancing. In the weeks and months to come, we expect to see a whole spectrum of “virtual events” replacing the usual calendar of fundraising lunches, dinners, galas and walks. Some early adopters, like Pima Council on Aging, jumped on this new format quickly and have demonstrated a new way of connecting with donors and sponsors.
I asked Lana Baldwin, PCOA’s Vice President of Philanthropy and Communications, to share her thoughts about their recent “virtual event” and how it helped to meet their fundraising and stewardship objectives.
I think the biggest challenge in putting together An Evening with PCOA was finding the right balance between talking about our current situation, which is of course dominating everyone’s reality right now, and looking with some sort of optimism toward the future, the bigger picture, and a new kind of normalcy.
– Lana Baldwin
“In the wake of cancelling our annual Gala, we were really concerned about disappointing our many wonderful event sponsors and our hardworking committee. We wanted to create some sort of experience that would give us a forum to give them some additional recognition. We also wanted to accomplish some of the goals of the Gala – educating our audience about PCOA’s services and how we improve the lives of older adults, and raising some money. We integrated in some videos about programs and people we serve that we had already recorded to show at the Gala. We also took the opportunity to talk about how PCOA is responding to the current public health crisis, the rising needs we’re seeing among older adults, and how we’re working with community partners to address them.
As we had conversation after conversation with our sponsors, we were so touched by their expressions of support. Many continued to make payments on their pledges even after we cancelled the event, and some sent additional donations on top of that. It became really evident that our sponsors were always supporting much more than our event – they were supporting our mission and our work, and our partnerships have just been strengthened in this time of crises. We are so grateful for that.” Lana Baldwin, PCOA
Are YOU considering a virtual event to replace an upcoming fundraiser? We’d like to hear from you! What are your primary objectives? How are you planning to create an engaging and informative event that raises money for your mission? What are your questions and concerns?
Stay well!