Valley Nonprofits Take Fundraising Virtual

It’s the topic every Valley nonprofit leader is talking about: virtual fundraising events. I have “attended” five virtual events since mid-April — each as unique as it would have been in person. There are some amazing local companies and new technologies being used to maximize the opportunity to raise funds, and in some cases, more funds than planned. Here are four examples.

The Event: Night of Heroes benefiting Valleywise Health Foundation

The Concept: This event uses the art of storytelling to show attendees how the critical patient services and programs at Valleywise Health are activated for a patient in need. This year’s story focused on 10-year-old burn survivor Isabella.

The Virtual Experience: Event organizers produced a short documentary, “Isabella,” and shared the link with an invitation to register to attend the event. They hosted the live broadcast on their original event date, April 23, from 5:15 to 7:30 p.m. from Inspired Media 360’s studios and used a new live-giving platform, Fund Duel with the help of emcee Karie Dozer and auctiontainer Letitia Frye.

The Event: Strike Out Hunger benefiting Agua Fria Food & Clothing Bank

The Concept: The organization hosted its first-ever fundraising event in 2019, raising $23,000 to fund new vehicles for the organization. Their goal for 2020 was $30,000.

The Virtual Experience: Local media company 2 Second Media, helped the food bank shift their canceled event to an all-day, live video telethon complete with co-hosts, interviews and musical performances from an off-site location. The result at the close of the event at 4 p.m. was $51,000 and more donations have continued to come in by sharing the recorded broadcast.

The Event: St. Jude Evening in the Desert Gala

The Concept: The local support chapter for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has hosted an annual local gala for 10+ years.

The Virtual Experience: This was a first-time virtual event for any St. Jude chapter in the country. They made the pivot to online with the help of Auction & Event Solutions, conducting their silent auction, live auction and paddle raise live with host Catherine Anaya and auctioneer Subyn Novelle. Committee volunteers even delivered pre-event goodies to each attendee in the days leading up to the live broadcast. The result was $251,000 raised for the organization.

The Event: Esperança’s 10th Annual Hope Breakfast

The Concept: The annual event gathers local leaders and supporters to present testimonials from those who benefit from their healthcare services.

The Virtual Experience: Esperança activated their event from the Galvanize co-working space in Downtown Phoenix, producing a live program with three speakers over the course of the 35-minute event. Their creative pivot included transferring their catering deposit with Santa Barbara Catering into bags filled with 4-5 days of groceries for seniors living in HUD housing. More than 250 viewers logged in from over 20 states and raised $68,500.

Here at Frontdoors, we are planning virtual elements for our annual Society of Chairs event with local AV company Latest Craze to make sure the awards programs can be viewed by everyone.

We look forward to more incredible examples of creativity and local businesses supporting these efforts in the coming weeks and months.

About Andrea Evans

Andrea Tyler Evans is the Publisher of Frontdoors Media. She can be reached at
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