Your Program May be More Valuable Than Ever Before
We’ve all gone virtual – our lives, our relationships, our work, our school. We’ve all adopted a new way of communicating and experiencing life that requires extreme proficiency in Zoom, patience with friends, family and co-workers who may be less proficient, and a lot of creativity to keep our interests high. If you are a nonprofit leader, you’ve likely considered or moved a physical program, partnership or campaign into the virtual space. Over the last six weeks, thousands of programs and campaigns have now become “virtual”, and we’ve been inundated with questions about the value of virtual programs and partnership campaigns.
“How can I create enough value for our partners/sponsors by going virtual?”
“Are virtual assets more or less valuable than physical assets?”
“Now that the stakes are even higher, do you have any great ideas for creating new virtual assets?”
After fielding these questions and more, we’ve done a lot of industry research, and have even adjusted our own asset & program valuation algorithms to accommodate the new landscape of virtual assets. We’ve learned along the way that there are a lot of positive by-products of taking your program or partnership virtual.
When considering and calculating value, it really comes down to three main factors: 1. Reach. 2. Engagement. 3. Uniqueness. Virtual programs allow nonprofits to capitalize on this trifecta.
- Your Reach Expands Exponentially
The geographic parameters of a physical program could be significantly minimized when you go virtual. This offers us the ability to broaden the scope of our programs – essentially increasing the potential to reach more people. Check out how the Hope for Haiti Challenge is expanding their footprint with a virtual hike of Marre à Coiffe from April 17 – May 17.
- Engagement Can Be Higher (and Measured)
In contrast to physical programs where participation is largely focused on one point of entry (i.e. donation at point-of-sale, walk in the 5k, purchase a table at the gala), virtual programs innately allow for multiple and flexible kinds of engagement. 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience (Source: Evergage). With greater customization leading to conversion, virtual programs often yield greater rates of engagement. Read this success story about how Washington Performing Arts surpassed their 2019 results by bringing their gala virtual.
- In-Home Assets Offer Uniqueness
Many virtual programs are shipping their standard physical assets like race bibs, t-shirts and other swag into their supporters’ homes. During a time when connectivity might be waning, special deliveries are a welcomed surprise that also delights participants and sponsors (that could incorporate branding and products), and differentiates one virtual, in-home program from another. Learn how Staycation Races are shipping event swag to registrants of their “Stay Home” virtual race (April 25 – May 3) to support the Wander Project and our National Park Communities.
- Add Innovative Assets to Your Portfolio
Going virtual has forced many nonprofits to re-evaluate their program asset portfolio and consider new virtual assets that supplement the physical sponsor benefits which may be lost. Whether it’s expanding your social presence to take advantage of TikTok, incorporating sponsors in-stream on Facebook LIVE or creating virtual expert toolkits, nonprofits can keep costs low while adding a lot of value for their sponsors. For great ideas on how to add innovative assets to your virtual program, download our Virtual Asset Idea Vault.
- More Valuable Today Than Yesterday
With sporting events cancelled for the foreseeable future, and social events curbed for a while despite the start of economic re-opening in some states, we are all spending more time on screens. As a result, Ad Age reports that media consumption is predicted to increase by 60% over the next several months. Nonprofits are also witnessing an uptick in interest during the crisis, with Wordstream reporting that search advertising conversions for the industry have increased by 23% over the last six weeks. One could make the argument that a virtual program that is actively marketed online is more valuable during the global pandemic than it was at the beginning of 2020. If you’re deciphering which virtual assets to prioritize for your program, download our Virtual Asset Value Scale to learn which types of assets are more or less valuable to your sponsors.
Bringing your programs into the virtual world can provide a lot (if not more) value to your corporate sponsors and partners – if done well. Just remember…
- Focus on the Experience. Create an experience for your supporters to connect with your sponsors. 75% of consumers have a more positive perception of a brand, product or service after they’ve had an experience with it. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)
- Go Beyond the Logo. When going virtual, don’t just add logos to your website or program fundraising page. Get creative and focus on integrating sponsors into your content and complete online experience.
- Measure and Maintain for the Long-Term. Consider this virtual shift an opportunity for long-term value creation. Virtual activities inherently can be measured (and valued). Track your virtual program engagement now to develop mainstay assets that increase the value of your program in the future.
If you need help understanding the value of your new virtual program, check out Accelerist’s Virtual Asset Valuation capabilities. Don’t forget to ask about the crisis discounts available!