Hope, Faith, Passion and Love. These four values are always present when we work with our Nonprofit clients. We always see how these elements can change a venue from a gathering spot to a place of fundraising magic. There is a special mindset that comes from the right organization, the right partners, and the right guests in the room. The truth of the matter is that this will never change. Currently, the Non-profit sector is being faced with a challenge that has never been as bad as what is currently going on in the United States and around the world. These events, which account for a large portion of their yearly fundraising goals are being cancelled, or postponed. Non-profit organizations are scrambling to make perhaps one of the hardest decisions they will face. This is where professional fundraising auctioneers, audio video production companies and mobile bidding platforms from across the country are coming together, sharing ideas and inspiration on ways to step in and act as guides to those organizations that we already call clients. Consulting with the right group of professionals can move a non-profit organizations from holding their heads in their hands in fear and dismay to having hope that there is still a way to reach their fundraising goals. I am proud to say that I belong to a network of amazing professionals who are leading the way to find and develop ways in which we can still serve our clients in this time of much needed encouragement and guidance. I wish I could express in words the PASSION that this group of individuals brings to the discussion. WE all WANT to help and with the collaboration that is taking place each day, we WILL. SO, what types of ideas? Virtual Live Galas with online silent and live auctions and special appeals. I'm sure many of you are thinking, these things already exist. This is true, however, the idea of a virtual Gala has not been widely used in the non-profit sector. Mainly because of my earlier point, the magic of the gathering. Each of the aforementioned professionals can provide an organization with valuable skills to help an organization host a virtual gala. It will take a team effort just like for a live gala. The good part is in many cases, the non profit organizations may already have this team in place. A quick side note, I understand that not all organizations use these professionals for your events. I simply want to show how these professionals can assist should you decide to partner with them. Your fundraising auctioneer has the skills, knowledge, and stage presence to act as the host for the event. There is still a need for a skilled stage performer to be in front of the camera and encourage the participation just like in the live arena. It is the experience of all the years of creating the perfect ask that encourages, invites and even challenges your guests to participate. The auctioneer is trained in sharing the HOPE, FAITH, PASSION and LOVE that represents the mission and vision of the organization. The mobile bidding platforms are ready to help take your event online or virtual. They have the resources such as software and operating procedures in place. Some of them, have educational pieces available to help the non-profits teach their guests how to register, bid and participate in the event. The mobile bidding platforms can enhance the atmosphere by showing on screen tracking, donor acknowledgement, item description and many other features. Many of them already have a relationship with the professional fundraising auctioneers and this allows the auctioneers to assist the client as well. The next group of professionals is the Audio Video production team. Let's face it, this team is probably the hardest working element during the event and unfortunately, because they are usually behind the scenes, they don't get the recognition they deserve. BUT, in the world of Virtual Galas and virtual events, they are without a doubt, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT professionals needed to host a great and successful event. This group is often overlooked but they need to be included from the beginning in planning the Virtual Gala. There are many factors to think of including lighting, audio, video and staging, which the AV production team already does. Each of these elements can be even more critical in a virtual gala, in my opinion. The lighting has a different requirement than a live event because of shadowing. The audio during a virtual event has to be clear and concise just as with a live event but in a virtual setting audio provides new challenges due to potential delay, different speakers and other issues. When the event is live, the AV team can immediately hear, see and feel the issues and can make adjustments. In the virtual world though, these things don't play out as easily. Probably the biggest element of all is the video aspect, this is an area that is vital to the success of any virtual event. It is a matter of timing, delivery, and even correctly switching between the cameras, the live feed, the appeal video. I am making it my goal to continue to learn new ideas and technology so that I can better serve the organizations with whom I work during this time of social distancing. I am not mentioning company names because I don't want to exclude any or seem to provide favoritism but please reach out to me for more information or references. As with anything, there is a right fit for your organization. I want to share my hope, faith, passion and love for the industry that has been so great to me. I want to continue to assist non-profits reach their fundraising goals because, the current world situation will only make the services they provide more important when we get through this.