Nevertheless, what in-memory teams have achieved over the past 12 months shouldn’t be forgotten, and here at Legacy Foresight we believe fundraisers should continue to embrace the power of virtual.
In-memory fundraisers should be celebrating their achievements and tenacity. The majority have successfully innovated, developing smartly re-imagined virtual events, which have gone some way to make up for estimated shortfalls. Our clients have told us that some virtual in-memory events have exceeded fundraising targets, further opening up our thinking about these virtual offerings’ opportunities.
Our research has indicated that the profile of in-memory fundraising has raised during the pandemic, and it has become more valued within many charities. Performing more strongly, exceeding many fundraisers’ expectations, with teams continuing to build strong and highly valued relationships with their in-memory supporters.
We know that people who have lost a loved one look to events as an opportunity to connect. Those that lost a loved one during the early days of the pandemic were often unable to find meaningful connections. The cancellation of physical events during the pandemic likely added to the sense of loss for many.
Virtual events have gone some way to fill this gap, bringing people together through shared experiences and creating a sense of community when physical togetherness has been impossible. At the same time, they have also provided a sense of focus.
There’s another vital facet of in-memory events, and that’s story-sharing. The charities and hospices we work with have stressed how important the role of events can be. They give people a platform to have conversations about the person they’ve lost, sharing memories and anecdotes about their loved one while doing something positive. It’s been heartening to see what’s happened to these types of events over the period. Even in virtual format, these have been highly valued by supporters.
It was great to see the recently released CiOF and Fundraising Regulator guidance for charities on how safely to restart events and community fundraising, something that we are sure in-memory teams will be working through with events colleagues.