Behind the scenes: creating a virtual fundraiser

Category: Solutions

Rising to the challenge

2020 was a rough year for many businesses and charities. With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading quickly, health guidelines forced many businesses to shut down or change the way they operated with little or no notice. For those that could remain open, the way companies functioned on a normal day-to-day basis looked drastically different in order to function within health guidelines.

Face-to-face fundraising could no longer operate the same way it previously had. At Globalfaces Direct (GFD) we needed to innovate our fundraising offerings to continue to deliver results for our partners. We completely revamped face-to-face fundraising with strict safety measures and launched brand new services that we had never considered before. The new landscape that we were faced with pushed us to look at our industry with fresh eyes. One resulting service we developed was Virtual Fundraiser.

Starting from scratch

The idea for the Virtual Fundraiser platform came relatively quickly, taking inspiration from the increase in digital fundraising and success of similar platforms in other industries (software, e-commerce). However, building a brand new custom fundraising solution in-house didn’t happen overnight. 

Our product development team reviewed five different technologies, and tested three extensively to ensure that the new service would be launched effectively. Critical steps along the way included:

  • Creating a map of functionality required
  • Drafting a basic layout of the interface (how it would look and feel)
  • Working with the development team to tie the video chat feature nto our systems
  • Creating reporting KPIs to ensure we were delivering great service (queue time, talk time etc.)
  • Extensive testing on donor sites, fundraiser sites, various platforms and user loads

Looking Ahead

Currently Virtual Fundraiser is available 11am to 7pm EDT. As charity partners continue to find success with GFD’s Virtual Fundraiser we will look to expand the hours that we operate so that we can answer calls and chat online with donors throughout a larger daily window of time. Our team potentially could answer calls for charities around the world to support your charity online donations in many countries. Additionally, as more time passes and data is collected, we will be able to analyze the performance of Virtual Fundraiser and continue to evolve the service to deliver even better results for our partners. 

As vaccinations continue to roll-out and our world returns to normal, we’re looking forward to further getting back to Face-to-Face fundraising, however this time with a virtual team joining our canvassers and delivering value for our partners in new ways.