LCO 101: Virtual Programming

Categories: LCO 101

One thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is the power of virtual programming and events for bringing people together. Though the pandemic will eventually wane, these virtual tactics are here to stay and have many perks beyond just social distancing—like lower price tags, increased capacity, and convenience for your community. From fundraising galas to education panels, we’ve learned a lot and want to pass those lessons on to you. Take a look at some of these tips as your LCO considers how to increase your virtual programming.

  • Community Still Matters. Community is still really important right now. The DIY, grassroots vibe is all good and you don’t have to be a TV anchor or producer to make virtual programming work.

  • What Kind of Programming? LCOs and other nonprofits are having success with movie nights, webinars, panels, Zoom happy hours, game nights, and other creative ideas.

  • Pick Your Platform. Zoom works for webinars and open meetings, and helps you organize speakers and registration all in one. There are also plenty of free platforms for a more casual and approachable event, including Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and YouTube Live.

  • Fundraising Works. Some have wondered if their community will continue to donate and support them financially during this challenging time. The answer is yes, and virtual events and programs are a great way to raise funds. Focus on optional donations in small denominations, auctions, raffles, or affordable tickets for movie nights.

  • Update Your Digital Presence. Take the opportunity to update your website, social media, and video pages. Freshen up or start more regular e-newsletter and social posts. Your community is spending a lot more time checking in with you on these platforms, so spiff them up, and build them out.

  • Welcome Last-Minute Participation. Stay open to last-minute reservations and participation. If you set hard, early deadlines on registration, you may lose a lot of people. Many folks will decide to tap in on a whim, or tune in for half of your show and leave. Embrace the flexibility and impulsiveness of participation and you’ll get more people involved.