DemLabs blog

Ten tips to make anyone a ZOOM fundraising pro
Zoom is child's play with these ten tips.

1. Test the technology

Navigate technical issues before they happen to improve efficiency. Technical issues come hand in hand with virtual meetings, so it’s important to anticipate possible problems ahead of time. It's a good idea to send the platforms/URLs to all participants a day or so in advance so everyone has time to try and test the virtual meeting software, that way no one is scrambling at the last minute (no one who followed your directions, at least).

It is essential to test both the video and audio features before the meeting goes live.  If you’re just using your laptop speaker and microphone, you don't have to toggle with any settings. If you’ve got a mic-headset you’d like to use, make sure it’s selected in the Zoom Settings menu for both the Speaker and Microphone options before you start your call.

If your computer audio is acting up, click “Switch to Phone Audio…” to dial in from your phone instead. Or click the “Audio Settings…” option to open up the full audio menu.

2. Plug your existing systems into your virtual fundraiser

Make the most of your existing systems like ActBlue for fundraising, ActionNetwork for organizing and more when to your virtual fundraiser. It's easier to manage and you don't have to pay extra fees to collect online donations. All you have to do is enter the URL for the website where you want an Action Button to go in the BigStage dashboard. No programming involved.

Connect the Action Buttons in BigStage to your favorite website to collect donations, recruit volunteers and more.

3. Make it easy for supporters to give with interactive donation buttons

Encourage your viewers to give while they are watching you - just as if it were an infomercial with the urgency to "CALL NOW!". Add Donation buttons to the ZOOM videostream with Big Stage that direct them to the donation platform of your choice like ActBlue in this example. See how the presentation continues while the donation button appears at the top of the screen.

Add interactive donation buttons to your ZOOM presentation to make it easier for viewers to give.

4. Reach more people. Livestream your event from ZOOM to Facebook Live and Youtube Live as well.

ZOOM events can be streamed to YouTube Live and Facebook Live so viewers can watch without first having to register with ZOOM. Read and follow our step-by-step directions here. Your donation buttons appear above the video stream regardless of how it is being watched - on ZOOM, YouTube Live and Facebook Live in the BigStage Panel.

5. Record the fundraiser for those that missed the live event.

Extend the reach of your events to people who couldn't make it, by recording your events and making them available later on YouTube. Share the event through a link like this which make the video interactive with Donation links. Viewers can watch your presentation and donate just as if they were at your live event.

6. Make it easier for supporters. Record the transcript.

People are pressed for time. Make it easy for them to go straight to key parts of your fundraiser by transcribing the event. Zoom provides the option to transcribe the audio of a meeting that you record to the cloud. As the meeting host, you can edit your transcript. And when you share the recording, people can scan the text, search for keywords, click on any word in the transcript to access the video at that moment, or download the transcript.

7. Send out a reminder email 30 minutes before your event goes live.

It's easy to forget an event that you don't have to travel to, so it's always a good idea to send out an email reminding invitees that the event will start in 30 minutes. Here are some instructions.

8. Touch up your appearance.

Zoom knows whats up. Looking presentable just got as easy as clicking a button. Go to the lower-left-hand corner of the screen, find Video Settings, and check the box marked “Touch Up My Appearance.” It’s the easiest way to look slightly more polished for a video call without actually doing anything at all. Zoom describes the look as “a softening effect to skin to minimize the visibility of imperfections.” In other words, it’s a beauty filter.

Some practical tips to present better on ZOOM

  • Lighting should come from in front of you or from the side to best light your face
  • Keep your background clear of distractions
  • Look at your webcam, not at the screen
  • Use gestures and mannerisms that you would typically use in person

9. Position your webcam at eye level

Do you put your laptop on your desk during virtual meetings? This is a common mistake, which often results in webcams being awkwardly positioned with the camera is tilted up.

Ensure your webcam is at eye level so your video will look more realistic, as if you were both sitting across from each other at the same table. An easy way to do this, if you are using a laptop, is to put it on top of a shoe box.

10. Encourage calls to action, such as donating or social media sharing throughout the event

Every five minutes, it's important to remind viewers to donate. Point to the donate button as much as possible. Don't worry about sounding annoying, its a fundraiser!

Attendees who donated prior to the event: recognize those folks, and get reliable supporters to say in the chat or verbally that they donated.


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DemLabs applies innovative technology and storytelling tools in service of democratic values. It lowers the barrier of funding for worthy candidates and non-profits by applying existing free/affordable solutions.