Inspire

‘Virtual’ Fundraiser Sparks Good Things for Global Communities in Need

Although Spark Ventures’ spring fundraiser was “virtual” this year, the impact of the support it generated is very real.

Spark Ventures directs human and financial resources to partners around the world to provide healthcare, education and jobs that help lift communities in Zambia, Nicaragua and Mexico out of poverty. The grassroots organization, which is headquartered in Chicago, was slated to host its annual Wine & Dine fundraiser in April. But when their event venue cancelled due to COVID-19, Spark Ventures needed to pivot. And that’s just what they did.

On April 23, approximately 200 supporters — including several from DeanHouston — attended a “virtual fundraiser.” The event leveraged Zoom video conferencing to bring guests together from the safety and comfort of their homes. It featured networking rooms, silent auctions, live auctions and videos (see below), and raised more than $150,000.

Prior to the kick-off of the event, Spark Ventures leveraged social media advertising (with some assistance from DeanHouston Chicago) to generate additional interest in the fundraiser. Organizers also provided guests with a short tutorial video that prepared them for making the most of the event. It offered tips for using Zoom video conferencing and pointers for bidding on the silent and live auctions.

A bonus of this year’s fundraiser? The virtual Wine & Dine enabled international partners to join the event without having to get visas and travel the long distances to attend. And because expenses were so much lower this year (it usually costs about $70,000 to host the event at a venue), more funds were able to be funneled to Spark Ventures’ international partners.

Interested in making a contribution to this worthy cause? Visit sparkventures.org to learn more.


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