In the UK, over 44 million people donate to charity on a regular basis (nfpSynergy, 2015).
That’s an immense number of stakeholders for nonprofit organisations to converse with, just in that country alone!
Traditionally, communications through the post, via email or over the phone, were the way to connect with donors and other affiliates.
Whereas face-to-face meetings or conference calls were the preferred method for connecting with more important stakeholders.
But, as with many business techniques and practices, nonprofit organisations have to constantly find newer, more effective methods of communicating.
That’s where webinars come in!
Could they be the way forward when it comes to improving many nonprofits’ communications?
We think you already know the answer! Let’s begin with the basics.
What Are Webinars?
Webinars are seminars conducted over the internet (hence the name!), that people can view by registering to do so beforehand.
The content within a webinar usually consists of a slideshow presentation, with a presenter narrating over the materials on-screen. Essentially mimicking a physical presentation.
Slides appear on screen to the audience through an event platform, ran by an online events provider.
Prior to the webinar being broadcast, the slides are uploaded, by the event organiser, into the platform, where they are then streamed to the audience during the Live screening!
There are the fundamentals out of the way! So, what can webinars offer organisations choosing to run them?
What Can Webinars Offer?
Well, they’re perfect for communicating with a large number of people, at the same time, in any location, on any device connected to the internet!
This makes them perfect for meetings, where participants are in different locations.
i.e. Meetings involving personnel from different locations around the world
Not only do they offer the freedom to communicate across boundaries, but, by proxy, they eliminate many of the costs associated with hosting physical meetings, involving those travelling from far-away locations.
- No hotel bills
- Zero petrol costs
- Less evening meals at expensive restaurants!
Forgetting about the cost-effectiveness of webinars for just a second, they’re also ideal for creating interactions between the host and those attending.
Webinars do this by having the capability of interactive elements within the slides, such as:
- Polls about the topics being discussed
- Q&A Sessions that give the audience the opportunity to ask the speaker questions
- Live Chat, where they can interact directly with the organiser
Basically, webinars offer a modern, more contemporary way to relay information to your audience, with images, data visualisations and video clips, all able to be included within an event!
Now let’s make it more relatable, what can hosting webinars offer nonprofits, in the way of benefits?
What Can Webinars Offer Nonprofits?
How about the opportunity for both large and smaller organisations to benefit from the technology, in different ways?
i.e. Larger institutions that have, perhaps, a vast number of stakeholders to converse with on a regular basis, can communicate more efficiently with them
Aforementioned minimising of costs, less organisational work with regards to travel and the interactive elements within webinars, combine to provide larger organisations with a brilliant communication tool.
Smaller nonprofits? Well they can discover an inexpensive way to regularly contact those associated with their business.
For many smaller organisations, it’s essential that they regularly talk to their affiliates, to build and maintain relationships with them.
Webinars facilitate this rapport building, through the methods already discussed and in a cost-effective way!
Plus, another benefit for nonprofits, is that there are other virtual event types that they can utilise.
A virtual event is one such type.
What’s a virtual event, you might ask?
Basically, it mirrors many of the aspects of a physical one, like an exhibition or open day.
Difference is, it’s hosted in a virtual environment, with different areas, containing virtual elements like presentations and live sessions (find out more about virtual events here!)
Those are just some of the wealth of benefits that webinars can provide nonprofits.
Interested? Let’s see how we can get you started!
How Can They Get Started?
Before rushing in, nonprofits considering hosting webinars should determine the following:
- The motives behind running them
- The frequency of such events
- The information included in them
- The type of online event they want
Decide, as an organisation, the answers to those issues before deciding to invest in creating webinars.
You’ll give yourself the bigger picture of what you have to do and how to build them into your overall communications strategy!
Hopefully now you’ve got a basic understanding of webinars and how nonprofits can really utilise them for their benefit.
Equally, hopefully you and your organisation want to learn more!
Our upcoming eBook; The Complete Guide to Nonprofit Webinars, expands on many of the concepts discussed here!
Look out for it soon!
As always, let us know what you think about what’s been discussed here in the comments below :)