A Winning Virtual Event: Stream-A-Thon Style

Erin Todd

Erin Todd

Digital Marketing Manager

Right now, organizations of all kinds are venturing into creating livestreams and virtual events and are seeing amazing results for the causes that need the most aid as we navigate the repercussions of COVID-19. 

London Health Sciences Foundation (LHSF) hosted Heroes of Health: COVID-19 Stream-A-Thon to raise funds to raise funds for their COVID-19 Response Fund. Despite being new to DonorDrive, they put together a great event and leveraged the tools they had in a short time frame. 

“We had a vision of doing a livestream event for several months but didn’t have the right platform to be able to implement what we wanted to do. We had just switched over to DonorDrive and everything unfolded with COVID-19. We knew this was our opportunity to make our vision a reality with DonorDrive’s live stream capabilities. Two and a half weeks later we executed our first livestream event and raised over $70,000 in four hours.” 

Lindsay Manz, Manager, Community Events

Virtual Event Concept to Execution

From concept to pressing the “Go live” button, the London Health Sciences Foundation team executed this event in less than four weeks. 

They set up the livestream on Youtube and connected it to their event fundraising page on DonorDrive. They directed people to watch the stream, engage with the hosts and talent, see the live progress bar with milestones, and make donations while watching the stream. They enabled easy mobile payment options on their branded landing page with the Youtube livestream connected and rolling. 

Members of the audience who found the livestream on Youtube first saw a directional link in the video description to donate. Viewers could track the fundraising progress if they remained on Youtube. A branded instream overlay updated live with new donations and updated the progress bar with public recognition of the donors.

LHSF also used DonorDrive’s provided embedding widgets on external websites to place the stream-a-thon increase viewership even more. Partner websites who embedded it included local news stations websites (owned by the sponsoring media outlet) and all three radio stations. This connectivity allowed viewers to tune in, watch the thermometer grow and easily make a donation.

Key Things That Fueled Success

A Well-Planned Streaming Agenda That Kept Viewers Engaged

London Health Sciences Foundation kept things fresh by mixing up the presenters and guests with various talents and backgrounds over four hours. The London Health Sciences Team pre-published the general schedule so viewers could check in on the times that were important to them. 

When selecting hosts for the livestream hosts, they chose radio DJs who naturally know how to keep the conversation flowing, fill gaps, and naturally roll with any unexpected events. 

During scheduled breaks, they played pre-recorded video content that highlighted staff members on the frontlines, giving an authentic view of the work London Health Sciences Centre is doing to combat the spread of the virus. 

Using Milestones to Drive Donation Momentum

The initial goal was $20,000, which they reached before the second hour of the virtual event. Following this, they asked their DJ host, J Stevens, to do the pre-selected milestones on camera throughout the rest of the stream.

Naturally, with three hours left to go, they raised the bar and increased their donation goal to $50,000. They reached this milestone before the virtual event concluded.

“When worried about how we would pull off our livestream event without any prior experience, it was comforting to know that the DonorDrive team was working alongside us to assist with any platform questions. DonorDrive has many capabilities such as the ability to add a thermometer/recent donation bar on the stream itself. We were also able to incorporate milestones and incentives into our fundraiser. With these options, our guests felt like they were being recognized for their donation and felt a part of the stream.”

Justin Tiseo, Development Officer, Community Events

Memorable Moments and Finale 

London Health Sciences Foundation did a great job bringing in musicians (such as Sarah Smith, Tim Hicks, and Virginia to Vegas) and Canadian athletes (such as NHL player Mitch Marner and Canadian ice dancer Scott Moir), but their final guest was an actress from “The Notebook” — Ontario native Rachel McAdams. She echoed her support to the mission of LHSF, helping them surge to the $50,000 goal with her $10,000 matching donation along with the final donations concluding the livestream. In total, the livestream garnered more than 14,000 live views on YouTube. After it ended, donations continued to pour in — which grew to more than $70,000 in the week following the event.

Watch the live stream replay in full here: 


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