Gayle Stallings, CAI, BAS
Benefit Auction Consultant
A virtual connection through music can bring people together from around the world. When the live event planned by the award-winning Austin choir Conspirare could not proceed, FUNauctions partnered with them to present a virtual fundraising event.
The concept of doing a virtual fundraiser was not part of any discussions until the COVID-19 pandemic entered the conversation, and not just for Conspirare but for most nonprofit organizations around the country. Events that were scheduled in the upcoming Spring months, were now under shelter-in place restrictions. Welcome to a brave new world! Decisions still needed to be made to postpone, cancel or move forward with a virtual event. The results for Conspirare to switch to a virtual experience exceeded their wildest expectations on so many levels of measurement:
Through Songs of Connection on April 19, 2020, more than 1,100 viewers online witnessed the intimate setting of Craig Hella Johnson at his home piano and keeping the music alive. Craig put down his conductor’s baton and sang on behalf of all the talented Conspirare singers.
How wonderful to read the comments in the chat box and feel the love of so many generous hearts beating for Austin’s own Grammy-winning choir.
Did you know that Conspirare’s world-class artists hail from 49 different cities across the US and one from France?
It was the perfect time to raise a glass with Conspirare soprano Melissa Givens who joined me from California in a virtual toast for an anonymous $25,000 matching gift.
Melissa and I raised our glasses in a toast to our Conspirare family: “It’s your support that keeps our artists singing and will keep Conspirare strong in the upcoming months….cheers!!!!
We were touched by stories from listeners who shared how Conspirare’s music is reaching them during this time. A healthcare worker sent this note:
“As a nurse on the frontlines, I have not been able to have time to cry yet. I listened on Facebook to Craig singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and the tears streamed down my face. You gave me hope, for the first time in over a week. God bless you!”
From the planning with Conspirare staff with only 4 weeks to go virtual after making the decision, to multiple rehearsals in front of a computer screen (my new virtual stage!) prior to the livestream, to presenting the event on YouTube, this community came together to support their mission to engage the power of music to change lives. Yes, it can be done with the right song in your heart, as evidenced by more than 10,000 views since the virtual event was broadcast.
Congratulations to our friends at Conspirare on exceeding your goals beyond all expectations and for proving how strong we are together! Thank you for your trust and confidence in partnering with FUNauctions on this first virtual fundraiser. Click here to enjoy the concert that runs to 48:59 followed by our Mission Moment.
Tags: ATX, Austin auctioneer, Austin Texas, benefit auctioneer, benefit auctions, charity auctioneer, Conspirare, Craig Hella Johnson, Female auctioneer, FUNauctions LLC, Fundraising, Gayle Stallings, Songs of Connection, Texas auctioneer, Virtual fundraiser, Virtual Gala