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The Ray Graham Association enriches lives by empowering those we support and those who care for them to reach, grow, and achieve. They serve over 2,000 people with disabilities and employs nearly 350 people.

They decided to take their Chrysalis Butterfly Ball and create an engaging virtual fundraiser, due to the circumstances surrounding this year. You might think it would be challenging to take a gala online, but through some unique ideas and creative storytelling, Ray Graham Association was able to customize their event to tell their story.

Here are some of the things they did for a successful event:

  • A pre-event happy half hour where the host lead the audience through a couple cocktail lessons. Participants could follow along and create the perfect cocktail to go with the event.
  • They had promotional videos for some of their amazing auction items up for grabs including an autographed Bears jersey. There was also dinner at a “Top Chef” restaurant or a week-long getaway in Wisconsin. They were able to really showcase their top items, and their videos gave a clear picture of the value of their donations.
  • Association participants were interviewed and could tell their story and how Ray Graham Association impacts them. People were able to put faces to the organization, which helps people see true impact.
  • The event also incorporated an interactive raffle, and it kept people on the edge of their seats wondering who would win!
  • Lastly, they had a charming and energizing auction host who really carried the final pieces of the event. He was thrilling to watch and really helped the audience stay engaged and continuing to donate.

Ray Graham Association was able to create a fun and thrilling virtual fundraiser event. It kept everyone involved and also raised a lot of money by stringing together all these unique, little details. We’d call it a success.


It’s just one of the perks of doing a virtual event. Read even more advantages to hosting a virtual fundraiser or see what other kinds of events you can do virtually. And if you’re still wondering if a virtual event is right for you, see our top questions about virtual events and why a virtual event is worth it in our blog. Plus, if you still need virtual event ideas for make your event stand out, we’ve got you covered.

Let's start planning your next event!

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