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Thornbury-Clarksburg (T-C) Rotary was suddenly forced to cancel all their fundraisers when COVID hit. Stuck without any revenue generating events planned, they hosted a virtual event. Believe it or not, this single virtual event raised more money than any other event in the club’s 80 year history. 


Hope in the Valley, featuring local entertainers and musicians, dinner partnerships with amazing local restaurants, and an online silent auction that generated a lot of excitement, saved and exceeded their yearly fundraising goals. 


In the past, T-C Rotary’s fundraising efforts consisted of a couple large events and a few smaller fundraising campaigns scattered in-between. Their fundraisers have included a golf tournament, evening dinner events, raffle tickets, and a run – you know; all the successful classics! The Rotary club had figured out these events, making them successful year over year.


This all changed when COVID hit. Palma Barbieri, from T-C Rotary, stated that there was “little thought to changing, until COVID.” All of their fundraising strategies, which were primarily face-to-face events, were cancelled. Leaving T-C Rotary in a dire need to find something new.  


“COVID threw all our events out the window, none of them could happen.” – Palma Barbieri


Ready to try something new, and jump in with two feet, the club decided “this is where we are getting our money this year, no other fundraisers, we are putting all our eggs in one basket.” With the support of the trellis team, T-C Rotary planned and launched their first ever virtual fundraiser!


“We saw others doing well and they had good things to say. We decided to go with trellis and we are so glad we did.” – Palma Barbieri


Besides a donation button on their website, T-C Rotary had never done any virtual fundraising. And although they were hesitant based on the skill set within their volunteer team, they worked together and confidently tackled the digital aspects, with support from the trellis team, pulling off their most successful fundraiser to date. “We are really happy with the support; trellis was always there. We can’t say enough about the help,” said Barbieri. 


With one month, one virtual event, and a small team of volunteers, T-C Rotary raised more money than any other event!


“This event raised more money than any other event in our 80 year history.” – Palma Barbieri 


Their virtual gala raised over $40,000, 50% more than the previous biggest event. With only $2,500 in expenses, T-C Rotary donated $39,000 to donate towards their community’s COVID needs. “Trellis is very low cost and takes the headache away from producing all the tax receipts,” said Barbieri. 


As the Thornbury-Clarksburg Rotary looks ahead, they are “going to revisit [their] fundraising strategies, maybe with a mix of virtual and in-person events in the future”.


Palma’s final words: “If you want to run an event, it is worth looking at trellis. The support is there, it was fairly easy to work with the trellis page builder, it allowed us to get up and running quickly with our fundraiser; I would recommend it!” 


Palma Barbieri

Palma Barbieri, T-C Rotary

Free Virtual Event Resource Guide

Free Virtual Event Resource Guide

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  • The best tools and technology to run a successful virtual event
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