The era of Zoom galas is coming to an end

Exponents’ annual benefit in 2019.
Exponents’ annual benefit in 2019.
Robert Munroe of Munroe Photography
Exponents’ annual benefit in 2019.

The era of Zoom galas is coming to an end

Nonprofits are increasingly shifting back to hosting in-person events.
May 24, 2021

More than a year ago, nonprofit organizations began canceling fundraisers in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, ultimately making the shift to virtual events. Now, with more than half of New Yorkers receiving at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and the city reopening, in-person galas and benefits are coming back, Bloomberg reports. 

While many nonprofits are still sticking with virtual events for the time being, more organizations are transitioning back to in-person events – with some COVID-19 precautions still in place. The Whitney Museum of American Art, for example, offered rapid testing on site and packaged food in individual containers for guests. 

And then there are those trying to offer the best of both worlds: the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s June 10 gala will be held in-person but will be livestreamed so viewers can still tune in for free from home. The Sarcoma Foundation of America will take on a hybrid approach as well for its annual fundraising gala, which will be held on Sept. 28.

The return of in-person events will certainly be welcomed by organizations, but some fundraisers feel that virtual events will continue to play a role for some nonprofits in the post-pandemic future. They have lower costs, are more accessible to viewers in various locations, and aren’t derailed by poor weather.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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