Additional Resources for Using Events to Build Community Copy

Experiential Ideas
Campus Outreach example

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Idea Starters for a Communal Experience

Consider the ideas below for experiences your micro-event hosts can offer to create an unforgettable, fun, and creative experience that draws people into your cause, for both in person and virtual micro- events.

Charades

Do you have a program that helps remove communication barriers? Perhaps your organization provides gospel to unreached people through a language translation program. Or maybe you help formerly incarcerated people learn how to interview for a job. Misunderstood communication can feel frustrating and disheartening. Allow your guests to feel this and see how the organization helps overcome it by playing a fun game of virtual charades. Break into teams. The person who will be acting out the clue must be muted, and team members guess what they are trying to say. After the game is done, the host can tie the struggle of understanding that was created by removing an element of communication to the bridge your organization creates for people.

A Reading

Is there a meaningful screenplay or script that is tied to your cause? Hosts can invite friends to each participate in a read-through of the script, assigning each guest a role, costumes, backstory, etc. After reading through the script, engage in a lively discussion of how this storyline relates to the cause and the hosts own story.

Cook Together

Does your cause naturally lend itself to a unique style of food? Cook together. Equip your host with a recipe and shopping list. The host guides the guest through the recipe, step by step, sharing their story of connection to the cause while making the meal. Consider implementing thematic music during specific portions of the food preparation.

Highs, Lows, Hopefuls

This activity can be a stand-alone activity, used as an icebreaker, or connected to another type of event if conversation seems to lull. Have each guest share their highs, lows, and hopefuls for the week. Make it more connected by tying it back to your cause. If you work internationally, consider sharing highs, lows, and hopefuls for international travel experiences. If you work with children, connect it to highs, lows and hopefuls related to guests’ own experiences with parenting. If your cause is evangelism, have guests share highs, lows, and hopefuls related to their own story of coming to faith in Christ. This will likely produce some vulnerable conversation between guests, making the experience that much more transformative. End with the host sharing their own story and tie it into the cause and why it is so meaningful for them. Transition to the ask and allow guests to see how the story they just shared can be connected to the cause too.

Movie Screening

Find a short or full-length film or documentary that is connected to your cause and invite guests to watch it together. Consider offering movie related or cause related snacks to each guest to enjoy while watching the film. For virtual events, set a start time for the movie to begin, and either watch together through a screen sharing option on a video conference call, or on their own. When the movie ends, utilize the video conference call to discuss the film.

Trivia Night

Create a set of cause related trivia for hosts that lasts about 30 minutes. Have guests bring their favorite beverage and snacks to enjoy while playing. Create colored teams and invite guests to deck themselves out in the team color. Host could deliver the question and then split guests into their team breakout rooms to discuss their answers.

Game Night

Can you find a board game that connects to the people you serve? Directly, this could be a game your beneficiaries play. Indirectly you could tie the game to a program or manifestation of the vision through metaphors. Websites like Smithsonian Magazine or Board Game Arena suggest online games you can play with friends.

Craft Together

Is there a craft that is made by, or given to your beneficiaries? Invite guests to have a hands-on experience creating this craft.  Consider including some fun surprises, like a fun snack or beverage. The host will guide their guests through the steps and tie it back to the cause through their story. If the craft will be given to someone, invite guests to pray over it.

Service Project

Are service projects involved in your programs? Invite guests to participate in a similar or alternative service project. Virtually or in person, have the host engage participants in a meaningful discussion afterwards. Consider inviting members from your program who also participated in a service project to join discussion to give guests a further glimpse into the nature of the work.

Tour & Treasure Hunt

If your cause is connected to a property, have your host guide them through the facility. In addition to their own story of connection, they can share unique stories for each room they enter and pray over the various ministry activities that happen in each space. This could be done in person or virtually.

Hide clues around the facility. Break guests into teams, consider having them wear a special color to identify the team when they are all on the screen. Give the whole group the first clue as well as a map of the facility. Once a team has found all the clues and the treasure (this could be a symbolic item related to the cause) bring everyone back to celebrate the winners and debrief the experience.

Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Compile a list of items that can be tied back to your cause. For example, if your cause is ending poverty, items you might include could be:

  • a wallet
  • something you purchased within the last week
  • your high school diplomas
  • something you bought on sale
  • something you overpaid for
  • a gift someone gave you that you never could have bought yourself,
  • an item related to your work, etc.
  • a book that has helped you grow as an individual

Equip guests with their lists and give them a set amount of time to go around their house to find these items.  Have the host go first by sharing all that they brought back, what they mean to them and how they are connected to the cause. Allow each guest to share about the items they chose and why.

Guests will have the opportunity to reflect on what they chose, and how their participation in the call to action can benefit others.

  Teambuilding.com offers more examples for virtual scavenger hunts.

Virtual Talent Show

Invite each guest to come up with their own talent to share on screen. Be sure to have guests mute themselves when they are not performing. Recruit judges to select the winner, or have all guests vote for their favorite.

Camp Fire Pit

Fire pits are synonymous with camps. If you’re a camping organization, invite hosts to create a fire in their backyards and invite friends to sit around it. Consider singing camp worship songs, eating smores, and telling stories. If mail time is part of your camp program, invite guests to write letters to campers or staffers and pray for them.

For more ideas, or to reference many of the useful articles these ideas came from, check out the links below:

Vogue: Fun Things to Do on Zoom

Giveforms: 20 Simple but Effective Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits Soapbox: Virtual Fundraising Ideas

Teambuilding – Zoom Games

Recommended Reading

Fundraising Dinner Operations Manual

This manual offers practical and tactical advice for how to host a large-scale event that not only raises funds, but builds community. This manual has been a go-to ministry guide for hosting champion vision events for over two decades.

This updated manual provides additional tools, and examples. It’s companion site contains more examples, videos and additional content.

Want to explore more Mission Increase recommended books?