YWCA of Central Alabama

Purse and Passion 2020

Virtual Event

How the YWCA moved a luncheon event to virtual and exceeded expectations!


For 21 years, the YWCA of Central Alabama has hosted over 1200 guests for its annual fundraising luncheon, Purse and Passion.  This strategic event follows the table captain fundraising model and has raised millions for the organizations.  Annually, the expected gross revenue from this event ranges from $600k-$700k.   Prepared for a seated luncheon event and utilizing Swell table host feature, the YWCA faced the challenge of COVID19 and decided that the luncheon would shift to a 100% virtual event. With Swell's Virtual Event Module, the backup plan was easy to implement which allowed the organization to focus on guest/donor communication 


For additional information, download the case study here. 

  • Client:YWCA of Central Alabama
  • Event Type:Virtual Event 
  • Features Used:Table host registration feature, Event Website, Text-to-Donate, Virtual Event Module


  1. Pivot a well-established, large luncheon event to 100% virtual in less than a month
  2. Capture and communicate with virtual guest registrants
  3. Maintain event momentum through table captains
  4. Host 1500+ guests online concurrently
  5. Make it easy for guests to participate and give.
  6. Stay true to the event spirit
  7. Raise $600,000


  1. Utilize Swell's table host feature - having this feature in place from the start made the transition to virtual seamless and easy.  Choosing a different registration process with less than a month to go would have been a difficult hurdle to leap.
  2. Use event website for communication about change to virtual event
  3. Leverage leaderboards and peer to peer functions to encourage fun-raising among table captains 
  4. Engage a 3rd party company to livestream a program of 6-8 individuals and pre-recorded video similar to the original event program
  5. Utilize the Virtual Event Module to host guests online for a true online event experience where the livestream, donor giving and guest conversation could be enjoyed simultaneously
  6. Capture new donors for the organization (1,000+ individual donations)

Download a written summary of the YWCA of Central Alabama Purse and Passion Event.  Click Here

We could not have hit our goals without swell!


  • 1,011 individual  donors

  • 1,545 virtual event guests from 159 cities
  • Raised $646,000
  • Impressed their board, donor base and community 


  • case study header (1)

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