Virtual fundraiser ideas for organizations struggling to love live events online.

2020 has been a year of great change and great challenges. They say necessity is the mother of invention. We are seeing that in action this year, as everyone strives to adapt and excel in the new normal. 

Fundraising took a hit until innovation kicked in and virtual fundraising became more prominent and successful.

Benefits of Virtual Fundraising

With experience, people are learning that virtual events can still be fun, memorable and engaging. They also have some distinct benefits – they eliminate some of the comment reasons people can’t attend (no new dress, no child care, bad weather and more), they eliminate the search for a venue and the cost of the venue and in some ways they seem more focused. People are actively engaged in the program when it’s them and their screen – versus it being a social occasion in person – where sometimes the meaning and goal of the event is lost in the good time.

While you should still invest in your virtual fundraiser, you should have lower costs. Virtual events in 2020 are pushing the limits – they are setting the bar high – but they are still more affordable than an in-person event.

Promotion is Key

The key to success of your virtual fundraiser will still be promotion. You need to get the word out there, get your audience excited and committed. There are many digital channels you can use to reach your intended audience and excite them/

virtual fundraiser - brainstorming

Here are some virtual events examples:

Virtual Fundraiser Idea: Virtual Gala

No black ties and ball gowns needed – or maybe there are! Your guests can enjoy the program and support your important cause.  Your virtual attendees, comfy at home, will watch a live stream of your program. You may include a musical performance, a comedian, or an awards ceremony.  Your attendees can dress up, or they can attend in their casual best. Either way they can upload photos that you can share via livestream. 

Simply sell tickets or collect donations and share a link to the livestream with your attendees. Tools like Facebook Live, Instagram, and YouTube make it easy. Consider an auction, raffle or additional donations throughout the event. You can use a thermometer to track money raised and keep attendees aware.

It’s important to connect emotionally by sharing stories, photos and videos ensuring the attendees and donors know the impact of their generosity. Recognize donors during the live stream. 

Live Streaming Event

Make a simple, powerful and direct appeal for the support and funds needed. You can stream live and also share pre-recorded content. Viewers can watch live or on-demand after the fact. Include entertainment, or games or something fun to ensure there is strong entertainment value. This is similar to a telethon – only it’s much more personal and engaging.

Virtual Charity Run

Walkers/runners can get sponsor donations for each mile they walk/run within a set period of time. Participants can share photos and videos to a group, and it can culminate with a virtual ceremony recognizing participants and some virtual entertainment for all to enjoy.

Virtual Fundraiser Idea: Silent Auction

Launch an online auction with the funds raised supporting your organization. Donations for the prizes can come from local businesses. You can’t go door to door, but a great video invitation, maybe with a surprise celebrity speaking, is a great way to get businesses and people involved. ers know when they’ve been outbid, and accept payment when the auction has closed.

Virtual fundraiser ideas are limitless. Get a little creative and see what you can do to generate the support and donations you need. Think about the success of a live fundraiser – entertainment is always an important piece of the event. Virtual events reach new levels of enjoyment and participation when unexpected virtual entertainment is part of the event. 

fundraising online

Learn more about virtual events here: