Use These Tips To Help Your Nonprofit Host A Successful Virtual Fundraising Event
Fundraising is essential to any nonprofit. It allows companies to raise funds for supplies, projects, and general day-to-day operations. Many nonprofits are familiar with the raffle or the silent auction, which are traditional go-to fundraising efforts.
However, with packed calendars, busy work schedules, and the increasing demand for online alternatives to in-person fundraising events, it can be challenging for nonprofits to attract enough attendees to make their fundraising efforts worthwhile.
The good news is that virtual fundraising is becoming more and more popular. Not only does it allow interested parties to participate from anywhere, these virtual events cost less than hosting a live one. They also allow you to build engaging communities around a good cause.
So it’s no surprise that many nonprofit companies are turning to virtual fundraising to meet their funding requirements. Let’s take a deeper look at virtual fundraising, why it’s beneficial, and some ideas you can use to ensure your next online fundraising event is a success.
Photo by RODNAE Productions
What is Virtual Fundraising?
Virtual fundraising is a creative way for nonprofit organizations to engage donors and encourage them to donate funds to their unique cause. It involves hosting an online event that people access entirely online from their computer or mobile device.
This allows your supporters to engage with your cause from wherever they are and connect with others who share an interest in your brand.
Typically, a virtual fundraising campaign involves an online donation page that centralizes the campaign activities and fundraising campaign. It can include peer-to-peer fundraising, mobile giving, and other fundraising initiatives.
Why is Virtual Fundraising Important?
Every nonprofit has fundraising goals it must meet. This is because budget cuts, decreased funding opportunities, and increases in costs can throw a wrench into the organization's operations.
Fundraising allows nonprofit organizations to provide for people in need and offer services to improve their clients’ lives. It also allows nonprofits to operate beyond their yearly budget and bring more benefits to the sector it serves.
Virtual fundraising takes these benefits a step further by allowing companies to take their fundraising campaign online to get virtual donations and engagement from people outside their local community. They can also be more effective and easier to organize than in-person events.
Online fundraising allows donors to quickly and securely donate to your campaign. Nonprofits can quickly collect donations from across the country and around the globe after raising funds to put towards a good cost. So it’s wise to incorporate virtual fundraising into your nonprofit’s financial plan.
5 Online Fundraising Ideas To Engage Your Donors
While Zoom meetings and virtual events are more normal than ever, online fundraising may feel like new territory. However, with so many ways to connect online, it’s easier than ever to host a virtual fundraising event to benefit your nonprofit organization.
Here are five excellent fundraising event ideas you can use to take your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts to the next level.
1. Virtual Auction
Online auctions are a great way to bring the traditional silent auction to a virtual setting. To get the ball rolling, establish a page where all of the items can be reviewed by potential donors and bid on. There are many different auction items you can offer that will drive bids, including:
An online gift card
Tickets to a live event
A console and video games
It’s a good idea to secure an online auction platform to help facilitate bids and streamline the process. Organize the bids beforehand and announce the winners during another virtual fundraising event, like a webinar, virtual gala dinner, or live stream.
As you design your virtual auction, ensure you communicate why you raise funds to your audience. This will help them feel more connected to the event and feel inspired to bid higher.
Photo by Katt Yukawa
2. Virtual Races
Walkathons, danceathons, and marathons can be adapted into virtual formats to reach a wider audience. These virtual races can broaden your fundraising horizons and offer an excellent workout to participants.
Set up a fundraising page that allows participants to register. You can have them pay a small fee to join, which acts as their donation or have them raise funds from local businesses, friends, and family to donate, depending on how many miles or minutes they move.
Some online races allow participants to choose their activity, meaning they can run, walk, swim, or bike a certain number of miles or log a certain amount of workout hours.
This fundraising method is great because it’s sharable. You can launch a social media takeover and ask supporters to share photos of them. If you offer incentives like a race medal or t-shirt, ask them to pose with them and create a social media post using your hashtag to drive donations.
You can share these user-generated images across social media platforms with permission to promote your fundraising campaign.
Consider enlisting the help of industry influencers to help spread the word about your virtual race to drive more donations. It’s a great way to raise money for a good cause while inspiring your donors to help you raise funds.
3. Virtual Class or Webinars
A strong fundraising strategy for any size nonprofit is to host a virtual class that can teach your donors a new skill.
You can charge a one-time registration fee to allow viewers to join the course. Since you will be live-streaming a single instructor, it is incredibly cost-effective. There are many different types of webinars and classes you can offer:
A virtual cooking class where everyone cooks a new recipe together.
A virtual happy hour with a mixologist who teaches how to mix exciting cocktails.
An online crafting hour that helps viewers paint a picture or create a new home decor craft.
A Zoom yoga, medication, or another type of exercise class.
A virtual book club with weekly meetings to engage your donors.
Think about what your audience would enjoy the most and let your creativity fly. To ensure you can accommodate all interested participants, choose a scalable webinar platform that will ensure everyone can attend with no issues. Additionally, the right platform can record your virtual class, allowing you to offer it on demand for a small fee to continue generating donation revenue.
4. Donation Matching
Your donors want to know that their money has the most significant impact possible. Donation matching gifts are a great way to allow them to give two gifts for the price of just one.
Connect with local businesses or national companies to ask if they will match a percentage of donations for a specific period of time or on specific giving days. This is incredibly effective if you have cultivated strong partnerships with specific businesses through your board members.
This fundraising strategy is beneficial when executed towards the end of a crowdfunding campaign when you notice that donations are beginning to slow down. Matching gifts can keep the excitement and momentum going, allowing you to finish your fundraising campaign with a flourish.
5. Virtual Game Night Or Gaming Tournament
One of the easiest virtual fundraisers you can organize is a virtual game night. Not only do games bring people together, but they also inspire a competitive spirit that drives engagement and encourages people to support a good cause.
Organize a gaming tournament and encourage participants to join in groups. Choose a multiplayer game with scores, so your tournament only lasts a specific amount of time and drives engagement. You can choose games like:
Online video games like Call of Duty or Mario Kart
Online board games
Once you decide on the time, date, and game you’ll use, you’re ready to find players. Choose a fundraising platform to have your participants register. Ask them to hype up their team on social media. Consider hosting a Facebook Live event to drive donations and have viewers donate in the name of the team they hope wins. This is a great way to increase brand exposure while boosting your online fundraising efforts.
Photo by Annie Spratt
Take Your Virtual Fundraising To The Next Level
Fundraising can be both challenging and frustrating at times. However, it can make a significant impact on both your nonprofit and the donors supporting your cause.
Online fundraising is an excellent modern way for nonprofit organizations to raise money for their cause. It can pay dividends at a time when remote connections are crucial and in-person fundraisers may not be as popular as they once were.
Use these ideas as a starting point and tailor them to fit the needs of your audience and unique fundraising goals for your specific cause.
Looking for a way to host your virtual fundraising event? Let BeaconLive help you plan and execute your virtual event to give your bottom line a boost and take your fundraising efforts to the next level.