Virtual Fundraising Ideas
As the world of fundraising continues to adapt to the online and virtual space, it can be difficult to think of unique ideas that will stand your organization out from the crowd. No matter what you’re trying to raise money for, whether it’s a non-profit, a local community or a school, hosting a virtual event can be a great way to maximize profits and participation, especially when limited with other options due to potential restrictions.
If you’re looking to put an exciting twist on an old classic then an online auction is a great idea. It’s up to you if you ask for donations to the auction in your local area, or you find some funding to purchase auction packages and experiences. You’ll have to have a strong sixth sense to find something worth selling which can also make you a profit, which is why often a combination of the two works best.
You’ll find local businesses, such as local stores, can donate products, experiences and gifts to your auction where you can provide free promotion of their company in exchange. Host your event online through a trusted fundraising platform to ensure all payments are secure and you’re good to go! All you need is a team of people around you to help promote the event online.
Online Chinese Auction
Much like an online auction, an online Chinese Auction is a great way to spice up a traditional fundraising event. So why would you choose a Chinese Auction? The truth is that they’re a little more upmarket than most fundraising events, which means they can bring in a lot more than your typical funds.
The success of an online Chinese Auction usually depends on how much effort the host is willing to put in. Finding the right items for attendees to bid on, creating a buzz around the event, making those who donated and those who are bidding feel special for receiving an invite.
At the end of the day, you cannot beat a raffle or prize draw. There’s a reason why they’re the easiest and most accessible event and it’s exactly why they’re ranking high on our list for online events.
It can be difficult to host a virtual event and get people to tune in at the correct time. The best part about a raffle event? You don’t need people to log in to watch the draw, all you need to do is host it. When it comes to selling the tickets, either online or offline, you just need to keep a record of who purchased what ticket so you can send the prize to the correct person.
See more about our services for online prize draws.
Let’s be honest, who hasn’t participated in an online quiz over the last few years? The entire world was fascinated with swapping out Friday night drinks at the bar for an online quiz with friends. It’s a great way for people to get connected and relax a little. Plus, if it’s all for a good cause, statistics show that people are more likely to get involved and spread the word to their friends and family.
Hosting a quiz is incredibly easy to do as well, all you need to gather are a few questions (most of which are easy to find online). You can get people to buy tickets and enter as a team, or individually. We recommend holding a cash prize for the winners, typically we’d say 10% from whatever was raised from the entry tickets to the event. That way, each entry increases the winnings ever so slightly.
Virtual murder mystery
Now, we know what you’re thinking, this one is a little out there. However, if you want to create a unique event, an online murder mystery is a great idea. Not only can it help revive some old childhood game fun but it’s a great way to get people excited about an event before they turn up.
This one raises funds without someone being completely aware that that’s what they’re doing – they’re just there to have fun. One reason we love this fundraising idea also is that there is little to no effort involved as you can download many murder mystery storylines online for free. All you need to do is host them!
Are you an avid runner on the weekend? This could be the perfect way to get some fundraising going within your community. Even if you’re not partial to a 5km event, it’s a great way to get out there more.
Host a virtual run and have people pay to enter (this will be your fundraising pot). Then, for those who complete the run and show evidence, you can send them a medal in the post! It’s easy and relatively inexpensive to purchase medals online, but make sure you don’t order any until you have the final numbers on participants. You don’t want to reduce your profits by purchasing too many!
Virtual dance marathon
Similar to the virtual run, a virtual dance marathon is a great way to get up and active. Plus, it’s a little more fun than going out on your own for a jog. You’ll need to gather sign-ups for this event before it’s hosted. When you have your dedicated dancers, it’s their job to get sponsorship for the event. It might be people sponsoring them to do a type of dance, to dance for a certain duration, or to choose a particular song to dance to. There are more ways to get a sponsor than just one so encourage your dancers to get creative.
Online music gig
Band nights are far and few between these days. It’s harder for venues to pay for a gig with funds being tight, which is why we are big advocates of online music gigs. Especially as it gives a lot of bands total freedom on what they play when they play and how much they charge for the pleasure of viewing. Whether you’re part of a band or not, you will want to host the event on a closed site. Meaning that those who pay to watch will receive a password and then be able to access it. You can manage the transactions easily using a trusted vendor and use a platform such as Zoom to host it.
Online book club
This is the perfect fundraiser to receive continual funds with. If you’re looking for more of a stable trickle of money coming in rather than a big lump sum – it’s a game changer. Have people donate a sum of money that will cost the cover of the book (and then add some more for profit) and arrange weekly updates on chapters to read and discuss.
It’s a great fundraiser but also perfect for those looking to make a few friends. In a large and sparse community, it can be an ideal way to bring people together. Then, once you’ve all completed the book you can start the process again with a new donation.
Learn a skill online
In the same way you can continually raise funds with a book club, you can do the same with hosting workshops online for people to learn a skill. It can be something small such as learning to knit or you can help people become DIY experts by making a coffee table. The only thing you need to do is find someone willing to donate their time to teach the skill.
You can send out information beforehand so that everyone has all the items they need to get started and even share information on where to hire certain tools. Host the workshop in an evening if it’s a quick skill or use the weekend if more time is needed (and potentially get more learners involved too).
Online bake sale
This one can be a little tricky, especially as most people will want to see a cake before they buy it. But remember, an online bake sale doesn’t have to follow the rules of a traditional bake sale with the addition of a live video stream. You can host an online bake sale in a number of ways.
You could supply all the stencils and equipment you need to create a character cake. You could supply a tray of cupcakes with edible decorations to decorate at home. Alternatively, there is always the option of selling the finished cake. Remember to think outside the box when you move events like this online. It’s not just a case of setting up a camera.
Online gaming stream-athon
Similar to the dance-athon and running events, an online gaming stream-athon is for a particular type of crowd. Whether you’re part of the gaming community or not, there is a lot of demand to watch people stream online for long periods of time. Streaming isn’t only a case of watching someone else play a game. Viewers can make requests for the streamer to play certain games, compete against them, ask them to sing a song, make a shoutout, even dance to something while playing. It’s a chance to have the streamer do a whole bunch of crazy and funny gamer stuff to be entertained. All viewers need to do, is donate in order to have their request met.
Virtual scavenger hunt
This idea is great for people of all ages. Whether you’re looking to get more local school children involved or it’s just fun for adults, a scavenger hunt is always a good call. You can stick to themes or items, create an alphabet of requests or go wild. Scavenger hunts might last an hour or you could ask your participants to pay a premium and have the event go on for an entire week. Remember, scavenger hunts can be more than just finding an item once. You could task your participants with photographing as many red trucks as they can throughout the event. Have fun with what you ask people to find but make sure it’s achievable for the majority so nobody is disheartened by the lack of items in and around their community.
So there you have it – lots of ideas for Virtual Fundraising! We hope it was useful to you for your fundraising activities this year.
Givergy gives you the perfect tools to successfully run your virtual fundraising events. Whether you’re looking to hold multiple fundraising drives throughout the year, or a one-off online campaign, we have the platform and expertise to maximize your fundraising activities.
Vice President, Givergy US
Dan has spent over seven years working in the digital and non-profit fundraising world, stationed in New York for the past three years. During that time he has helped hundreds of north American non-profits raise more for their fundraising initiatives, both online and at physical events.