Virtual Fundraising Ideas: How To Successfully Prepare And Present Your Fundraising Appeal in a Virtual Event

Posted on: December 28, 2020

More people are interested in finding virtual fundraising ideas and it’s pretty obvious why. 

The year 2020 has upended how most non-profits were able to conduct their fundraising events. 

Many have paused their strategies as they dealt with the effects of the pandemic, but are now looking for virtual fundraising tips. 

Social distancing guidelines made in-person fundraising impractical. Unfortunately, the economic downturn has hit people and companies hard and left them less able or willing to contribute.

The need, however, goes on. And although your approach and strategy may look different during the age of COVID 19, you can tailor your virtual fundraising strategy to fit the times. 

There have always been times in the past of both economic and community upheavals, and even though those times were challenging, nonprofits pulled through. 

Now is not the time to despair, but the time to regroup and change strategies.

You will need to adjust to the societal changes and reformat the strategies that you use. 

This can be done with virtual fundraising ideas that keep your supporters engaged and aware that your need still exists. 

You can expedite continued support and virtual giving through an online vehicle, a venue that has become a staple in our modern-day society. And you can use that universal tool to keep your non-profit thriving.

Here are some virtual fundraising ideas for your non-profit.

# 1. Product Fundraising:

This is an effective fundraising strategy because it promotes awareness of your organization when supporters use your product. 

The product itself can serve as an incentive for giving, and when you add your organization name, it also promotes awareness and can spark conversations. 

Items like t-shirts are always popular. A t-shirt can last for years, and people love to wear them to show support for their causes. 

During this pandemic, face masks and personal size bottles of hand sanitizer are especially practical. 

They encourage people to be safe and think about what is best for themselves and others. 

By putting your logo or business name on these items, you can still help promote your cause and raise funds at the same time.

#2. Crowdfunding Campaign:

Crowdfunding is a method of raising capital via a large pool of individuals. This can be customers, supporters, investors, friends, and family. 

This collective effort is made online through social media and crowdfunding platforms. This type of funding gives you a single platform to showcase your cause and involve others in helping to support you. 

During the process of creating a crowdfunding campaign, it also gives you the opportunity to go through the process of looking at your organization from the top level down. 

Many see this sequestered time as a curse, but you have the chance to use it as a blessing. 

Take this time to evaluate the history, offerings, market, and support process that define your organization to see where you are doing well and where there is room for improvement. 

When you are putting together your crowdfunding campaign, you will validate and refine your organization’s needs and become more efficient in the process.

During this pandemic, it is crucial to keep your focus, your dedication, and your hope. It will also be critical to maintain contact with your past supporters in creative and inventive ways.

It has always been the case that it is less expensive to retain current donors than to attract new ones. Over time, those same supporters tend to increase their donations. 

During this pandemic time, your in-person contact with supporters is not possible, but it is essential to engage with those people. 

Those engagement opportunities go a long way towards maintaining and developing a deeper relationship that can impact your cause in a positive way even after this pandemic is in the history books.

#3. Virtual Live-Stream With Your Supporters:

This is the epitome of social distancing, and yet it allows you to make a connection or keep your partners and supporters engaged. 

The beauty of this is that it can be just a small time commitment. Contact your supporters via email to set up a one on one time, and keep it short. 

Fifteen minutes will be enough time for you to get in touch with those sympathetic to your cause. 

Be sure to find out how your supporter is faring during these challenging times. 

There might be some way you can make life easier for them and strengthen the bond and sense of connectedness essential between an organization and its supporters. 

Take the time to let them know the impact your organization is facing and the ways in which they can help.

This type of virtual fundraising can be effective as it is a one on one connection. Reach out to those supporters who might be in a better place to help in times like these. 

#4. Stage A Virtual Walk/Race:

You may have had plans for a walk or a 5k, and that is not feasible this year. 

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still host an event. You have much more flexibility with a virtual event as you don’t have to concern yourself with the logistics of a physical space or volunteers to run the event. 

Your event can also span a longer length of time. It can be over a week or even a month. If you have supporters who are not local, they can participate from wherever they live. 

The event can be a walk, a run, or even treadmill times. You could also choose to have an event that incorporates all three activities! 

This type of event is best when done as a peer to peer fundraiser where your supporters seek donations supporting their commitment to walking/running a certain number of miles. Also, encourage your supporters to create a fundraising page to reach out to their friends and family to get them involved. 

Add incentives depending on the amount a supporter raised. If a supporter raises $50 or $100, the incentives can be t-shirts, water bottles, masks, or hand sanitizers. 

Depending on your organization and the reach of your supporters, you can tailor the incentives and goals accordingly.

#5. Hold A Virtual Movie Night:

This has probably been a time when people have had the opportunity to watch more movies than in the past. 

You can set up a virtual movie night with Netflix Party. Participants can watch a movie at the same time and share thoughts, jokes, and comments with a chat window. 

Have them send pictures of the snacks they are having to your Facebook page. Encourage your supporters to include photos of them watching in their matching pajamas and fuzzy slippers. 

You can link to your donation page and ask participants to donate the cost of a movie ticket to your organization. 

Keep them engaged throughout the movie and if you see that it is a fun engagement, schedule another movie night soon afterward.

# 6. Invite Supporters to Virtual Workshops:

If you had a conference in the works, and the pandemic prompted a cancellation, you can still reach out to inform people about your cause and cultivate community. 

You can do this with a series of talks that run over a morning or even a day-long series of lectures and workshops. 

Hosted online, people can dial into the various events and workshops according to their interests. 

You can ask that your Executive Director or Board Member talk about the organization and its impact on the community and its positive outreach. 

Include such information as your organization’s origin and vision statement. 

Give the numbers that comprise your operation, such as the number of people you have helped, the number of people that need help, your growth, and your future goals. 

Ask someone (or several people) who have benefited from your services to speak. 

Ask them to share their experience and share how your organization has impacted them and made a positive difference in their lives. 

Line up an expert in your field to give an informational talk that stresses the importance of your cause and the broad and life-changing impact your organization has on the community. 

These events can be efficiently run on platforms like Zoom. Include an ask or a call to action either at the end of or during the conference.

Be Prepared to Accept Virtual Giving

With some final thoughts, a critical aspect of any type of fundraising venture, whether it is virtual or not, is how you are going to include or introduce your appeal and the ability for your supporter to contribute. 

You may already have a vehicle in place for receiving funds. If you do not, do that before anything else, and be prepared to have a variety of ways in which a supporter can contribute to the worthy cause. 

In case you missed it, we released a few blog posts recently all about Virtual Events: 5 Tips for Hybrid Events!, Creative Virtual Peer-To-Peer Events, Virtual Event Options, and How To Take Your Baby Bottle Campaign Virtual!

Also, if you haven’t joined already, we have an exclusive Facebook Group just for our Ministry Sync customers! If you are a current Ministry Sync Customer and would like to join, go here to learn more and request to be added!

Please feel free to contact us @MinistrySync on Instagram or Facebook or email us at, and let us know if you’d like to learn more about our event planning tools, AttendEasy or FundEasy.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

This article was written to encourage your fundraising efforts. Although we work with ministries and events daily, our team members are not Event Consultants. We encourage you to consult with your event consultant, executive team, and/or affiliate organization before making any major changes to your events. 

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