15 Virtual Fundraising Event Ideas: Raise More & Have Fun
Virtual events provide the opportunity to engage with supporters and donors near and far. With ease of accessibility for donors and increased flexibility for organizations, virtual events allow for high-level engagement and larger audience sizes.
At Mobilize, we’ve driven supporter interactions through virtual events and opportunities. We know what it takes to attract and engage virtual attendees, so we wanted to share a few of our favorite ideas.
Table of Contents:
- Our favorite ideas for virtual fundraising events
- Easy virtual fundraising events
- Large-scale virtual event ideas
- Learn more about virtual fundraising
Our favorite ideas for virtual fundraising events
There are many types of virtual fundraising ideas, each with specific goals, themes, and structures. When planning your next virtual fundraising event, consider your objectives and align them with an idea that fits. We’ve assembled a list of virtual events to help you get started.
- Virtual volunteer opportunities
Volunteers are the heart of many organizations, and it is important to recognize their efforts and understand their impact. Volunteers can play key roles in orchestrating virtual fundraising events, such as phonathons and peer-to-peer outreach campaigns.
During a designated time period, volunteers can make calls to donors, supporters, family, and friends asking for financial contributions to a specific cause. This method of fundraising offers the opportunity for direct engagement with volunteers and supporters.
- Virtual class series
Hosting a virtual class series is a highly beneficial educational fundraiser. Based on the mission and interests of your organization, virtual classes can be tailored to involve lessons about advocacy, social justice, or organization history.
Classes can be conducted online through registration and video conferencing platforms, such as Mobilize, which integrates registration, video conferencing, and fundraising features all in one centralized place.
- Virtual walkathons
Walkathon fundraisers can be conducted with the help of virtual platforms. Participants can complete their walk from any remote location, while being prompted to pledge a chosen amount of money per mile or lap that they walk. Connectivity can be enhanced by exercise apps, such a Strava, where others can view the stats of your walk.
With respect to event management and fundraising, all-inclusive platforms, such as Mobilize, integrate registration, communication, and fundraising features into one centralized system. Thus, participants can register and pledge their donations for the event with ease.
- Virtual roundtables and discussions
Supporter and donor engagement is an important aspect of maintaining organizational success. Roundtables and discussions allow for an organization and its donors to share information and reach new understandings about certain needs, future plans, and methods of action.
Video conferencing software, such a Zoom, allows these people from across the country and globe to participate, whether through webinars with Q&A capabilities, or standard meetings.
- Live-streamed telethons
Telethons are fundraising events that occur within a specified timeframe with the purpose of raising money for a specific cause. Often these events feature individuals making calls on behalf of an organization asking for donations, in addition to live entertainment.
While telethons are commonly televised, live-streaming technology has allowed for expanded outreach through virtual channels. There are various live-streaming platforms that offer specific services that fit different needs. Check out this list of popular platforms that will best fit your organization’s next event here!
Easy virtual fundraising events
Virtual fundraising events can still be highly engaging and fruitful, while not being overly complicated. There are plenty of simple virtual events that utilize easy-to-use online platforms that handle the aspects of event management, fundraising, and communication. We’ve put together a short list of our favorite easy virtual events to give you some ideas.
- Virtual behind-the-scenes tour
A virtual behind-the-scenes tour gives supporters the opportunity to gain insight into the daily workings of your organization. Let your supporters into the office, or allow them to see volunteers in action in the field. That way, donors can see the faces and processes that make up your organization.
The tour can be completed using live-streaming services or pre-recorded video posted to a webpage. Platforms, like Mobilize, combine registration, zoom video conferencing integration, and communication reminders into one system, which can make event management an easy, streamlined process to support your next virtual event.
- Online happy hour
Happy hours allow participants to convene and converse over drinks. This type of event can easily occur through video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom, exceptional planning, and engaging activities.
In the planning of a virtual happy hour, guests can pay a small fee for registration in order to attend the event and be sent cocktail recipes to make at home for the event. To add excitement, fun games, such as trivia, can be included to maintain engagement and make the event more enjoyable for participants.
- Virtual game night
Virtual game nights are fun ways to engage with others and raise money for a designated cause. Whether organizing one independently or consulting with a third party, online tools make it easy to host such an event.
Some popular games that can be played include Bingo, Trivia, and a variety of other games that can be organized independently. With respect to raising funds, participants can be asked to make a donation in the form of an admission fee, and earn access to a night of fun with supporters from across the country.
- Virtual watch party
Watch parties are events that can bring people that make up your organization together to view various forms of content, such as elections, project unveilings, and films. Turning this event into a fundraiser can be made easy by requesting an optional donation on a virtual registration form.
- Online raffle drawing
Hosting an online raffle is a great way to raise funds for your organization while giving participants a chance to enter to win a wide variety of prizes. Platforms geared towards nonprofit organizations, such as Rallyup, offer free and paid online raffle services that allow you to host your organization’s next online raffle contest the way you see fit.
Large-scale virtual event ideas
Online technology has allowed for virtual events to happen on small or large scales. Most in-person events that would attract a large number of participants can easily be converted to remote platforms. Especially during the pandemic, tech innovations in live-streaming, video conferencing, and other forms of communication channels have kept organizations and their supporters engaged.
Here are some of our favorite large-scale virtual events that support the fundraising needs of organizations.
- Virtual gala or year-end party
A virtual gala or party is an exciting and fun way to engage and celebrate with supporters, volunteers, donors, and employees, all while raising funds. When hosting such an event, it is important to create a clear and concise plan that fits in line with the intent of the event in order to keep participants fully engaged throughout.
The event can include fundraising activities, such as a raffle or auction, where participants contribute funds for a chance to win a prize. Alternatively, this can simply be an opportunity to celebrate the end of a successful year, virtually, with drinks and food.
- Virtual 5k and pledge drive
A virtual 5k can encourage participants to have fun, get active, and contribute funds to your organization or cause. Those participating can be asked to pledge a dollar amount of their choice for each kilometer of the 5k that they complete.
Running apps can be used by participants, such as Strava, which offers a social networking platform that tracks running activity. That way runners can easily log and share their performance during the event. For event management, Mobilize offers advertising, registration, and fundraising features that can help this event proceed with ease.
- Online charity auction
Charity auctions are mutually beneficial events for organizations and participants, as organizations receive donations for their given mission and bidders are given prizes or services. Here are some examples of items and services that can be offered by organizations; organization merchandise packages, spa treatment certificates, wine baskets, or a free consultation with a nonprofit specialist.
Various online platforms exist that can manage the planning and hosting of your next online charity auction. Check out the list of the top auction software assembled by Software Advice!
- Virtual concert or standup show
Live music and entertainment can still occur in virtual settings with the help of technology! If your organization would commonly have live in-person entertainment, you can continue to host these events at a similar caliber using live-streaming platforms on social media or through video conferencing services.
Determine what kind of live entertainment you would like to feature at your event, then consult and hire performers. Post your event on platforms, such as Mobilize, for promotion as well as an all-inclusive registration and fundraising features.
- Multi-day virtual conference
Virtual conferences can be used to bring individuals together, such as industry leaders and volunteers, to learn and share knowledge. Conferences can include multiple sessions focused on specific topics, such as diversity, management, fundraising, all led by experienced professionals.
For information on how to plan and execute a successful virtual conference, check out the step-by-step advice provided by The Virtual Training Team.
Learn more about virtual fundraising
As the global shift to virtual forms of communication has not reflected any decrease in the need for work, there has been no change in the need for donations to support campaigns and organizations. Virtual fundraising has played a fundamental role in helping organizations to reach larger audience sizes, maintain their supporter bases, and continue to advance their missions.
Platforms, like Mobilize, offer innovative tools that facilitate successful fundraising efforts that leverage and enhance the ability of your organization to spread awareness and engage with donors. With Mobilize, your organization can post all events to your dashboard for possible volunteers and participants to see, offering high-levels of visibility.
Several fundraising features, such as distributed fundraising, which allows volunteers to create their own fundraising events and pages on behalf of your organization, and donate-to-RSVP, which asks event registrants to make a donation before completing a registration form.
Integrated virtual features have proven to be successful drivers of fundraising for organizations. For more information on how to get started in the world of virtual events and fundraising, check out additional Mobilize resources.