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Top 9 Virtual Fundraising Ideas

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It’s been a couple of very difficult years for the whole world. Difficulties & limitations in almost each sector and industry have caused many changes, including the actual approach to the way you set up, run or modernize projects. 

It’s been three years since the beginning of the crisis, mainly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the situation worldwide has become even more complicated. Any crisis is the most productive and creative period, though. Initiators started looking for fundraising ideas during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 and by today have tested and come out with the most efficient ones.

Today let’s look together at 9 best ones – those that have proven their efficiency, versatility, and are definitely worth trying or putting on your virtual fundraising ideas list.

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Idea #1. Crowdfunding

When talking about virtual classics, it’s crowdfunding that comes along and lets virtual fundraisers fulfill their ideas. You can choose one of the multiple online services to publish information about your idea and share it with people who, in turn, will sponsor it to let you turn it into reality. Crowdfunding platforms are there to let people donate safely, track the progress of the project or initiative, and communicate with the organizers.

Idea #2. Live Streams, Webinars & Conferences

Live Streaming has already become a reality of everyday communication between people and all different kinds of organizations. People communicate and study this way, and it is a very strong tool that the digital world has created.

  • You can record and store useful videos so that your donors could access them through a subscription.
  • Run a live event to show a new stage of your project.
  • Engage visitors, donors, and volunteers on a webinar where each of the parties involved in the project will describe and promote it from their side.
  • Organize an online conference, having invited other organizations and donors to highlight an important topic or problem you all could solve together.

An important thing to keep in mind when running an online event that involves many active participants is technical preparation.

Make sure you choose a proper service and have technical experts support you during the event in case there appear some technical issues.

Idea #3. Online Auction

One of the things that are easier to set up and run rather online than offline is an online auction. That’s why this format is #3 on our top virtual fundraising ideas list. All you need is to create a page that will list all the lots for your auction with good photos, descriptions, and an opportunity for participants to bid.

Online auctions can take place without additional live-streaming, so it’s another chance to run two great events: one with the auction itself and another one later, as a conference or a live stream, where you can announce the winners or show how you pack and send the items to them.

Idea #4. Virtual Tours

If you work with donors, sponsors, volunteers, and so on as a non-profit then you know how important it is to take them around: to show them around your organization or office, to show them a project location, to take them to different centers, and hosting camps. Virtual fundraising ideas of 2020 already included virtual tours and now by 2022 when many organizations have tested them you can be sure they are not only possible but also highly effective!

Ask your online visitors to pay a price of an entrance ticket and take them to the magic world: take them to your museum or a gallery, show them how you are preparing a project, organizing or renovating your space, and make them feel as if they are actually present there!

Idea #5. Movie Night

There are events that are good both in real life and online. And they are not always complicated to organize. For example, movie nights.

People organize them everywhere:

  • At home
  • In Cinemas
  • In cultural places
  • In ancient theaters, etc.

So why not run a movie night online and turn it into a virtual fundraiser activity? Use Netflix opportunities, choose a relevant movie and ask people to bring their snacks while they are comfortable sitting in their armchairs or sofas. Let them use a chat option to discuss the movie and share their ideas. Leave there also a link to drive them to the Donation Page on your website or the page of your project. Encourage them to donate while they are having fun.

Idea #6. Virtual Fest

Music unites people. It’s a fact. Another fact is that music festivals and concerts are something that people really miss with all those restrictions that they have been facing lately. This is why it is a totally working and great idea to host a music fest or at least a small concert.

The format will be similar to the one you need for webinars and live streams. Ask people to donate by buying a virtual ticket to join the concert.

A PRO option could be a special ticket to take visitors behind the stage – to organize a kind of a room where musicians could answer their questions or share their ideas and plans.

A virtual music concert could also be a thematic event. For example, virtual Christmas concert ideas could include a countdown moment to light the Christmas tree altogether or let your supporters and donors donate while you put their donation as a gift under the Christmas tree. Another virtual event you could run afterward is streaming how those gifts are being opened by, for example, those you were collecting the donations for.

Idea # 7. Virtual Play Time

Serious events are important. As well as entertaining ones. Now if a music concert can be a bit complicated while a movie night is not as engaging as you want, then why not play games? Yes, games. Online, with fun, and with…your donors! A virtual version of bingo can keep all the participants safe while still entertaining them. You can presell the Bingo cards before the event, having implemented a relevant form on your website, for example. Engage some sponsors to create a prize fund and let people say “Bingo”! Customize those cards, so participants would feel even more engaged.

Idea # 8. Virtual Cooking Class

Cooking classes have proven to be one of the most engaging activities for people of different interests. Just like music, cooking is a multicultural communicative tool, so why not use its potential virtually?

Plan a cooking journey all over the world, having prepared a menu of dishes of different cuisines.

It can be a one-time event with one dinner or a set of events. For example, breakfasts of the world. Prepare a list of ingredients and necessary cooking utensils to send to the participants in advance, so they could prepare them. Ask them to send their photos, videos, and comments about the event afterward to collect on your relevant webpage or publish on social media.

Idea # 9. Virtual Toy or Food Drive

Many organizations regularly organize events, aiming at the collection of necessary things, like food or toys. Moving this event online is also a successful idea some organizations have tested within the last couple of years. You can use multiple ways of running it:

  • Option 1 Classic fundraising format. Describe the project, publish all the information and raise some money to afterward buy the necessary things yourself.
  • Option 2 Spinning Wheel. Make a list of necessary things and play a game with your supporters. For example, in a spinning wheel format. Let participants try their fortune with how they could contribute.
  • Option 3. Make it personal. Now you will need to add some contact details to your list so that the participants could send the necessary things to those who need them themselves (people, organizations, funds, different institutions, and so on). You can make a video introduction of the recipients in order to make the event more engaging. Another additional idea some organizations use when running an event like this is providing postal stickers to participants. Those stickers feature not only contact details and are prepaid, but also feature your brand identity elements to let people learn more about your organization or project.

Virtual events have become a modern everyday reality and have multiple benefits, compared to the in-person ones.

  • Easier organization & management
  • Low cost of organization & better ROI (return on investment)
  • Less administrative staff needed
  • Better engagement rate
  • Wider participants range

Take advantage of those benefits of virtual fundraising – the modern world is full of possibilities for your initiatives and projects!

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