Virtual Fundraising Ideas to Help You Raise More

Online fundraising is on the rise, and it’s the perfect time to update your fundraising strategy to include more virtual fundraising ideas.

Why should you consider online fundraising? 

Aside from the necessity of virtual fundraising due to the pandemic, there are plenty of other bonuses to fundraising online. Online fundraising is extremely cost-effective compared to other types of fundraising campaigns, and the Qgiv‘s most recent Generational Giving Report revealed that almost 55% of donors prefer to go online to make a gift. 

Due to a lack of major upfront expenses, fundraising online is one of the most profitable ways to raise money for your organisation. For example, rather than needing to spend money printing out endless flyers for a direct mail campaign, you can easily plan and execute an email campaign instead for far less money and with a more sizeable return on your investment. More involved in-person fundraisers or campaigns that require lots of resources can eat into your profit margins. Instead, with online fundraising, you can be sure that most of the money you raise will go directly towards your mission. 

With virtual fundraising, it’s also much easier to expand your reach. With social media platforms and a dynamic website, you can spread the word about your mission easily and attract new potential donors quickly. It’s also much easier to target and personalise your message to different demographics, making your marketing strategy for fundraising far more effective. 

What are the different ways to fundraise online? 

From standard digital donation forms to peer-to-peer fundraisers, there are a wide variety of ways that non-profits can fundraise virtually. Text fundraising is a very popular option for non-profits because you can reach your donors directly and make it convenient for them to give from anywhere at any time. And if you’re searching for fun and engaging ways to raise money, auctions and simple online events will get your donors excited to support your organisation. 

Looking for more ideas to take your fundraising efforts online? Check out our comprehensive list to keep your fundraising campaigns fun and fresh for all of your donors. 

Online Fundraising

Maybe your non-profit hasn’t yet developed an online fundraising plan. Or, you do fundraise online, but need to update your strategy as we head into Q2 of 2024. Either way, it’s time to brush up on your peer-to-peer fundraising and check out some virtual fundraising ideas that you can use to attract donors to your non-profit.

Simple and Effective Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Non-profits

Micro-donation programs

While micro-donation or give-back programs may not be extremely lucrative opportunities, every penny counts. Platforms like Amazon Smile, and Pennies help your donors passively donate to your organisation every time they shop online. All you need to do is register your organisation and spread the word to your donors. Then, every time they make an eligible purchase, you’ll get a small percentage of the money they spent. 

Virtual Peer-to-Peer Run/Walk/Ride

When it’s not possible to gather for a 5K, host a virtual peer-to-peer run, walk, or ride so your sporty supporters can still get in those miles in a safe environment. Check out the Team Resilience 2020 fundraiser from Erika’s Lighthouse for an example of a great way to meet your fundraisers at their comfort level. 

The “No Run” Run

For those like me that simply aren’t part of the active revolution and prefer to help from the sofa – the “no run” run is more focused on the race to fundraising – getting participants to create a team and fundraise on your behalf.

Teams can then see each other on a race board based on their county or overall fundraising goals. For example teams that commit/want to fundraise up to £250 will be in a league and others who pledge between 500 and 1000 will be in another. It’s then simply a race to the finish line! Can they meet or beat their fundraising target? and are they in the lead for total fundraised?

This is a great option when you’re looking to get companies, sports clubs and local teams involved, as well as those who don’t have 5k (or in my case 500m) in them.

Live-Streaming Events

Hosting a live-stream fundraiser is an excellent way to attract, nurture, and convert your audience over the course of a day. Livestream fundraisers can be done with Facebook Live and Instagram. 

Summit Dogs is a great example of how powerful live streaming can be when you share on a variety of platforms, include personal stories, and include both asynchronous and live videos. They updated throughout the campaign with short videos and information to draw people to the page, then premiered their main program live. 

There are a few things you want to consider when you’re planning a live stream: the first and most important is what platform you’ll use. It’s important to understand who your target audience is, and what platforms they use to get the best engagement and reach possible. Don’t forget you can also pre-record sections for your stream and share them throughout your campaign. Recordings are also diverse in that you can edit and update videos to be later used as reels in your wider marketing campaigns.

Ideally, a live stream should be relatively short (none of us have long Zoom attention spans these days) and include tons of chances for engagement. Let people ask questions, share their experiences, or get involved. Some great content options include: panel discussions, Q&As, virtual classes, workshops, and networking.

Recurring Giving Blitz

A recurring donation campaign is one of the top virtual fundraising ideas because recurring donors give 42% more over the course of the year than a one-time giver.

What we love to see in a reoccurring donation campaign:

  • Clear impact greets website visitors with a bold statement of what a specific monthly contribution means for your recipients.
  • Tiered support options allows donators to select at which level they would like to donate – it’s important to keep in mind that every penny counts. Some people will have the funds to donate a larger amount, while others just want to help. So make sure you capture all the opportunities!
  • Multiple giving frequencies that let donors choose how often they want to donate, from weekly to monthly, or semi-annually, based on what works best for them.
  • Beautiful visuals to present a polished and professional program in which monthly donors can explore the many perks to becoming a member.
  • Beneficiary storytelling brings the faces of those in need to a potential monthly donor to help them see the life-changing impact they can have.
  • Personalised form fields that ask about the donator so you can stay in touch and provide updates on the donation they provided.
  • Convenient options for donors to set and forget their recurring payments with a credit card or bank transfer, adding language like “make more smiles automatic” can showcase how easy it is to get involved.

Social Media Takeovers

Orchestrate a social media takeover by asking a corporate sponsor or local community partner if they would be willing to “donate their social media” to you one day of the year.

With a takeover, your team can post content throughout the day that links back to your organization’s website or social platforms. This method can help increase brand visibility to an audience that might not be familiar with your organisation. If you’re currently running a campaign, this is a great way to promote!

Tip: Have your high-quality images and posts written in advance so you can make the most of the takeover!

Virtual Awards Ceremony

If you’re struggling to think of content for a live stream fundraiser, a great option is to make it an awards ceremony. Awards ceremonies are a wonderful way to draw your community in by highlighting individuals who have made an impact. You can honor stellar volunteers, stand-out employees, or those doing work in the community.

This is a great way to tell the story of your organization: how have these honorees upheld your mission and supported the work that you’re doing?

Like in-person award ceremonies, you’ll have the opportunity to bring in sponsors for the event and promotion of those sponsors via your website and social platforms. You can also raise funds via ticket donations with a minimum donation amount for anyone who wants to attend, as well as a silent / online auction from sponsor and corporate partner donations.

Online Auction

You don’t need an event to host an online auction. Setting up an online auction can actually be easier than a physical auction. Set up a page where all of the items available can be reviewed, and ideally bid on – you may want to use an online auction platform for this.

Coordinate bids beforehand and then announce the winners via one of the other virtual events such as a live stream, social posting or during an UnGala.

Virtual Movie Night

One of my favorite approaches to virtual fundraising is to plan an activity that people want to do anyway, then just add a fundraising element. Movies are a great option. Set up a virtual movie night with Netflix Party! Encourage people to grab their favorite snack and join your Netflix party using a link.

This allows all your participants to watch a movie at the same time with a chat window for people to share thoughts, jokes, and more. This is the perfect way to create a community and drive people to your Donation Page or Crowdfunding page.

As a best practice, link to your donation page, and ask participants to donate the price of a “movie ticket” to your organisation, using a link to your crowdfunding page or donation page.

Virtual Bingo

Some virtual fundraising options are a bit more serious: an online webinar or conference may be an incredibly important part of your work, but your donors won’t walk away saying “dang that was fun.”

Virtual bingo is not one of those serious fundraisers. Virtual bingo is a chance for your donors to feel like they’re getting out of the house and having a night of fun while everyone stays safely distanced at home.

Run your bingo night virtually with these free virtual bingo cards + Zoom

Virtual Trivia Night

If Bingo isn’t your jam, trivia is another wonderful option for a fun virtual event. Invite your staff, donors, volunteers, and even your board members to a fun trivia night! You can sell tickets as well as run some games throughout the night that require an additional donation.

Have participants set up a personal fundraising page to raise funds ahead of the trivia night, and offer teams that raise the most, a few advantages on the night of the event. Phone a friend? Helpline? Steal an answer? The list goes on!

As a bonus, try to secure some great prizes from your corporate and/or local partners for the winning team.

Raise more this year with new fundraising strategy that utilises your digital platforms.

If you’re wanting to try one or more of these innovative online fundraising ideas to reach your current and prospective donors, increase your reach, and drive engagement in less time, Rokir is here for you.

From online donation forms, virtual event ticketing, and online donations and payments, to social marketing, email campaigns and digital marketing strategies, we are here to help you raise more with way less effort.

Speak with a member of our Get Social team and let’s start boosting your fundraising strategy today!

hello from rokir wave emoji Hi I’m Jade, Project Manager of the ROKIR team
I work alongside both our client’s and internal teams to manage the day-to-day tasks of our ongoing campaigns and projects, to make sure we’re hitting our goals.
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