Virtual Fundraising Ideas For Charities (& Tips For Getting Started)

What is a virtual fundraising event? And are they really beneficial for your charity? There’s no denying the world has changed considerably in the last couple of years. Our already heavy reliance on technology has only been accelerated by the recent pandemic, meaning now more than ever, nonprofits need to embrace tech to stay ahead of the curve and support their cause – and virtual fundraising events are the next step. 

Whilst the idea of change can be daunting for most, the truth of the matter is that to grow and prosper, you need to adapt and evolve – and technology plays a huge role in this. If you’re in the mindset that ‘technology is taking over’, you seriously need to rethink your strategy. For the most part, technology has been designed to enhance what we do and enable us to reach new heights with fewer resources. And for charities, this means driving more donations and raising awareness without putting a strain on already limited resources. 

Why your charity should embrace virtual fundraising events

Like many things in life, going digital with your charity’s fundraising events can bring many benefits, including:

  • Increased reach and awareness: by removing geographical constraints, you can reach a wider audience for a much lower cost. And the shareable nature of online content also means you’re likely to reach new audiences for no additional cost – it’s a win-win!
  • Invaluable insights: one of the key benefits of going digital is the tracking capabilities it brings. By monitoring your virtual fundraising campaigns, you’ll soon be able to access key insights and use them to inform and refine future campaigns. 
  • Accessible: virtual fundraising events are super quick and easy to organise and require few resources in comparison to traditional events. 

Tips for getting started with virtual fundraising

One of the most important elements of any virtual fundraising event is the donation platform. It’s all very well and good hosting a successful event for your charity, but if your main goal is to drive donations and you haven’t got a robust and intuitive donation platform in place, you’ll likely be disappointed with your results. Your donation page should be quick and easy to use and offer your audience that final piece of reassurance they need to donate. Best practices include: 

  • Keeping required fields to a minimum 
  • Maintaining a consistent brand image
  • Optimising for use on mobile devices
  • Summarising your mission with snappy sentences and on-brand imagery
  • Offering flexible payment options via a secure provider 
example of donation page virtual unicef form
source: unicef

In addition to your online donation page, you should also consider the following when organising a virtual fundraiser for your charity:

  • Effective marketing
  • Relevant updates during and post-campaign 
  • Suitable technology to enable you to effectively host your fundraiser 
  • Appreciation for the team involved and encouragement for them to continue their support

Virtual fundraising event ideas

#1 Online auctions 

With platforms such as 32 Auctions, nonprofits can host silent auctions with ease. Not only are they a great way to raise funds for your cause, but they can also help to raise the profile of your charity and keep existing donors engaged.

#2 Virtual quizzes 

Everyone loves a good old-fashioned pub quiz – so why not take it up a gear and enable your supporters to participate from the comfort of their own home? Virtual pub quizzes are a great opportunity to raise funds whilst having fun. And it doesn’t have to end there! Virtual gaming tournaments are another great way to socialise whilst supporting a good cause.

virtual call wine pub quiz

#3 DIY car boot sale

Although the pandemic may be over, there’s another obstacle dampening the mood of car boots: the British weather. But thanks to online resale platforms such as eBay, Depop and Vinted, supporters can now sell their preloved goods online and donate any profits to a charity of their choice. 

#4 Virtual sporting challenge

Marathons, fun runs, triathlons and the like are favoured by the fundraising community. But of course, getting involved isn’t always easy. Now, what if we told you there was a way to make these popular fundraising events more accessible? Going virtual with your sporting challenges is a simple way to get more people involved. From setting distance targets and encouraging supporters to document their journeys online to streaming live events using gym equipment, the possibilities are endless.  

#5 Birthday fundraiser

With social media giant, Facebook, now offering users the option to create their own virtual birthday fundraisers in just a few simple steps, raising funds for their chosen cause has never been easier!

And this list is just the tip of the iceberg! There are tons more affordable ways to raise funds and awareness for your charity virtually, from viral social media campaigns to peer-to-peer fundraising. But of course, at the centre of every great virtual fundraiser is a strong digital marketing strategy and a website designed to drive conversions

Need help stepping up your digital marketing? Get in touch to organise a free consultation or check out our case studies to see our work in action. 


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