Ever wondered if the COVID-19 outbreak was a blessing in disguise. Well, it did pave the path for several innovative techniques and technologies, and the success of live streaming is but a bi-product. Every aspect of human life underwent massive evolution, be it meetings, work, or fundraising. Consequently, non-profit institutions pivoted away from in-person events and fundraising to online gatherings and virtual fundraising.

Fundraising remains a cornerstone for almost every project. Be it a non-profit organization or a charity, an academic institute, a political campaign, an art institute, or any other business idea, fundraising remains imperative to the project's success. As live streaming and virtual events continue to amass attention and adoption, non-profits are discovering more and more opportunities for virtual fundraising and donation drives. Not only do these virtual events for fundraising spread awareness amongst the donors and patrons, but they also create a buzz of excitement. In this blog, we cover the top 10 virtual fundraising ideas for your donation drives.

In This Blog:

  • What is Virtual Fundraising?
  • Why Virtual Fundraising?
  • Top 10 Virtual Fundraising Ideas
  • Now What?

What is Virtual Fundraising?

As the name suggests, virtual fundraising events are hosted online, where the organizers, donors, and supporters gather together for fundraising initiatives. Interestingly, there’s no limit to the number of participants in a virtual fundraiser, unlike the physically hosted events. Hence, it can reach a wider audience of digital donors while offering an equally engaging experience as in a physical setting.

Why Virtual Fundraising?

  • No limit to the number of participants
  • Extended reach to the donors
  • Convenience of donor participation
  • Time-efficient and cost-effective
  • More personalized account
  • Real-time tracking of funds received
  • Real-time interaction with donors builds trust and confidence

Top 10 Virtual Fundraising Ideas

Virtual fundraising ideas

#1 Live Stream with Donors and Patrons

Being the most widely practiced and most actionable approach, live streaming with donors and patrons is a great way to spread awareness about your initiative. You can simulcast weekly streams on multiple places, including your Facebook page, YouTube channel, website, etc. A virtual dialog will help you engage with more people and convert them into donors.

#2 Virtual Happy Hour

This is probably the best approach to help your followers and donors mingle for productive discussions and exchange of ideas. Nearly all academic institutes, political establishments, philanthropic organizations, and business enterprises acknowledge the importance and impact of the happy hour mixer. Virtual happy hours could be as good as the in-person ones; it’s just like taking the party online.

#3 Virtual Fundraising Gala

Yet another staple for virtual fundraising is the hosting of an extravagant virtual gala fundraiser. These galas are a great opportunity to get dressed, connect with colleagues and industry leaders, and make an impact around important causes. And when done right, they eventually help the organizers attain their collection goals. Make sure you include a virtual red carpet, a couple of table assignments, and great entertainment.

#4 Webinars

Webinars can be great in terms of engaging with donors, advocates, followers, and supporters. With the evolution of live streaming technology, webinars have been empowered to create beautifully branded events that essentially facilitate the presenters and attendees to engage and interact. You can leverage webinars to authentically connect with the attendees and hence discover potential donation opportunities.

#5 Online Auctions

Virtual auctions are today widely acknowledged as the hallmark of the online experience. Hosting virtual fundraising auctions can significantly help you attract new donors, project the best of your existing patrons, and promote your cause. If you’re in for a charity run, you can explore several charity-specific auction websites to add authenticity to your event.

#6 Live Shows

How about hosting an entire show live online, with a mix of speaking and entertainment? Or how about hosting a live concert online and diverting all the proceeds towards your fundraising drive. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, people have flocked towards seeking online entertainment, and you can leverage this for your benefit. Lookup for all the creative ideas for live shows, hook up a sponsor for the event and engage with your followers to build connections for later drives as well.

#7 Online Award Ceremony

Capitalize upon the glitz and glamor of the award ceremonies by hosting an online award ceremony. Leveraging powerful video streaming tools, you can present the awards, grow awareness, attract new donors and patrons, and stay in the public eye for long. You may also want to honor the existing members of your community, acknowledge their works and contributions to your cause, or a combination of both.

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#8 Virtual Art Exhibit

Like an online live concert, a virtual art exhibit can also amass the same level of attention and attendance. You might want to offer exclusive or behind-the-scenes access to famous art exhibits, shows, or theatre productions. Or you might want to rent out an art museum to host a small in-person fundraising event and then live stream it to all your social media and your website. Interestingly, virtual exhibits can offer a much closer and intimate experience, thanks to the magical live streaming, which does away with the limitations of access to crowded rooms for in-person events.

#9 Virtual Seminar

Presenting yourself and your organization as a true subject matter might turn out to be the biggest opportunity for your fundraising event. For this, the best approach might be to stand up and deliver an engaging and electrifying Ted Talk-like seminar. You can promote the seminar well beforehand to ensure maximum participation through official sign-ups.

#10 Virtual Charity Run

Many non-profits have hosted virtual charity runs and walks to increase participation in their virtual charity events (and contributions, of course). You can take social media celebrities and influencers on board to support your cause by running and live streaming while running to encourage others to get involved as well.

Now What?

Now that you know the benefits of virtual fundraising and a plethora of ideas of how to do it, here’s what you need to do next:

  1. Plan and host your virtual fundraising event with pre-invites to all your existing and potential donors and patrons.
  2. Partner with a reliable, all-in-one live streaming solution such as OneStream Live to multistream your virtual fundraising event on all your social platforms as well as your website for maximum outreach. With OneStream, you can multicast your video streams to more than 40 social media as your website through custom RTMP settings.
  3. Flash your call for donation during your live streams. Accept donations on your website through customized donation pages and mobile-friendly donation forms.
  4. Make sure you offer a recurring donation option so that the donors no longer have to remember to send in a monthly or yearly payment. The process can be automated through your online donation platform.
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