If lockdown restrictions and social distancing barricaded fundraising over the past year, then the internet and staying connected online is what started to take those barriers down.
There’s no doubt that 2020 was a challenge when it came to charity fundraising, and a challenge that has been taken into 2021 as well.
However, despite the hardships and difficulties many charities have had to face, it has also shown us how online fundraising and virtual events can give us a lifeline.
We’ve seen and shared some amazingly innovative ways in which charities have proved that fundraising online can be successful.
Here are 5 ideas for virtual fundraising to inspire you today.
1. Host an Online Workshop
Webinars and online workshops are a fantastic way of reaching out to your supporters and connecting with them on another level.
Whatever your good cause is, there is bound to be a webinar topic that you could host that would be beneficial to your followers. These webinars or online workshops could be in return for a small donation, or you could offer them for free and use it as an opportunity to collect marketing data.
Whichever option you go for, make sure that you’re offering something your supporters won’t want to miss out on. Get a well-known person from your industry to be the key speaker to entice people to sign up.
Also make sure you share your message – Engage your supporters during this opportunity and offer them the chance to donate easily online.
Webinars and online workshops are a fantastic tool to engage with current supporters on a different level, reach a bigger audience and attract new donors.
2. Entertain Your Supporters with a Virtual Gig
So many people are missing live entertainment – There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of a live gig.
Perhaps your charity has links to a well-known band, musician or locally based comedian. See if you can get someone on board that will bring in a crowd! We might have missed gigs as an audience member, but we’re pretty sure that entertainers have missed them as well. A virtual gig or online concert would give them the opportunity to warm up their vocals and try out new material before the ‘summer of hugs’ kicks off (hopefully).
If you’re lucky enough to have celebrities supporting your good cause, see if you can get them on board for an online gig for your supporters. It’s a great way of raising money whilst social distancing measures are still in place as well as bringing your charity to the attention of fresh supporters. Charge a fee for participants to attend online and share your message during the online streaming of the event.
3. Give Your Supporters A Behind The Scenes Tour Online
Whatever your cause or charity, there is bound to be a ‘behind the scenes’ tour that would be of interest to your followers.
It could be an opportunity to see their support in action – Showing what their donations contribute to and the valuable work that you do.
Often this gives a charitable organisation the chance to put a face to the name. It’s generally more personable than some of the other messages or marketing that you may share.
It’s a brilliant opportunity to really connect to your supporters, and give them a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes. Showing the work that donations enable can really bring your cause into the homes of your current and potential donors whilst also raising awareness of your cause.
Always finish any online communication with a ‘call to action’ making it straightforward for viewers to make a donation via the medium they are watching on.
4. Hold an Online Auction
Online auctions have been popular for a while, and perhaps even more so over the past year whilst the pandemic has put live functions on pause.
There are some fantastic online auction platforms that enable you to set up an auction quickly and easily share it with your supporters. Online auctions are super easy to share via your social media platforms, giving you the opportunity to target and reach an even bigger audience.
Again, if you have any high profile supporters that could donate some memorabilia or a signed photo, these are often popular lots that get the bids whizzing in.
Use any communications about the online auction to remind people of the cause behind it and why you are fundraising.
5. Utilise Social Media
Social media campaigns are almost unrivalled when it comes to spreading your message easily for very little (or no) cost.
It’s so effective and far-reaching, and well worth putting the time into devising your campaigns. All it takes is for one particular challenge, competition or video to go viral and you could be reaching thousands of new potential donors.
It’s also a great platform for sharing all your other virtual exploits. Even without an ongoing pandemic, the majority of people spend a lot of their time online on social media. They are also spending more money on these platforms than ever before.
Social media is the perfect place to connect with donors and turn Likes into meaningful donations. Showcase your charity and highlight all the valuable work you are doing.
How have you taken your fundraising online?
If you’re a not-for-profit organisation then you need to be taking your fundraising online (if you haven’t already done so). There is much scope for fundraising virtually and many opportunities for raising awareness of your cause online.
Even before the pandemic, charities were turning more to online methods of connecting with their supporters and reaching more donors. Now it’s vital. Despite many people struggling financially in the current climate we find ourselves in, there are also plenty of people still willing and able to give a little something back.
We hope that these 4 ideas for virtual fundraising gave you a starting point for your online fundraising strategy. If you’re looking for some innovative and fun online fundraising ideas then have a read of our blog. There are lots of socially distanced fundraising ideas too!
Here at Donater we’re really passionate about helping charities fundraise digitally through online and contactless donations. For more information on our suite of digital fundraising tools, head to our website or get in touch with us today.