group communication, virtual fundraising during covid

6 Easy & Engaging Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Groups of all Sizes

COVID has changed everything….except your need to raise money

During the age of COVID, many groups- church groups, social change organizations, etc- have been forced to get creative in their pandemic response. For groups that generally do a lot of fundraising, either as part of their community outreach or in order to fund group initiatives this has meant getting creative with how to bring resources and money in while keeping people safe and distanced. For many, numbers show that it’s working.  With a little imagination and creative energy, you can continue engaging the community and your supporters. How? Make it virtual.

Fundraising for a group initiative or in order to donate during the holidays?

Either way, you have options

Maybe your group is raising money around the holidays to donate to a non-profit or charity, or to raise community awareness about a local issue.  Or perhaps you’re raising money to support a group initiative like a choir tour or summer camp. Either way, we have some ideas for how to stay on target with fundraising goals when in-person events are out of the question. Keep in mind that whatever option you choose, the success of the event will rely on your ability to promote it and make participation easy and a pleasure! That’s why we’d err on the side of a Takeout Tuesday over a social media crowd-funding blitz. Once you’ve picked a strategy, use your Groupeasy home page to push the event out to the public. Here are a few of our favorite ideas:

1.Host a virtual event

There are so many fun ways to do this, from a TED-style speaker event, a virtual happy hour, even a cooking class. Fitness groups could consider hosting a paid webinar around Olympic weightlifting technique. Yoga studios may consider a  virtual yoga retreat. Many have been missing live music events over the last year. Invite a local musician to put on a concert that people pay to access online. Whatever you decide, it should be the type of event that members of your group as well as community supporters and financial backers would all enjoy!

2. Virtual fun run or bikeathon

This works essentially the same exact way an in-person 5k does from a fundraising standpoint. Group members get friends, family, colleagues etc to pledge their financial support. Everyone participates from the distance and space of their own home or neighborhood. People that have GoPros or cell phone mounts for their bikes can even livestream their event so that supporters can check in to see how it’s going and give support. You can do this AND sell swag for the event to raise even more! See below!

3. Sell useful swag

This is a no brainer. People love swag. If your group has some creative members, let them show their talent by coming up with a striking graphic that  says something about the initiative that you’re fundraising for and also displays your groups logo if you have one. Masks, tshirts, coozies, and reusable shopping bags are all easy to have printed and practical usable items people regularly need and use. Stickers are another very affordable way to spread the message. Remove the barriers to purchase by picking something that you know people will actually use, and something you know they really can’t have too many of.

4. Takeout Tuesday

Restaurants are really struggling this year. One way to form a symbiotic partnership is to team up with a local restaurant to advertise your initiative. Often, restaurants will agree to donate 10% of nightly sales to causes they support that shine a light on the business. Driving customers to get takeout from a specific restaurant is a great way to send them an increase in business, get people fed, and also support the cause. People have to eat, and this is a great way to not only support your initiative but also support your local small business economy. Obviously, you can do this on any day of the week, but Takeout Tuesday is catchy and very hash-taggable!

5. Crowdfund

Crowdfunding is best used sparingly. It works well for one-off events like choir tours or major purchases, but is less appealing when groups rely on crowdfunding too often. We are all inundated with so much content on social media that it is becoming increasingly difficult to capture people’s attention with a random request for money. We suggest using this option the most sparingly. Using it too often runs the rest of coming off as desperate and unimaginative. In a pinch, or for a final time-sensitive push, it can work!

6. Raffle

Some groups could consider a wine pull a festive and exciting opportunity to raise capital. The way that works is to buy a case or two of wine where the bottles range in price $10 to $100. Wrap the bottles and labels in paper so that they are unrecognizable and all look the same. Of course, in order to make money there should be a smaller number of premium bottles mixed in with mid-range to affordable ones. Charge people $30-40 to choose an unmarked bottle. Again, as we already mentioned, restaurants are having a tough time this year, so for groups where sharing libation is not appropriate, you might consider raffling off local restaurant gift card bundles.

If you’ve had success with another great fundraising idea, let us know in the COMMENTS!  It’s the season of giving, and we love to share ideas with our readers!

Happy Grouping (and happy fundraising),

The Team at Groupeasy

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