The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Fundraising | A Nonprofit’s Guide

Introduction to virtual fundraisers 

The last year has been challenging to say the least. The pandemic took a toll on all of us equally. Social distancing norms meant that gatherings were highly impacted. Nonprofits have borne the brunt of this impact. As they could not host any live fundraisers and the general hesitance to mingle with other people combined to a devastating effect. A lot of nonprofits have not been able to raise funds the way they would have liked. 

 

Like nature itself, adapting to circumstances is key and some nonprofits flourished during this time. They turned their attention to virtual fundraising and went the route of live-streaming to get the maximum out of their donors. These alternatives to in-person events worked quite flawlessly and with a hint of uncertainty in the air, it is a great idea for nonprofits to adopt these events. This article shall take a look at what virtual fundraisers are, what are its benefits, and what are the requirements of hosting one. 

What are virtual fundraisers? 

Virtual fundraisers are alternatives to live and in-person fundraisers and are done entirely online. This gives nonprofits the flexibility to host a variety of events online and attract as many viewers and donors as possible. The online nature of the virtual fundraiser also takes away any kind of geographical restriction. Nonprofits can market to donors and collect funds from around the world. 

 

The pandemic has changed the outlook on how people work and nonprofits have to adapt to this trend to survive. The sheer benefits of hosting events online mean that it is not going away anytime soon. These types of campaigns offer benefits to both the giving party and the nonprofits themselves. In the sections that follow, we shall take a closer look at its benefits and how nonprofits can host a virtual fundraising event. 

The benefits of virtual fundraising  

There are numerous benefits to hosting a virtual fundraiser instead of a live one, and we have already covered the most obvious one, the flexibility it provides in such uncertain times. However, that is not all and there are several other benefits that we should look at: 

  1. The easy and simple donation process: unlike the hassles of bidding, or collecting checks and cash, virtual fundraising offers donors the easy route of directly being able to donate to the website. This means the funds come straight from their wallet to your bank account. Nonprofits can find innovative solutions that further simplify the process, thus helping donors contribute just from a single click. 
  2. Done from the safety of a home: The social distancing norms that are placed can be a hindrance when conducting live events, not to mention the sheer health risks that are posed by live events. These two factors mean that people are highly dissuaded from attending events and virtual fundraisers are a boon to that end.  
  3. Adapting to the digital age: Almost every functioning part of society, from schools to workplaces has moved online. This adaptability is crucial for organizations to survive and nonprofits should be able to do the same. They have to meet their donors where they are, online. Using the online medium shows that nonprofits are not outdated and are actively working to solve their problems. 
  4. Flexibility in payment: When nonprofits host fundraisers in person, they are accustomed to collecting donations in the form of checks and cash. Going online means they have to resort to using alternative means. Credit and debit cards, electronic cheques, and online payment methods such as Apple Pay and Google Pay are widely used. 

 

Organizations need to have set up a robust online ecosystem if they wish to move forward. 

Requirements for hosting a virtual fundraiser

Before you set off hosting a virtual fundraiser, your team must be as well equipped as possible. You want to have a set of tools that allow you to get your donor’s attention and create a big impact. Here are some tools that should be in the arsenal of every nonprofit. 

  1. Donation forms built for mobile: Mobile users account for over 50 percent of all internet usage. This is the very reason why donation forms and pages should be optimized for mobile. 
  2. Secure payment processor: You need to have a trustworthy payment processing system before you proceed to host events. Almost every single donation and gift is going to come through an online medium, therefore it is critical to have a payment processing option. The payment processor needs to be very secure and should have flexible options. 
  3. Peer-to-peer fundraising software: When setting up your fundraiser online if you are not using dedicated peer-to-peer fundraising software, you will not be able to grab the attention of your audience. Dedicated software allows you to create consistent experiences for your donors, spread the word effectively, and even track important metrics. 

Concluding thoughts

Virtual fundraisers are the future, they are one of the best ways to interact with donors and nonprofits should be looking to effectively capitalize on their utility. Following the points in this guide will help you establish a robust foundation to host virtual fundraisers. The goal is to help nonprofits bridge the gap created by the pandemic and virtual fundraisers are just the step in the right direction.

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