Virtual Event Fundraising Tips for Nonprofits

Several months into the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdown of almost all in-person fundraising, nonprofits are forced to continually find new ways to engage their supporters from a distance. The good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can do this virtually, and RunSignup | GiveSignup offers a set of tools that can help. More good news: your supporters are more available, they still care about your mission, and they want to feel like they are contributing to a cause that is doing some good in a very unpleasant time.

Amanda Sweet recently joined GiveSignup, but before coming to joining the team she spent the last five years helping to raise millions of dollars for Philadelphia-area nonprofits, first as the Event Manager at Susan G. Komen and most recently as the Regional Executive Director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Consider Amanda’s peer to peer fundraising tips for virtual events and fundraising campaigns for your nonprofit: 

  • Continue to engage with supporters as if the event was happening as normal. 

You know that in order for people to fundraise, they need to be asked early and often. Setting achievable goals, discussing how their fundraising specifically impacts your organization, and celebrating milestones all still matter today! Data shows that it is much easier to get your top fundraiser to raise a few hundred more dollars, than to get a $0 raiser to earn a few hundred. Take advantage of more downtime for your fundraisers and talk to them on the phone – they’ll walk away with more fundraising tools, one-on-one encouragement, and excited to reach their goal! 

  • Use data/automation tools that are available to you 

We know that during these challenging times, many fundraising professionals are being asked to do more with less. Be sure to use the tools that are available to you not only make your life easier, but that are proven to improve your peer to peer fundraising efforts. One tip is to collect addresses from supporters when they register or donate (you can even use the shipping validation tool in GiveSignup | RunSignup to save you mailing headaches) to send participants a Save the Date postcard with their fundraising goal to get them excited for the upcoming virtual event or challenge. Use customizable fundraising reports to determine which fundraisers are close to achieving the next level of fundraising swag, and give them a call or send a customized email encouraging them to get to that next level. Utilize GiveSignup | RunSignup’s automated email marketing capabilities to create a drip campaign targeting your fundraisers. Set it & forget it, and then watch the donations roll in! 

  • Create Buzz 

One positive of a worldwide pandemic is that it has never been easier to get a news outlet to promote your feel-good news story or nonprofit’s virtual event! Be sure to reach out to your local media and let them know about your virtual event, challenge, or fundraising campaign.  Nonprofits can also create a buzz amongst their supporters by hosting a virtual Zoom kick off where you can set a communal goal, invite those benefititting from the nonprofit for a “mission moment”, and encourage camaraderie with virtual ice breakers. You can also use Youtube Live or Facebook Live for these kick-off events. Use our participant photo upload feature to promote a participant challenge with a social-media shout out prize. 

There is still a need for personal engagement, fundraising, and achieving goals, so we encourage you to get creative with your community of supporters! 

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