12 min read

Virtual Fundraising Events: How to Maximise Revenue

man with card looking at laptop

Over the past year, virtual fundraising events have ensured non-profit organisations retain the level of donation they need to survive.

With less people attending events in-person, these activities have moved online which allows the community to come together to support a specific cause.

And there’s no sign of them stopping any time soon.

Virtual fundraising events bring an array of of benefits such as offering more accessibility to attendees and allowing for more flexible payment options. They boost convenience for both those giving and for those receiving, which is why this shift to an online space is set to stay.

However, for any non-profit to be successful, you must understand how to turn these virtual events into an engaging and interactive experience. Unlike other virtual events such as online training or workshops, you’re asking people to not only donate their time, but also their money.

As a result, your event needs to encourage people to invest otherwise you’re going to be left behind. There’s lots of non-profit organisations that are asking for donations, so why should people choose you?

Through careful planning and a strong event management strategy, you can ensure you’re engaging donors and increasing revenue. And that’s without mentioning the importance of choosing the right virtual event platform, as this forms the basis for any fundraising campaign.

What are the Benefits of Virtual Fundraising?

We’ve touched slightly on two key benefits above, but there are numerous advantages of turning your physical fundraising event into a virtual event.

Let’s take a look.

  • Makes it simple for donors to donate as funds can leave a donor’s bank and land in your account within minutes. Donors want a simple process and are much likely to contribute if it takes up less of their time. There are also more flexible payment options such as PayPal, electronic cheques, Google Pay and Apple Pay.
  • Can be attended remotely which is convenient for both donors and non-profits alike, as it saves people having to travel to a particular location. This can be particularly useful when trying to attract a ‘star’ speaker as they do not need to travel to the event.
  • There are lower costs to the charity as there is no need to pay for venue hire, catering, travel, and entertainment.
  • You can reach more attendees due to the event being online as you’re not restricted by geographical limitations.
  • You can keep the content ‘on demand’ for a long period of time meaning people continue donating to the event after it has taken place, thereby maximising revenue.

As you can see, virtual fundraising events offer many benefits. The most important aspect of your fundraising strategy should be making your event as accessible and as available for as many donors as possible.

If it’s a long winded and complex process, they’ll be less likely to support you. Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can maximise your next virtual fundraising event, which leads us onto our next section.

Virtual Fundraising Event Ideas

Are you about to start planning your first virtual fundraising event or do you need some fresh ideas to attract a wider audience?

Whatever the case, we have a list of virtual fundraising ideas which will help you maximise engagement, and in turn, maximise revenue.
people throwing graduation hats in the air

Virtual Awards

When hosting a virtual fundraising event, you’re asking people for a lot. Whether it’s volunteers who have given their time to help organise or set up the event, or donors who have made significant contributions to your charity, there will be a list of people who deserve recognition.

A virtual award ceremony is therefore a great way of showing people how much you appreciate their efforts and acknowledge their support. Everyone likes to feel valued and this is an excellent way to encourage people to participate in your event in the future. You are creating a personal connection between you and your audience, and it’s important to foster these relationships to sustain participation moving forward.

There are various other benefits of a virtual awards event such as being able to promote your organisation through social media. You can use these platforms to announce your fundraiser and award winners and build hype around your organisation.

Virtual Talent Show

Encourage people to perform at your virtual talent show and offer them something in exchange. While bragging rights are all well and good, offering a prize incentivises audience participation and gives them something more tangible. This might include personalised trophies which are emailed to contestants after the show, social media spotlights, or electronic gift cards.

After all performances have taken place, attendees can then choose their winner by voting via an online poll.

To make things more interesting you should create different categories such as ​​most unusual talent, best dance act, funniest performance, and most useless talent. The more engaging it is, the more people are likely to get involved!

In terms of obtaining donations, you could enable attendees to vote for their winners by making a small donation. You could also hold raffles with digital prizes such as e-gift cards and subscriptions to online services, which you could email out to attendees.
man wearing headphones playing games online

Virtual Gaming Tournament

Gamifying any type of virtual event is a fantastic way to increase audience participation and sustain their engagement. Humans are competitive by nature and love to win! Use this to your advantage when planning your next virtual fundraising event and encourage donors to compete against one another.

You could host a murder mystery night and the first person/ team to crack the case wins. Virtual events are great for this, as through video chat, teams can easily collaborate and use their problem-solving skills to win the challenge. You can then charge a small fee for people to participate, and let’s be honest, if there’s some healthy competition involved it’s much more tempting!

Virtual Live Auction

Virtual live auctions are a great way of getting donors interested in your event as they’re getting something meaningful out of it. Think about it, the chance to walk away with an amazing item while also supporting a worthy cause spurs more giving.

Also your virtual event will be accessible from anywhere around the world meaning you can expand your reach and attract even more people to support your organisation.

You can start by collecting items and setting up an online catalogue to get people interested. Your organisations’ database will also be essential as you can use it to research your audience during the planning phase, and then ensure all new engagement data is reported throughout your event.
person in blue leggings running

Virtual Fun Run

Now you might be wondering how a physical event can work online. But we’re here to tell you, it does!

A virtual fun run is pretty much the same as an in-person run, although instead of participants all meeting up in one place, you’re free to choose your location.

Not feeling the outdoors and prefer to use your treadmill? Go for it!

Want to run along the coast instead of travelling to a local park? The choice is yours!

As you can see, with a virtual fun run there’s much more flexibility for attendees which is why these types of events are so successful. Remember the more attractive and inviting you can make your virtual event, the more donations you’ll get.

If you can save their time and money on fuel, then this is a huge benefit. Before runners can participate, they must sign up, pay a fee, and choose a distance online. Once they have completed the marathon, they must submit their time usually with evidence. This could take the form of screenshots from a Fitbit or an app such as Strava.

Virtual Art Class

It’s always great for people to learn a new hobby whether that’s drawing, painting, or sculpting. There are so many options available, and finding a new hobby is a fantastic way for people to unwind after work and do something they enjoy.

A virtual art class is therefore the perfect solution as participants can learn straight from their laptop (or mobile phone). Furthermore, from an organisational standpoint, you can save a great deal of money associated with renting a venue and catering for your attendees.

Now you might be under the misconception that a virtual art class will be a little boring. However, by choosing the right virtual event platform that’s not the case! By partnering with iVent, we can create a fully customised experience that represents you and your organisation. You can also upload multiple resources such as leaflets, templates, and guides to engage with participants on a deeper level.

You can also mix up the formats so it’s not just a case of people listening to one teacher on the screen. You could host multiple workshops, provide a virtual tour of your local art museum, or feature a panel of artists offering their top tips. In exchange for this experience, participants must donate a sum of money.

Tips to Maximise ROI at Your Virtual Fundraising Event

Without donations, your organisation will be unable to survive. That’s why the most important thing about these events is maximising your return of investment to ensure the charity can continue funding and helping its cause.

Below are some tips to help you get the most out of your next virtual fundraising event.
help for heros virtual charity event

Choose the Right Platform

Finding the right platform for your event is key. While there are lots of factors that go into this decision, one of the most important aspects of ROI is the number of opportunities for sponsorships.

At in person events, sponsorship opportunities are limited. However, at virtual events, there are so many ways you can promote your sponsors such as virtual VIP tables, banners, links to websites, customised booths, and video chats from the CEO.

At iVent, we offer a fully customisable experience. With the functionality to match any requirement, we don’t use templates but create the exact event to meet the brief. This is hugely beneficial for your sponsors as they can build a fully branded booth that truly communicates their offering.

Once you’ve chosen the right platform, you must communicate the value of your virtual event to guests and sponsors and effectively explain the advantages of going virtual. This could include an increased reach thanks to a larger audience and the extended shelf life a virtual event provides.

Engage With Donors

During the event, you should be utilising a range of features such as live chat and video calls to drive engagement, connections, and importantly, donations.

It’s important you share these numbers with your sponsors and stakeholders as it demonstrates the value of them sponsoring your event in the first place.

You need to show that this is a valuable and worthwhile experience and give them a reason to continue funding your cause.

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ROI Report for Sponsors

Similar to the point above, you must show sponsors the advantages of sponsoring your event, and also encourage buy-in for future virtual events.

Your ROI report should include:

  • Number of users
  • Time spent in the event
  • Website clicks
  • Video activity
  • Reach
  • Engagement rate
  • Fundraising

This allows sponsors to see first-hand how successful the virtual fundraising event was. You can’t argue with the figures, and this will reassure them that their money was well spent.

With the iVent platform, you can access invaluable data 24/7, 365 days a year. As a host, this gives you complete transparency and allows you to measure the success of your event before, during or after it has taken place.

In our reporting tool, your sponsors will get dedicated access to just see their data and performance of their areas. Your data is safe, secure and hidden from anyone who is not supposed to see it giving you total control.
person holding a calculator and a pen

Virtual Fundraising Events: How to Maximise Revenue

Virtual fundraising events are a great way for charities to reach high volumes of people and sustain vital funding.

And even better, charities can save money by going virtual and contribute even more money to the cause. By saving on expenses such as entertainment, venue, and travel, you can concentrate on what really matters – raising money.

There are also so many ways you can optimise virtual fundraising events so that all parties involved can enjoy a valuable experience. It’s about getting creative and thinking outside of the box. Only because it’s virtual, don’t fall into the trap of thinking this means boring! You need to actively engage your donors and give them a reason to support your cause.

By choosing the right virtual event platform, creating an exciting and immersive experience has never been easier. Whether you choose to host a virtual talent show or a virtual cooking class, the options for reaching out and engaging donors are endless. With features such as live chat, virtual presentations, live streaming, or discussion groups, there are so many ways you can get people interested and willing to donate.

If you’re considering hosting a virtual fundraising event but are unsure where to start, then look no further than iVent. With over 11 years of experience, we have helped various organisations bring their event to life, including ‘Help for Heroes’. We know what it takes to engage your audience and create an event they will remember. All that’s left for you to do is get in touch.

Written by:

Ros - Director at Virtual iVentRos Oxley

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