The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is here and impacting virtually every sector of society, including nonprofits. All types of events and gatherings, including fundraising events, are being canceled across the US and Canada. To safeguard children and curb the spread of the virus, many schools are shut down completely. But your school or nonprofit still needs to raise funds, perhaps now more than ever. So what can your organization do to boost fundraising in times of the Coronavirus? Our virtual fundraising ideas can help! While giving is already slowing for many organizations, funds are still needed to support organizations’ missions. With the economic slowdown, poverty, homelessness, and food scarcity will be on the rise. If your organization works in these areas or health causes, increased funding may even be needed to reach the need. Organizations need to find ways to get this information and an effective plea to their constituents.
Our Best Virtual Fundraising Ideas for 2020 and BeyondWe know that people are going to have time on their hands if they can’t go to school, work, or recreational activities, and they will likely be following social media closely. So how can you use this to your nonprofit’s advantage? You may need to rethink your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy and implement some new online technology and tools. With a little creativity and effort, you may be able to find a new revenue stream or creative signature fundraising event that can help your organization weather these hard times. We’ve put together this list of online and virtual fundraising ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Run a Virtual Walk or Other Peer to Peer EventIf your annual walkathon fundraiser has been postponed, this could represent a big hit for your organization’s annual fundraising numbers. Although one of the benefits of Run/Walk/Ride events is building community, you don’t necessarily need to get people together for this type of event. Virtual peer to peer fundraisers can take a couple of forms. Be sure that your virtual fundraisers start with a great online experience for your participants. People who sign up for the virtual run/walk will register online and create their personal fundraising page. Generally, participants still walk or bike, just on their own time instead of at a designated event. They can do the activity over one day or a period of time such as a week or month and update their website page with progress. Learn how to host a virtual walkathon.
Setup an eCommerce Store (with Automated Fulfillment?)Online shopping will continue and quite possibly grow as people decide to stay home more. Why not set up an online store with your school or organization’s branded clothes and merchandise for sale. Some of the most popular products for nonprofit merchandise sales include:
- Branded t-shirts
- Sweatshirts and sweaters
- Hats and caps
- Key chains
- Bracelets and jewelry
- Tote bags
- Coffee mugs – stainless steel and ceramics
Host a Reading FundraiserMany schools are seeing closures, so kids are at home with time on their hands. Reading fundraisers allow schools to take advantage of this time and keep kids engaged in learning activities from home. Setup your school’s crowdfunding website and ask students to register online. They then track their reading time and ask family to donate, based on time or pages read. That’s it – Everyone can fundraise from home!
Administer an Online Charity AuctionIf your organization has or can round up in-kind donations, hosting an online charity auction may be a great way to use the items and make some money. Post the items on an online auction platform and start taking bids. Keep promoting the auction through social media and on your organization’s website. Let everyone know that delivery of winning items will happen as soon as possible after the auction, but could be delayed due to extenuating circumstances with shipping.
Launch a Nonprofit Membership ProgramNonprofit membership programs offer many advantages and are well worth the effort to develop and implement. One of the biggest benefits is that they provide a steady source of funding that is not dependent on hosting events. Set up an online membership program that clearly identifies the need and includes benefits that will speak to your constituency. Supporters that join nonprofit membership programs truly believe in your organization’s cause and mission. This is why the program is a great reason to keep in constant communication with your members. Members want to hear from you and as the organization continues growing with new programs and developments. Read more on how to set up a monthly membership program.
Run a 50/50 Fundraising RaffleHosting a 50/50 raffle is an easy fundraising idea that has been proven to be quite lucrative for many organizations. After you clear any initial hurdles with your state or provincial regulatory agency, a 50-50 raffle fundraiser is easy to host online with DoJiggy. Our fundraising raffle platform does it all – from online raffle ticket sales to randomly selecting raffle winners. You can easily run a 50/50 raffle as a no-touch fundraiser.
Sign Up for Amazon SmileAmazonSmile provides a way for people to support their favorite charitable organization every time they shop on Amazon.com. Shoppers must start at smile.amazon.com and will find the same Amazon site they know and love, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charity of their choice. So sign up for AmazonSmile and ask your supporters to use it while they stock up on supplies from home.
Use Social Media & Live Stream OptionsSocial media helps bring nonprofit organizations closer to their supporters every day and enables more ways than ever before to spread awareness of causes. That’s why fundraising on social media is a great strategy to integrate into any organization’s fundraising goals. Now is the time to kick this strategy up to the forefront, including:
- Creating engaging posts
- Retweeting on Twitter or re-posting Facebook or Instagram posts
- Making your Social Media fundraising personal
- Host Facebook Live and live streaming events