Tosha Anderson

  Tosha Anderson


Events are one of the most popular fundraising techniques for charities and nonprofits. Unfortunately, quarantine enforcement led to the cancellation of most events for the foreseeable future.

Many nonprofits are now wondering how to meet their budget goals without hosting charity events. If this is you, keep reading for our best event ideas on how to raise money using virtual events.

Virtual Runs and Walks

Charity runs and walks were a staple way to raise funds before the stay at home directives started. But you can still hold successful virtual runs and walks for your organization. What is even better is that you will have fewer logistics to track.

There won’t be a need for costly overhead and time-consuming tasks like hiring a venue or recruiting volunteers. You also don’t have to worry about clearing roads, providing water and restroom facilities, or printing branded material. All you would need to do is recruit participants by promoting the event to your social media followers and email lists.

People who sign up would then need to pay a joining fee, and then fundraise for you by getting donations from their network. On the day of the event, the participants can then pick a place to complete their run. They could choose to run on a treadmill at home or around their home or neighborhood.

Facebook Watch Party

One of the best ideas for how to raise money on Facebook is to hold a virtual watch party on the platform. If you have an in-house documentary or talk that you would like to share with the world, then a watch party is the perfect way to do so.

You would raise funds by selling tickets, snacks, and merchandise in advance. Towards the end of the watch party, you could also ask for donations from the attendees.

Virtual Tour

Showing your charity’s need for funds is usually an effective way of getting donations. So, you can raise funds by hosting a virtual tour of your projects or facilities.

You would show how previous donations have been used and the areas that still need work. For instance, if you run a children’s home you can show places that need renovations. You could also do interviews with children that need funds to cover their basic needs.

To encourage participation, you could encourage followers to ask questions as you do the tour. When donors see the work you are doing and the amount of need there is, they will be willing to donate at the end of the tour when you ask for funds.

Online Game Night

Another great virtual event idea for how to raise money is to host an online game night. Figure out how many teams you would be able to host and how much the participation fee should be for you to reach your fundraising goal.

Try reaching out to several companies for prize donations that would attract many participants.

Your game night should also include several different types of questions and challenges to attract a diverse audience.

Online platforms like Zoom or Discord are great for hosting your game night as there are options for people to answer questions in the chatbox. You can also host several people at once. If you are at a loss for what questions to ask you can buy game packages online or rent games from sites like Gamefly.

Virtual Contests

Another spin to online games would be to host an online contest. Participants would need to pay to enter and voters would also need to pay to vote or view the event. The winner would get a lucrative prize while contributing to a worthy cause.

Some examples of contests you could hold are essay contests, online talent shows, photography contests, costume contests, or art contests. The theme of the contest could be tailored to meet your charity’s focus.

Online Auctions

Auctions have always been a guaranteed method for how to raise money for charities. A well-organized online auction event could raise even more funds than traditional auctions. This is because you can invite bidders from all over the world.

To hold a successful online auction event, you will need to host it on an online bidding platform such as and You can choose to host a private auction or public auction. The private auction requires all attendees to have an auction link.

Public auctions would be open to anyone that finds out about it. You could advertise the auction event on social media and encourage your followers to share the event. You could also ask your network and email list to donate items to be auctioned off.

One-Day Social Media Sharing and Fundraising Event

A great idea for how to raise money fast is to organize a fundraising blitz on a special day that is relevant to the organization. For example, a charity dealing with domestic abuse could choose Valentine’s day to run the fundraising blitz.

Send out emails and social media posts a few days before the event. This helps to make your donors and followers aware of the fundraising event. You could also look for a company to sponsor the event and match whatever donations you receive.

On the day of the event, send out emails and social media posts to your followers about the impact your charity is making. Remind them why it’s important for them and their network to donate. You should also have several updates telling them how much you’ve received in donations and encouraging them to donate more.

An online counter showing the funds received would also be a great visual motivator. Encourage your followers to share any posts, emails, or stories that you post to increase awareness about your charity.

Learn How to Raise Money for Charity Online

The internet has become a vital part of our lives as most of us spend hours of every day online. So it is no surprise that charity fundraising is now popularly done over the internet. The COVID-19 pandemic has also forced non-profits to hold virtual events to raise funds.

Some popular fundraisers include virtual runs, virtual auctions, and Facebook watch events. Virtual events and fundraising are here to stay so all charity organizations should master how to raise money online. If you need assistance managing your charity’s finances, contact us today.

Tosha Anderson is the founder of The Charity CFO, an organization offering accounting and thought leadership skills to nonprofit agencies. Tosha created The Charity CFO after realizing the need for specialized skills in nonprofits with limited financial resources and increasing pressure to keep costs low despite mounting compliance and financial reporting needs. With nonprofit experience as an auditor, a CFO, a board member, a volunteer, and a consultant, Tosha works with non-profits with on-going accounting needs.

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