Ideas for Hosting an Online Virtual Fundraiser During COVID

Recent events might have put your fundraising plans on hold, so why not move them online instead?

Hosting a virtual event is a great way to keep donations coming in for your supported cause if circumstances prevent your guests from attending in person.

PayBee’s online auction platform makes running your virtual fundraiser simple, from selling tickets, to hosting fundraising campaigns, to providing your supporters with live information and entertainment. Supporters can donate in less than 30 seconds with their debit or credit card, Apple Pay and Google Pay as well as by bank transfer.

You can also use PayBee to run a raffle or silent auction alongside the live event, raising additional funds as well as keeping your guests engaged and entertained.

Here are seven ideas for hosting a virtual fundraiser to remember.

Live Online Auction

This is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a virtual fundraising event and PayBee makes running an online auction simple.

The PayBee lobby opens to your guests shortly before the event starts, this is where they can learn about your foundation’s sponsors and preview the auction lots. You can also use PayBee to run a silent auction in the weeks before your virtual gala, adding to the participation and overall fundraising experience.

Paybee’s live streaming feature gives you a chance to share your messaging and further engage your audience, helping them further connect to the cause you’re supporting as well as having a fun and engaging experience, just as they would at your live, in-person events.

Online Gift Card Auction

For a twist on the Online Auction idea, why not organize an auction where all the prizes are gift cards?

This makes it even easier to organize delivery of the prizes after the event, and your supporters can get involved from all over the country.

For best results, contact local businesses and larger national chains for gift cards, and pick a range of prizes to appeal to different tastes. You could group any smaller value cards together to make a more tempting bundle with a higher value.

You could even ask guests to donate spare gift cards as prizes. Most of us have one or two tucked away somewhere!

Online Gala Dinner

You don’t need to be in the same room as your guests to host a fundraising dinner. It’s easy to host it online instead!

Use PayBee to sell tickets to your online gala dinner, and then deliver a ‘gala in a box’ to ticket purchasers.

This could be anything from a drinks party with canopies, appetizers and mini-umbrellas for the cocktails, to a three-course dinner party with pre-prepared food and drink.

The PayBee online platform is perfect for streaming live entertainment to give a gala atmosphere. Guests might also like to donate the money that they would have spent on travel or a new outfit.

Virtual Wine Tasting Event

Wine tasting evenings are a great way to raise funds, so why not run one online?

Pick a theme for the night, such as Wines from Australia or Rosé Wines for Summer, and sell ticket packages for 2, 4 or 6 people. These can include bottles of wine to be sent directly to your attendees ahead of the online event.

Sourcing the wine from a local producer or retailer offers them added promotion as well as keeping your costs down. They might also like to provide some branded glasses or offer your guests a discount for orders placed on the night.

Then ask an expert from your wine partner or a local sommelier to guide the wine tasting and answer questions from your guests.

You could use this format for other tasting events as well. How about a coffee, chocolate or even cheese tasting evening?

Online Quiz Evening

Why not invite your supporters to grab a drink and join you for a live online quiz? You can choose a theme that fits in with your cause, or pick different categories so there’s something to suit everyone.

Asking local businesses to offer prizes will help to keep your costs down. They could give prizes for the teams in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, and maybe some spot prizes.

And to boost your fund-raising efforts, you could also sell an upgrade package which includes a selection of themed snacks.

Virtual Class or Workshop

An online class or workshop is a fun way to raise funds and you can match the theme of your event to correspond with your cause or give it a seasonal theme. How about running a festive baking workshop for the holiday season, an online knitting masterclass, or a relaxing meditation session?

Don’t forget to send your guests clear instructions if they will need to buy supplies in advance for the class. You could sell entry level tickets to watch the class and offer an upgrade which includes the supplies they need.

If you don’t feel comfortable leading the class yourself, you could ask a local professional. They might also like to offer viewers a discount on bookings or purchases made at the event.

Online Webinar or Talk

Webinars and talks can be a powerful fundraising tool, and they are easy to run as an online event. Ask local celebrities or experts linked to your cause to host a talk on a subject as serious or as entertaining as you like.

You can sell tickets for your event through PayBee’s online platform. Setting up basic and premium ticket packages will also help to boost your fundraising.

PayBee’s split screen makes it easy to display information and links on one side of the screen while your guests interact via chat on the other side. If your speaker is willing to donate some autographed items, you could raffle these off to raise extra funds.

In addition to the ideas mentioned there are plenty of other popular options to consider. You could run an online tour or open house event, or put on a virtual talent show. You could even organize an online concert or get local bands to play a virtual festival.

And once you have chosen your event, PayBee supports your fundraising efforts until the last donation has been received. Now is the time to be creative and engage your community with a new medium, with Paybee’s Virtual Gala platform the possibilities are endless! Sign up today to start organising your own virtual gala event!

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