KnowledgeQuickly Pivoting to a Virtual Fundraising Event

Share this

The outbreak of COVID-19 is rapidly shifting the landscape of event fundraising. Where peer-to-peer fundraisers or gala attendees might have gathered together to celebrate your cause, you may now be looking for ways to take your event fundraising "virtual."

Pivoting from a face-to-face event to a virtual one does not have be to an especially significant change. While a virtual fundraiser may not be taking place in a physical space, the same efforts and principles you apply to welcoming them to the organization, educating them about the cause, and celebrating their collective achievements are still relevant.

Depending on the nature of your event, there is an opportunity to run your event as planned, just from the comfort of your participants' homes, backyards or safe spaces... all while maintaining social distance, of course!

DIY Fundraising Challenges

DIY challenges re-create some aspects of your event. From their personal and/or team pages, participants can post pictures and videos while still collecting donations, and use social to spread the word.

Here's an idea: Challenge participants to hit an achievable activity milestone. As participants reach checkpoints along the way, ask them to post their progress throughout the day and request a donation that corresponds with their milestone (e.g. 500 steps = $50 donation).

Pre-Recorded Videos

To guide your constituents through programming that might otherwise have been occurring when participants were getting together, consider a series of pre-recorded videos and push these out to constituents by email, social or a curated YouTube Playlist. Fun, celebratory and possibly exclusive/reward-based videos give participants a reason to tune in and take part. And as an added benefit, the content you produce is great evergreen material for future campaigns down the line!

Livestream Fundraising

If you’re thinking about live streaming, there are a myriad of options out there to broadcast to your constituents – from Facebook Live to Periscope to YouTube Live to open-source options like StreamlabsOBS. Many streaming services offer options to embed the feed or chat in other broadcasters. Importantly, most streaming softwares also allow for a call-to-action button where you can link viewers to donate directly to your raisin event.

Live streaming fundraising does require new resources, so the streaming service you go with might existing technical capacity, nature of the event, the type of stream (informal stream or a professional broadcast) and where your audience is most likely to join from.


A consistent hashtag is an opportunity to bring together your participants and donors to showcase the activity, progress and successes they're making when taking on their own challenges.

This is a strategy being employed currently by a few virtual events, including The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation's Colour To Conquer, the St. Mary's Hospital Foundation's #RedDay, and the SportingLife 10K.

On a raisin event, you can quickly wrap this activity around by embedding iframe social feeds that these platforms and third-party aggregators make available using the Code Snippet content block found in the Website CMS.

Online forums or groups

Facebook Groups and Reddit provide a forum for you and your constituents to connect, interact and share stories in real-time.

Flash Fundraisers

Consider creating a special appeal and messaging as a “flash” fundraiser (timed for a short/limited time), like a Giving Tuesday campaign. If you are thinking about cancelling an event, let your supporters know that by donating they can still have an impact – even if they can’t attend.

A few things to keep in mind when crafting the campaign:

  • Demonstrate your impact with suggested amounts and well-placed descriptions on your donation form
  • Use a landing page with images to foster a connection with your cause
  • Set a goal and add a thermometer that supporters can strive towards
  • raisin is mobile-friendly across devices and screen sizes

Our Donations module is designed specifically for quick setup for special appeals and emergency response. You have the flexibility of building a complete site with a landing page landing page, real-time thermometer and options for one-time and recurring giving.


Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we've read countless stories of inspiring people wanting to make a difference in the lives of those affected by the virus. Take Michael Schur, creator of The Good Place, who raised $150,000 for the L.A. Regional Food Bank in a day.

Creating and promoting a crowdfunding or social fundraising platform of your own gives motivated supporters the means to get started and do good on your behalf. What's more, it doesn't have to be a lot of work! We've written a few articles in the space on just how quickly you can launch and support a crowdfunding program on raisin.

Here's an idea: Not everyone has thousands of followers like Michael Schur, and your campaign might not take off immediately. Gain some momentum by engaging board members, ambassadors or influencers you might already have a relationship with.

For more information, download our virtual fundraising guide. 


Share this

raising money has never been easier.

Get updates and fundraising insights.