The Best Virtual Fundraising Ideas - GroupRaise

The Best Virtual Fundraising Ideas

Posted by Katie Tincello

There are so many great virtual fundraising ideas that are just as fun as in-person events for you to choose from. We’ve compiled the best virtual fundraisers in this article to get you started with your fundraising campaign, whether you’re complying with social distancing rules or going virtual to reach more people.


The past few years have meant that we’ve all had to adapt in some way, and fundraising is no different. Just because you may be limited by social distancing rules or location doesn’t mean you can’t still hold an effective fundraiser for your organization. 


So if you’re looking for fundraiser ideas during COVID or online fundraising ideas for yourself or your organization, look no further!


Online Fundraisers Explained

An online fundraiser is still a great fundraising idea for any group or organization. Just because you can’t do in-person events doesn’t mean you can’t still fundraise, and it certainly doesn’t mean it will be any less fun or effective!


With all the tools available nowadays, organizing an online fundraiser has never been easier. There is a huge range of online fundraising resources, such as donation page sites, virtual event platforms, and social media campaigns and strategies that you can use to make the most out of your virtual fundraiser.


The key to hosting a successful online fundraiser is to make it as easy as possible for people to participate and donate. If you are a larger organization or an individual, it’s worth setting up a donation page with something like Gofund Me or Just Giving so that people know where to go to support you. 


Similarly, make sure everyone is aware of what you or your organization are up to by spreading the word via text, email, or social media too. 


With these two base strategies in place, whichever virtual fundraising ideas you choose will be a great success!


Check out these 10 Best Socially Distanced Fundraising Ideas for other COVID-friendly fundraising options. 


Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Schools

The best virtual fundraising ideas for schools are activities that will still get children excited and eager to be involved, despite not being able to do them as a group with friends.


Class challenges 

Class challenges are great virtual fundraising ideas for schools because they are very easy to put together and each child can do them individually at home. A class challenge can be as simple as helping do the washing up, or something more challenging like a zero waste week. See how much all the kids can raise as a class for doing their challenge. 


Virtual Concert

If you can’t hold events in person, take them online! Set up a zoom channel for your concert and get the children to perform as they normally would. A virtual concert may be a more challenging online fundraising idea for schools, but the kids will enjoy being able to showcase their skills. 


Charge a fee for virtual tickets. For the more ambitious musicians out there, it’s still possible to perform as a group online, although perhaps more challenging to rehearse for!


Violin player seated at stand

Photo by Julio Rionaldo on Unsplash


Take-out restaurant fundraiser

Many restaurants are now offering take-out as an alternative to dine in meals. You can order takeout online, collect via drive thru, and use apps such as Deliveroo or Uber to still enjoy delicious food while raising for your cause!


Choose a local restaurant near you and arrange a day for the event where a percentage of all sales made for your organization will be donated back. 



Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Individuals

As an individual, there are lots of virtual fundraising ideas you can choose from. Make sure you have a donation page set up so that people can easily support your cause.


Sports challenge

Get active to raise funds by challenging yourself with a sports activity. It could be anything from a 10K run to cycling 100 miles. Be sure to set up a donation page that you can publicize and share with friends and family, and take a few snaps of you during your challenge!


Man running on road for a sports challenge for a virtual fundraising idea

Photo by sporlab on Unsplash


Birthday crowdfunding fundraiser

An increasingly popular virtual fundraising event for individuals is to set up a donation page to coincide with their birthday. Instead of giving gifts, friends and family can instead donate to the individual’s chosen cause. Simply set up a page and share it with your network!


Virtual class or workshop

Showcase your talents by holding an online cookery course, craft workshop, or yoga class. If you have a special skill or talent that you can share with others, organize a virtual workshop via zoom and charge people a small participation fee. People will love the opportunity to try something new or learn a skill in addition to giving back!


Man stretching in yoga class, a virtual fundraising idea

Photo by Anupam Mahapatra on Unsplash


Online Fundraising for Nonprofits

Just because you have to go virtual for your events doesn’t mean you need to drastically change your fundraising ideas! These online fundraising ideas for nonprofits are still effective and enjoyable for your supporters.


Online gala dinner

A virtual fundraising gala dinner is a great online fundraising idea. In many ways, it is much easier to arrange than hosting in person! 


Send out invitations with details of the dress code, a suggested menu, order of the evenings’ events, and the details of the online stream. You can still host speakers and could also organize games or split people into different break-out rooms to mix up conservation over your meals.


Restaurant takeout fundraiser

A take-out fundraiser is the perfect plan for socially distanced fundraising. With GroupRaise, organization members and their families can enjoy a delicious meal from favorite local restaurants while fundraising at the same time.


Simply book a day at your chosen restaurant and you will be given a code for everyone to make their orders with and raise for your cause. 



People eating takeout food for a picnic, virtual fundraising idea in a group

Photo by Samantha Fernandes on Unsplash


Online auction

An online auction is one of the more effective online fundraising ideas, and is surprisingly easy to organize. There are now lots of sites that allow you to create an online auction where you can list items and take bids. 


We recommend that you search on G2 or Capterra for the top online auction sites and choose the best one for your needs. 


Check out this school nonprofit’s fundraising success during the pandemic for more tips on virtual fundraising for nonprofits.


Fun Virtual Fundraising Events

Don’t skimp on the enjoyment just because you’re going virtual! Fundraising online can be just as fun as in person, and there are lots of fun virtual fundraising ideas to choose from.


Virtual Happy Hour

Organize a virtual ‘Happy Hour’ to raise funds and have a good chat with friends, family, and group members over some home-made cocktails! Either ask for a donation or charge for virtual tickets.


A group cheersing with happy hour drinks, all peach coloured

Photo by Helena Yankovska on Unsplash


Online Games night

An online games night is certainly a fun virtual fundraising event for the more competitive among us! You can choose from a huge range of games that allow for virtual competitions with groups of people, such as the old classic Monopoly, or the modern favorite Mario Karts.


For larger groups, online tournaments such as FIFA, or games such as Jeopardy or an online escape room are also great virtual fundraising ideas. Most platforms accommodate larger groups, regardless of the game.


Virtual Movie Night

Similar to a virtual games night, sites such as Netflix allow you to host ‘Netflix parties’ where everyone can watch a film while also seeing each other. Sell tickets to friends and family and enjoy your virtual cinema!


Zoom Fundraising Ideas

Never have we used Zoom so much, and with good reason! With Zoom, you can host a range of virtual fundraising events, such as an online quiz night, classes, games nights,or any of the online fundraising ideas previously suggested.


Everyone can set up a Zoom account for free and gain access to one-hour meetings, although you would need to pay a subscription fee if you wanted a longer duration. These Zoom fundraising ideas are all very simple to organize and work well for groups of all sizes and ages.


Raffle Ideas Online

Raffles and auctions are still possible online, and are a very effective virtual fundraising idea. 


There are now various online sites you can use to create a raffle, such as GalaBid or RallyUp, that allow you to list available prizes and charge for tickets. You may need to explore buying a lottery license if you are charging for tickets due to legal requirements, but these are not expensive.


Some virtual raffle ideas and prizes include a simple cash prize, a staycation or retreat, a voucher for a shop, or an experience. You could also collect donations from neighbors and supporters and then list them on the site so that people can view and bid.


With the rise of social media, many larger brands are open to collaborating with individuals, smaller groups, and nonprofits to arrange giveaways and online raffles. 


When the raffle closes, you can pull the winner virtually and announce it on social media!


Social Media Fundraising Ideas

Social media fundraising ideas are a great way to get a lot of visibility and potentially raise a good amount of funds! 


One of the best fundraiser ideas during covid has to be the ‘Birthday Fundraiser’ page created by Facebook. Individuals can set up a donation page and ask friends and family to contribute instead of buying birthday gifts.


Other great social media fundraising ideas include holding webinars on Instagram and Facebook and requesting donations for your cause. Instagram now has a ‘Donate’ button that you can add to stories to take people directly to your fundraising page!


In general, social media sites provide a great platform for publicizing your fundraising efforts, and there are lots of fundraising flyer ideas you could use to reach a lot of people and raise awareness of your organization and cause.


Who’s ready to (Netflix) party?

These virtual fundraising ideas are sure to help you host a fun and effective fundraising event online. With the right tools, your organization can still make a difference by hosting a successful fundraiser available to everyone, regardless of location or any social distancing!


We hope you find these online fundraising ideas useful for your fundraising event, and don’t forget to check out the restaurants near you that are offering takeout and virtual fundraisers.