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The 7 Most Important Tools You Need For a Successful Nonprofit Virtual Fundraising Event

Although we’re starting to come back together for in-person events, we think the age of virtual fundraising hasn’t left yet. 

Why? Because nonprofit online fundraising events are so convenient once you know how to host them! 

And if you haven’t put one together just yet, don’t worry. We’ve created a checklist of the most important tools (plus a couple of optional ones) for your next nonprofit virtual fundraising event to be a smash hit! 

(alt-text: A laptop is open to a Zoom meeting which is allowing a nonprofit to host a virtual fundraising event.) 

What Is a Virtual Fundraising Event? 

Virtual fundraising events are becoming more and more common thanks to both the age of technology and the Covid-19 pandemic. 

These events are pretty much exactly like they sound! It’s an online event hosted by a nonprofit to boost brand awareness, nurture relationships with their supporters, and increase funding for their cause. 

Why Should You Host a Virtual Fundraising Event Over an In-Person Event?

We’re not saying virtual fundraising events are better than in-person ones. But we are saying they both have their place! 

As with every decision you make for your nonprofit, you need to weigh the pros and cons for your particular organization. 

But some of the benefits of virtual fundraising events are too hard to pass up! For one thing, they’re usually much cheaper than hosting an event in-person. You won’t have to rent out a conference center, you won’t have to pay for food or drinks, and you typically won’t have to pay for as much decor. 

It’s also great to bring your supporters together from all over the world! No matter where they’re located, your supporters can show up to a virtual event for your nonprofit. 

Two nonprofit professionals host a virtual fundraising event for their organization over Zoom.

What Do You Need to Host a Virtual Fundraising Event? 

Oh, we’re so glad you asked! 

Technology plays a major role in putting together and hosting a nonprofit virtual fundraising event. And that’s why we’ve rounded up the most important tools you need to make your next one a success! 

1. Virtual Fundraising Event Page

The first thing you’ll need? A place to promote your event. This is also going to be a great place for your supporters to sign up for it. 

Creating one of these is easier than it might seem! And there are a couple of ways you can do it. You can use your website platform like WordPress to create a new webpage. 

Or, you can use your virtual fundraising platform to create it (more on those in a minute)! 

Either way, think of this page as the invitation to your event. And who wants to crash an event they’re not invited to? So, be sure to make one of these so your supporters know they’re invited! 

2. Google Ad Grants 

We talked about all of the different ways you can use your Google Ad Grants. And if you’ve got an online fundraising event coming up, then this is a must-have tool to raise awareness for it! 

Create a new campaign with target keywords so you’ll show up when your prospective supporters go searching for ‘em. 

If you’re ready to take the next step towards your virtual fundraising event by promoting it on Google Ad Grants, check out this free webinar at Charity How To! 

Check Out the FREE Webinar on Google Ad Grants 101 at CharityHowTo!

3. Nonprofit Virtual Fundraising Platform

This is going to be your bread and butter tool for your event. Really, if you take nothing else from this list, take this. A virtual fundraising platform is going to be a life-saving tool for your event.

It’ll help everything run smoother because most of them have the smaller tools you need built-in. 

You can build your event page on your virtual fundraising platform. You can stream your event from your platform. You can make it interactive with a fundraising progress bar during your event. 

And some virtual fundraising platforms even offer things like text-to-give options, peer-to-peer fundraising, and embeddable donate widgets for your website. 

Plus (and this one’s awesome), many of these platforms integrate right into your nonprofit CRM software. So any donor information you collect and data you create through your event is logged. You can pull reports to see what went well for your event and what you can work on for next time! 

If you still need a virtual fundraising platform for your nonprofit, check out our post on some of the top online donation platforms available. 

4. Email Marketing Platform

Don’t leave your supporters hanging! They want to know you appreciate them more than just during the event itself. 

Use your email marketing platform to send out thank you emails to your supporters who showed up and/or made contributions during your event. 

Oh, and one of the top email marketing platforms is a low-cost online tool for nonprofits!

Optional (But Powerful) Tools or Your Nonprofit Virtual Fundraising Event

Depending on your event, you may need some additional tools to make sure everything runs smoothly. 

So we’ve gathered up the most important optional tools you need for your next nonprofit online fundraising event! 

A nonprofit virtual fundraising event page is open on a laptop sitting on a table.

5. Ticket Selling Platform

For some events, the entry into it is a way to fundraise. If that’s the case, you can do it all online! 

Some virtual fundraising platforms have this feature built right in! If you need that option, look for a virtual fundraising platform like Give Lively or Funraise! 

6. Online Auction Platform

Who says you can only have an auction in-person? Those days are long gone, friend! If you’re wanting to host an online auction for your upcoming nonprofit virtual fundraising event, you absolutely can. 

Online auction platforms for nonprofits exist, and they’re a great way to add interaction for your supporters. OneCause is one of the top rated online auction sites for nonprofits! 

7. Screen Sharing Service

During galas or year-end fundraising events, often nonprofit professionals need a way to share digital information to their supporters. 

So if your upcoming event involves showing a slide deck, video, or another kind of presentation, you’ll need a screen sharing service! 

Simple tools like Zoom allow you to switch between screens and presenters during your event. 

A young man dressed in a blazer and turtleneck sweater wears headphones as he sits at his laptop while attending a nonprofit virtual fundraising event.

There are plenty of ways to host an incredible nonprofit virtual fundraising event! And these important tools will help make sure everything runs smoothly before, during, and after the event. 

Want more related to the tools you need for your virtual fundraising event? Check out these posts! 

9 Effective Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits

The Top 6 Nonprofit Online Fundraising Best Practices to Meet Your Monthly Goals

The 5 Must-Have Technology for Nonprofits to Help You Grow Your Cause

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