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5 engaging ideas for virtual year-end fundraising events

November 22, 2021
This nonprofit supporter is participating in a virtual fundraiser over a video chat on her computer with other nonprofit supporters.

Due to their benefits for nonprofit organizations and their supporters, virtual events have become a go-to option for fundraising. The online format is ideal for nonprofits seeking to expand their reach to a wider audience of supporters, while also providing easier management and greater convenience than an in-person event. 

The key to a memorable and successful virtual event is a winning concept. Offering creative and exciting ways for supporters to get involved will encourage deeper, more frequent engagement with your organization. This is especially important for your nonprofit’s end-of-the-year efforts, as you plan to retain your donors and volunteers into the coming year.

In this guide, we’ll walk through the advantages to incorporating virtual events into your fundraising strategy, then look at five compelling year-end ideas to inspire your planning.

Benefits of virtual events for year-end fundraising

Virtual fundraising events can generate profitable results without a significant investment of time and money. If your nonprofit is looking for ways to improve your year-end fundraising strategy, virtual events can:

  • Boost participation: Virtual fundraising events prioritize convenience for both your nonprofit’s team and your guests. People have the flexibility to attend from anywhere around the world and give securely on their digital devices. You can even consider incorporating text-to-give into your next virtual event to encourage additional contributions and engagement.
  • Cut down on costs: Virtual events reduce the effort and resource investments required from your nonprofit’s staff and volunteers. Without the need to find a physical venue, pay for catering, and put up decorations, your team can focus on optimizing the attendee experience and securing more donations.
  • Build community: With virtual events, supporters can participate, discuss the event, and spread awareness of your organization’s purpose to their personal networks regardless of where they’re located. Bringing donors together to support your organization allows them to appreciate the impact of their contributions and build stronger relationships with your nonprofit.

To drive more engagement for your year-end fundraiser through a virtual event, all you need is comprehensive virtual event software that will allow you to easily handle registrations, sponsorships, and event communications all in one platform.

5 virtual year-end fundraising event ideas

To stand out from other year-end fundraising events, make the most of virtual event capabilities and plan a unique fundraiser for your nonprofit to engage donors. Here are five ideas to spark your creativity as you prepare for your own year-end event.

1. Virtual auction 

virtual auction is an effective way to raise funds while allowing your supporters to find a meaningful gift for a loved one. Promote your auction as an ideal opportunity to celebrate the holidays by bidding on items that make an impact on your organization’s purpose.

2. Volunteer holiday party

A virtual volunteer holiday party will get your volunteers excited about your plans and retain their support for the upcoming year. This party could be entirely virtual, or you could include a few in-person elements for your virtual event. For instance, you could send swag boxes to virtual attendees ahead of the party or partner with a food delivery service to deliver holiday snacks. 

3. Project or program update event

If your organization is working on a long-term project or program, you might invite supporters to an update event. During this event, you can report your current progress and show donors the impact of their gifts. Consider including a virtual video tour or inviting stakeholders and beneficiaries to share their stories during the event.

4. Giving Tuesday end-of-day party

If your nonprofit fundraising centers on Giving Tuesday, a virtual end-of-day party could be a memorable and rewarding way to thank your donors and give an update on how much was raised during your campaign. Communicating results is crucial for making supporters feel like their contributions have real-life impact on your organization’s purpose, which will keep them engaged in the long run.

5. New Year’s toast

Celebrate a successful year, show your gratitude to supporters, and prompt additional donations at the same time by hosting a virtual New Year’s toast! This event can be hosted entirely online, or you can combine in-person and virtual elements to maximize attendance. As the year comes to an end, take advantage of this opportunity to summarize your nonprofit’s impact and what your upcoming goals are.

Launching into a successful new year

Virtual events offer so many benefits, helping your organization secure the necessary funds to further your purpose. Get creative as you plan your virtual year-end fundraiser and inspire your supporters to stay engaged in the coming year. All you need is an engaging idea and effective virtual event software, such as Bonterra’s Events and Auctions solution, to end the year off strong.

Read Expand Your Reach With Virtual Events for Year-End Fundraising to learn more about hosting an effective virtual fundraiser.

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