Were you or someone you know part of a booster club that canceled their spring fundraiser because of recent school closings? Well, perhaps virtual fundraising could be a possible solution. Below we’ve shared a few tips on how you might be able to modify some events to be more of a virtual experience, or perhaps rework the logistics of a fundraiser that was planned.

There are some helpful suggestions available at Fundraising.com that lists out ten ideas for fundraising events. Let’s explore ways these ideas could be facilitated online:

1. Walk/Run/Bike-a-thon

There are actually some pretty simple ways you might be able to convert your walk/run/bike-a-thon to the virtual/digital ecosystem. Rather than everyone gather for the event in question at the same place, at the same time, each participant would choose their own trail or path.  Participants can use a variety of different tracking apps (like Map My Run, Runkeeper, or Strava) to generate and calculate their routes. Subsequently, using a smart device, participants can broadcast/record their event using one of many social media apps — like going live on Instagram, or starting a livestream or watch party on Facebook. You would want to make sure your viewers/donors were engaged with a captivating theme, and that they knew how to make donations as well.

As always, safety is key! It would be very important to ensure participants at least facilitate their event in pairs to keep themselves protected, and of course follow best practices to keep themselves healthy and free of any virus.

2. Auction

If an auction might have been planned in the school gym or somewhere of the like this spring, virtual fundraising could be a viable alternative. A digital auction with a countdown timer could be an interesting way to challenge your donors to try something new. For example, some options could be to start a live stream on YouTube or perhaps Vimeo. The potential donors could post in the comment section in order to facilitate the auction style event. There’s a wealth of information and resources that can be found on schoolauction.net with tips on how to manage an online auction. Bidding for Good is an example of an easy-to-use online auction platform.

3. Fundraising Raffle

You could also try operating an online fundraising raffle. Ultimately, a raffle may help local businesses during these difficult times. The idea would be to get in contact with local businesses to inquire about whether they would be willing to donate items (products or services) to the raffle. Next, you would attempt to raffle these items off in the live stream format as described above. By sharing details about the items with pictures on your social media accounts, this can help promote and support small businesses. Keep in mind though, that much of the time, local and state governments will manage raffles that take place, which includes requirements that organizations register before holding a raffle.

Given the challenges of adapting to a new reality, are you now considering converting a planned fundraising event into a virtual event?  Hopefully these creative ideas can help you find inspiration to make it happen.