Fundraising Blog

How To Turn An Online Fundraiser Into An Event

If you’re running an online fundraiser, you might wonder if you can make it as successful as a live event.

Will your supporters find a virtual event as fun and engaging as a live fundraiser?

The great news is your online fundraiser has a lot going for it.  Anyone with a mobile or desktop device can participate.  Nobody needs to arrange babysitters or transport, plus it will be a shining highlight in people’s (currently) quiet social calendars.

But how do you best capitalise on those plus points?

It Might Be Virtual But It’s Still An Event

Apply the same theme and promotional philosophy to your virtual event as you would a live event.

Give your fundraiser a distinct brand and design.  Pyjama Party? Lounge Disco? Staycation?  Give your event a fun theme that people at home can get involved with.  

Promote your event ahead of time so people can lock it into the diary.  Send event updates using EDMs and social media posts.  

And don’t be afraid to give people a dress code.   The bin night dress up is currently making isolation that little bit more fun. Whatever the event theme, give participants the opportunity to dress up (or down if you’re holding a pyjama party!).  They can post photos of their outfits to social media (using your event hashtag of course).

What Are Your Online Fundraising Options?

But what about the fundraising itself?

The great thing here is that there are lots of options to choose from to suit your fundraising goals and event size:

Mix n’ Match

Choose two or three fundraising initiatives to meet your targets.  Combining options gives your supporters a variety of opportunities to participate.

For example, you could run an online silent auction for two weeks. Then finish with a live pledge drive event that wraps up the silent auction and encourages direct donations.


A standalone fundraiser can work best of you’d prefer a one-night-only event.  You could run a live pledge drive, raffle or even a live auction.

Make It Engaging and Fun

Your online fundraiser can have many of the features you associate with great events.

Auctioneers and MCs – live stream your auctioneer or MC.  Your event host can introduce your cause, deliver donation tally updates, drive bids and generally entertain your supporters.

It’s simple for your event host to set up a virtual studio in their own home.  They can even create a ‘green screen’ using a block colour blanket or sheet.

Real-time updates – keep pulses racing with donation thermometers that rise as the donations roll in.  

Broadcast live bid updates so you can see who has the latest winning bid.  Include SMS notifications that let bidders know when they’ve been outbid or when the auction is about to close.

Tell your storyyour cause is the emotional heart of the event. Make sure you use your online space to let people know why it matters and how their donations and bids will make a huge difference to the lives of others.  

Use a mix of pre-recorded video and live story telling to deliver your message.

The Wrap-Up

Payments can be finalised immediately online using Stripe and SMS or email invoicing.

Use your MC to thank your supporters for their donations and bids.  Also use your social media hashtags to say thank you and encourage people to post any thoughts about their event experience.

And don’t forget to congratulate yourself for running a highly engaging and successful online fundraising event!

Want to see more?

Check out our 2 minute video that shows how easy it is to run an online fundraiser.

About GalaBid

GalaBid is CrowdComms’ fundraising software, developed inhouse, which facilitates bidding, donations, purchases, payment for and management of all fundraising activities before and during live fundraising events, galas, golf days etc.


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