Virtual Events

Changing up your Event - Virtual Fundraising Ideas

Here is a list of twists or changes you can make to your event to ‘change it up' or to make it more interactive while also hosting it online. These are broken out by type of system you would need (Online Auction, Peer to Peer, CrowdFunding / Online Donations).
Here is a list of twists or changes you can make to your event to ‘change it up' or to make it more interactive while also hosting it online. These are broken out by type of system you would need (Online Auction, Peer to Peer, CrowdFunding / Online Donations).

Here is a list of twists or changes you can make to your event to ‘change it up' or to make it more interactive while also hosting it online. These are broken out by type of system you would need (Online Auction, Peer to Peer, CrowdFunding / Online Donations). So what is the difference? Let's cover those first:

Online Auction.
If you intended to run an event that included a silent auction or do a live auction but can't, you can still use online auction and mobile bidding tools. Your bidders will bid from their mobile device or computer.

Peer to Peer.
This is where you recruit your best supporters to raise money FOR YOU. All you need to do is recruit them as fundraisers to setup a fundraising page and raise money on your behalf. Peer to peer is an incredibly powerful tool to expand your donor base.

Crowd funding / Donations.
This is a single donation form or donation page where supporters come to donate.

Which one is best? Well it depends on what sort of event you want to run and how interactive you want it to be.

Our favorite themes and ideas for a virtual fundraiser

Interactive Wine Tasting - online auctions

Mid section of bartender pouring red wine on glass in bar counter
  1. Do you typically have an event where you sell wine, beer or spirits? Wine tasting events are popular, and probably impossible to do online right? Well, how about this twist?
  2. Sell tickets to your online interactive wine taster. With each ticket will be a package that includes branded glasses and several bottles of wine. This wine will be shipped or delivered to the purchaser (so check on any legal restrictions). You could have a package for 4 people, 6, or 8 etc. Be sure to provide enough glasses and wine depending on the number of guests in the ticket package. Each ticket is for a specific date and time.
  3. Partner with a winery or a local liquor/wine outlet to put together the packages and provide the shipping and delivery.
  4. Either from your wine partner or a local restaurant sommelier, you need someone who will guide this tasting online.
  5. Get event-branded wine glasses (perhaps from 4Imprint?) and make sure to include those in the packages going out.
  6. Organize your tickets into nights / themes. These could be Australia / NZ wines, Big Reds, NW Pinots, California Zins, etc. Your purchasers would get a package that includes enough wine for the tasting and the glasses.
  7. The night of the event, you will livestream your tasting expert who will guide your remote guests through an organized tasting. Your guests could also perhaps order wine online from your winery partner after the tasting is over. Handbid has a live streaming component to help with this.
  8. Throughout the tasting, you need to mix in live auction items, donation requests, etc. This will keep your remote audience connected and engaged.
  9. What could you add in for the silent auction? Additional experiences from your wine tasting expert or winery, library wines, etc.

White Elephant Auction - online auctions

  1. This one takes a cooperative audience and the "right” type of crowd. But if your crowd is comfortable with each other, this could be a lot of fun; and it solves the "how do I get my items?” issue that is probably top of mind.
  2. Here is how it works: You have your attendees each find an item in their house (no Amazon shopping - that is cheating!) and submit it to the auction. They can either email in those details and have you create them or perhaps submit them directly to your auction software.
  3. Then you have people bid on the items. You can award prizes to those items that raise the most money for your auction.
  4. What about shipping? Well each winner will need to arrange shipping with the item's current owner (if they even want the item).

Have a "No-Show” Event - peer to peer

Woman using laptop computer on sofa

  1. So you can't have a physical event, but you can invite people NOT to come to your physical event and join you ONLINE. We have seen variations of this from the "Don't come on May 2nd” to the "We invite you NOT to SHOW up!” In all cases, you are inviting your donors to an online event that can include a variety of things: auction items, donation opportunities, live streaming content.
  2. As donation incentives, create a series of "donation items” that include the equivalent of what they would have spent to come to your event:
  3. Virtual Uber Ride both ways: $75
  4. BabySitter: $75
  5. New Outfit: $100
  6. Tickets to come: $150
  7. Drinks at the bar: $100
  8. The whole enchilada (all of the above): $500
  9. Table Sponsorship: $1,000

Virtual Talent Show / Teacher Dance Contest / Tik Tok Challenge - peer to peer

Portrait of a cheerful cute woman listening music in headphones and dancing isolated on a white background
  1. The Internet has now been filled with quarantined kids, parents and teachers making short funny videos/Tik Toks. Usually they are showing off a skill or their coordinated dance moves. Well, time to turn that into a fundraiser.
  2. If you are a school, have your teachers (or families if you want) create a fundraising page along with a video showing off their moves. Then you can have people donate to the pages they like the most. Those donations should count as "votes” toward the winner, who should be the page with the most money raised.
  3. Want to do this live? See the last idea in this list.

CrossFire / That's My Cause - peer to peer

Business people arm wrestling at the office
  1. Have an issue that you think your donor base is on both sides of? (e.g. College Rivalry, Political Issue, Social Topic, Intellectual Topic), then you can host a peer to peer fundraiser where people can create pages and join one of 2 teams (Side A or Side B). This one can get a bit sensitive, so you need to think through it carefully.
  2. Here are some ideas we have seen that you could do
  3. In State rivalry? Create two teams: Auburn vs. Alabama, etc.
  4. Skiing Rivalry? Create a team for each favorite resort OR ski vs. snowboarding
  5. Political Rivalry? Well, it is that time of year. If you want, you can create your own mock election voting (tread cautiously)
  6. Music Rivalry? Country vs. Hip Hop, etc.
  7. We think you get the point

Family Game Night - Online Event - collect donations, sell tickets

Business female hand moving a chess piece
  1. There are plenty of online gaming solutions out there that you can use. Our favorite is Quiplash in our house (although it has a practical limit on the number of players). But consider anything that will get families engaged.
  2. Our platform pick for this? Facebook Tournaments. You can organize a tournament amongst your supports and add them into it. There are a variety of games to pick from.
  3. How do you get your list of tournament attendees? Sell tickets online to your tournament and the ticket purchasers will then be entered into the tournament system on your end.
  4. Consider adding in your own "power ups” that people can buy (which will depend on what the game or tournament software allows). These could include "first round bye” or "do over”, etc.
  5. Where can I find this? Start here:

Run/Ride or Sleep for Dollars - Peer to Peer

group of healthy girls running outdoors at sunset with lens flare.
  1. We know there are many weekend warriors out there who miss those group rides or runs. Or, perhaps you have a significant other or friend who likes to sleep in on weekends while you do your 3 hour run/ride. Either way, here is an opportunity to have some people exercise and those that don't can purchase/donate the right to "sleep in”.
  2. Setup a peer to peer campaign and allow your donors to be on TEAM RIDE or TEAM SLEEP (or come up with better names than this).
  3. Each donor then creates a page, joins the team they want and then raises money. For team "ride”, they should be raising money to support their ride (or run, we aren't all bikers here). For team "sleep” they are raising money for the right to sleep in. You can even make it so each $1 raised for team "sleep” = another minute they can sleep in (get creative and fun).
  4. For team "ride”, have them show off their gear (including mask?) and describe their route they intend to take.
  5. For team "sleep” have them show off their best "jammies” look, coffee mug in hand, lying on the sofa watching cartoons.

  6. Live Show and Tell Contest / Talent Show - Online Event / Auction with Streaming
  7. This one will work best with a live streaming component similar to what Handbid has built into the software. In this scenario, you will need a streaming tool (we recommend Be.Live) that allows you to connect to each person that will perform.
  8. The rest of the supporters go to the Handbid page where you have them watch each performance.
  9. For each performance/contestant, create a "ForSale” item that can be purchased as a "Vote” for the performance (you will promote this item as the performance streams).
  10. When it is time for someone to perform, you show them on the stream and you also promote their "ForSale” item so people can vote.
  11. What sorts of things can you do? Dance contests (although the contestant will need some camera help with that), talent shows, singing, pet performances, etc.
  12. Contestant who raises the most money wins.

If you have any other ideas or tips you would like us to share, let us know! Feel free to join us at of our webinars or shoot us an email at





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