12 Best Online Fundraising Ideas to Support Your Cause

Team Building Resources
Team Building Resources April 04, 2023 12 Best Online Fundraising Ideas to Support Your Cause

Here is our list of the best online fundraising ideas.

Online fundraising ideas are virtual events or activities that help gather financial support for a charity or project. Examples include Webinars, Crowdfunding, and Online Networking Events. The purpose of these activities is to create awareness for a cause and gather financial assistance to support it.

Online fundraising ideas are similar to networking events and virtual conferences that raise money for one specific purpose. You can use online meeting platforms to play virtual games for fundraisers.

This list includes:

  • online fundraising ideas for schools
  • online fundraising ideas for companies
  • online fundraising ideas for nonprofits
  • online charity events

Here we go!

List of online fundraising ideas

From Social Media Campaigns to Virtual Silent Auctions, here is our list of the best online fundraising ideas.

1. Virtual Fundraising Gala

A Virtual Fundraising Gala is an online celebration that participants can live stream from the comfort of their homes. You can hold this event on any video conferencing or live-streaming platform, such as Eventbrite. Eventbrite offers marketing services and audience insights to encourage maximum attendance for your event.

To organize this activity:

  1. Set up a theme that is relevant to the cause you are supporting. For example, a rainbow-themed party may be perfect for fundraising for an LGBTQ cause, or a Disney-themed gala might work for a charity supporting children.
  2. Choose a date and time for the event.
  3. Promote the event on social media platforms to your target audience. You can create a custom hashtag for the event. Then, encourage attendees to tag your company and the event on all relevant social media platforms.
  4. Sell tickets on popular marketing and event ticketing platforms, like Eventbrite.
  5. Hire entertainers to enliven the event. You can hire magicians, stand-up comedians, or artists to entertain your guests. You can also set up a talent show where your guests can perform creative acts.
  6. Encourage guests to vote for the best performers by donating to their favorite act. The act with the highest amount of donations wins the show.
  7. After the performances, engage your guests by organizing activities encouraging their participation. For example, you can host trivia challenges, best selfie contests, or games.
  8. Be sure to leave donation options open during the whole stream.

A virtual fundraising gala is an interesting way to raise funds for a cause online. Guests can have fun, engage with each other, and make donations without feeling pressured to do so.

Learn more about Eventbrite.

2. Webinars

Webinars are among the best online fundraising ideas for nonprofits because they allow firms to educate their audience on important issues and raise funds for a cause. You can host a webinar using any video conferencing platform. Then, use the virtual classroom software to give your audience detailed instructions and valuable information.

To organize this event:

  1. Choose a platform to host your webinar. You may want to factor in the number of guests you plan to invite, screen-sharing functionality, and cost. One option is GoTo Webinar, which offers planning and promotion, templates, engagement dashboards, and event analytics.
  2. Choose a topic relevant to your cause and your business’s mission. The subjects can relate to skill acquisition and other entrepreneurial matters that may interest your guests.
  3. Select a panel of experts on the chosen topic. Inviting guest speakers is a great way to engage large crowds and enliven webinars. The experts can select different parts of the topic to focus on and educate the guests.
  4. Set a date and time for this event.
  5. Promote your webinar on social media platforms. You may also send invites to existing clients via email. It is also important to include details of the cause you are supporting. This step ensures guests who purchase tickets are interested in your cause and are likely to donate.
  6. Sell tickets, considering the cost of hosting the event for the said number of guests or participants.
  7. Create your content using slideshows, graphs, charts, and pictures. Making your information as visual as possible is the easiest way to keep your guests entertained and engaged.
  8. Share information with your guests, offer details on the cause you support, and encourage participants to donate.

Webinars are excellent ways to create awareness, educate a group on important topics, and gather support and donations simultaneously. You may share links at the start or end of the session for your guest to donate to the cause.

Learn more about GoTo Webinar.

3. Virtual Silent Auction

Virtual Silent Auctions are one of the easiest online fundraising ideas for companies. These events engage donors from the start and make raising funds for charity or other causes easy. Silent auctions allow participants to bid on a particular item without seeing how much other guests bid. At the end of the session, the participant with the highest bid wins.

To organize this event:

  1. Choose a platform form for the event. Different cloud-based auction management platforms, like Panorama by FrontStream, offer digital auction services. This website allows you to set up an auction site, create an inventory, and process donations.
  2. Set up your inventory. If you have physical items that you tend to auction, then you must plan the delivery logistics. Otherwise, you can opt for items you can send electronically or via email.
  3. Promote your auction on social media platforms, and email links to existing clients.
  4. Post pictures of available items, and encourage guests to bid.
  5. When the bidding ends, announce winners, and send items out to the highest bidders.

Virtual Auctions are great fundraiser ideas because they allow organizations to offer value in exchange for financial support. You can also let bidders know your firm will use their bids to support a particular cause.

Learn more about Panorama by FrontStream.

4. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is one way to create awareness and raise funds for a cause. In this method, many participants must contribute small amounts of money to help meet a financial target. It is important to note that crowdfunding is only successful when fundraisers are transparent. You will need to update contributors and investors on the progress of the cause they are contributing to. This cause may be a start-up, medical treatment, or funds for a charity organization.

To organize this activity:

  1. Choose a crowdfunding platform: Examples of these firms include GoFundMe, Kickstarter, Mightycause, or Seed Invest Technology. It is important to note that these sites may have different rules regarding keeping funds when targets are unmet. Therefore, you must research and find a site that suits your needs.
  2. Tell your story: Investors and contributors must know what you will use the funds for once you meet your target. Understanding your plans makes it easy for investors to know if donating to your cause is worth their time.
  3. Offer incentives: These rewards are simple ways to show appreciation for donations and contributions. For instance, if you were launching a new product, then you could offer the first few contributors free samples.
  4. Set a target: When setting a goal, try to be realistic, given the timeline.
  5. Promote your campaign: It is important to note that the first few contributors you will get might be friends and family. Therefore, spread the word about your campaign among your close friends and family. For example, you can promote on different social media platforms, collaborate with influencers, and send links via email to existing clients.
  6. Keep your investors updated: Share regular reports on the progress of your project and the campaign. It is important to be transparent about how much you have been able to raise and how much more you need to hit your target. It is also a great idea to share a detailed breakdown of how you intend to use the funds so contributors may feel like a part of your journey and growth.
  7. Reward your donators: Once you hit your target, do not forget to show appreciation to your contributors, share updates, and offer incentives as previously promised.

Crowdfunding is one of the best online fundraising ideas for companies because it connects start-ups and nonprofits with folks who share their dream.

Learn more about GoFundMe, Kickstarter, Mightycause, and Seed Invest Technology.

5. Social Media Campaigns

Social Media Campaigns are effective fundraising tools because they help start-ups and nonprofits reach a large number of their target audience. As a result, these campaigns create awareness for a cause, charity, or start-up, encouraging folks interested in these fields to donate.

To set up a campaign:

  1. Create a campaign outline. Your outline must include a catchy campaign name, custom hashtags, a realistic target and timeline to meet the set goal, and a landing page for folks to learn about your cause and donate.
  2. Choose the social media platforms where you intend to promote your campaign. You may choose to use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even TikTok for more exposure. Note that you must understand your target audience before promoting on these platforms for better results.
  3. Create high-quality videos and content to help sell your company or start-up goals to your audience. It is important to tell your story transparently to help your audience understand how you will use their donations.
  4. Celebrate milestones. Recognizing campaign achievements is a great way to appreciate your donors’ contributions. For instance, you can create custom posts or videos to celebrate these successes.
  5. Acknowledge active participants on your social media platforms. For example, you can simply like a post related to your campaign, retweet a customer’s message about your cause, or like a comment that your active users share under your post.

Social Media Campaigns are currently one of the most common ways to raise funds online. This idea helps fundraisers connect and interact with a larger audience than they would conventionally meet offline.

Learn more about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

6. Online Student Art Show

Online Student Art Shows are among the best online fundraising ideas for schools. These events help students contribute to a cause through their creative talents.

To organize this event:

  1. Select a platform to host your show. Artsonia is a great option for schools, allowing classes to showcase their pieces and raise money simultaneously. Viewers can also leave comments for peak interaction.
  2. Set a theme for your event, and have students create related art pieces. For example, students could draw, paint, or even sculpt.
  3. Promote the art show among parents, locals, and on social media. You may even send invites to professionals interested in encouraging young artists. It is also important to share information about the cause you support and the need for contributions and donations.
  4. Set a date for the event, and share invite links on every relevant social media platform.
  5. Meet using any video conferencing tool.
  6. Have students showcase their creative talents. Artists could submit photos or videos of their final creations.
  7. Encourage participants to support their favorite pieces through donations. You can even allow attendees to purchase the art, further supporting the cause.

This fundraising idea is a great way to gather contributions for small projects within the school or community. This show also helps students play a relevant role in the growth and development of their community.

Learn more about Artsonia.

7. Online Peer-to-Peer Read-a-thon

Online Peer-to-Peer Read-a-thons are fun and simple ways to raise funds for a cause. For this fundraising idea, students or colleagues must set a reading goal and gather pledges from their friends and family when they meet their reading target.

To organize this challenge:

  1. Choose interesting book titles, and set a timeline for the participants to finish reading each book.
  2. Send each participant a pledge sheet via email. Donors will write their names on the sheet and the amount they are willing to donate if the readers can finish a book within the specified timeline.
  3. Participants will download e-books and try to finish them before the deadline.
  4. At the end of the challenge, students will submit the funds they were able to raise during the challenge.

Instead of a pledge sheet, you can also create custom links for each reader to send to their donors. For example, you can partner with Read-A-Thon. This website tracks how much students read, advertises your event, and processes donations. This method makes it easy to track how much each participant brings in. You may also offer prizes to readers who can collect the most donations and finish their books during the set period.

Partner with Read-A-Thon.

8. Online Networking Event

Online Networking Events are one of the best online charity events because they allow donors to interact and engage with each other.

To organize this event:

  1. Set a date.
  2. Pick a theme that aligns with the cause you support. When selecting a theme for this event, choose one that corresponds with the cause you support. For instance, if you are creating awareness and seeking donations to help members of the LGBTQ community, then a drag or Pride-themed party would most likely be great choices. This theme will largely influence the target audience you reach with your social media ads.
  3. Post links to the event on social media platforms where your business has the largest presence.
  4. Meet on any video conferencing platform.
  5. To earn money for your cause, organize a raffle for this event. Pick a host website, such as RallyUp, and set up your ticketing system. Upload prizes, and ensure you pick winners honestly and fairly.
  6. Assign breakout rooms to small groups of participants to make it easy for your guests to interact with each other.
  7. Then, randomly pair attendees using apps like Donut to ensure that participants interact and engage with each other.

Networking events encourage community members to mingle and collaborate on an important cause.

Check out RallyUp and Donut.

9. Micro-Donation Programs

Micro-Donation Programs are small-scale contributions and donations that nonprofits and charity organizations get when folks make purchases online. Some companies that help buyers donate to different causes when they shop online include ShopRaise and iGive.

To gather donations from online shoppers, register your organization on these platforms and promote your links to donors. When your donors shop, you get a percentage. It is important to note that organizations may not be able to realistically meet large financial targets or goals through micro-donations, as the rate they get from online shoppers may be a few cents per shopper. Therefore, if the organization requires a larger donation within a short period, then opt for more significant fundraising ideas.

Learn more about ShopRaise and iGive.

10. Virtual Concerts

Virtual Concerts are fun and engaging gatherings where attendees listen to their favorite artists perform. Participants also get the opportunity to meet and interact with new individuals.

To organize this event:

  1. Invite an artist to perform at the concert. You may seek artists who do not mind working at a subsidized rate or for free to support your cause.
  2. Choose a virtual concert hosting platform, such as Show4me. This platform offers marketing, virtual support, and secure payouts.
  3. Promote the event on different social media platforms, and sell tickets at reasonable prices.
  4. Have the artists perform their songs.
  5. Make the event fun and memorable for attendees.
  6. Pay the performers the agreed fee, and put the rest toward your cause.

Another idea is to organize this event and make attendance free. You may then promote your cause to attendees and ask for donations. This method is not guaranteed, as donations depend entirely on how guests feel about the ongoing event. To ensure maximum engagement and higher donations, you should make the event as entertaining as possible. Folks are more likely to donate if they are happy about your concert.

Check out Show4me.

11. Virtual Games Tournament

Virtual Games Tournaments are great online fundraising ideas. In these events, organizations raise funds by selling game tickets to different teams who will play against each other to win a grand prize.

To organize this event:

  1. Choose a platform to host your event, such as Toornament. This platform helps companies manage e-sports organization, participation, presentation, and integration.
  2. Create a list of games and activities the teams will engage in, such as Fortnight or Rocket League. Give a detailed explanation of each activity and the rules so teams can prepare.
  3. Set a date and time, and email invite links to interested teams.
  4. Promote the event on different social media platforms.
  5. Sell tickets at affordable prices. You may even sell different tickets for spectators and teams intending to participate in the tournament.
  6. During the event, teams will compete.
  7. At the end of the event, offer prizes to winners. You may connect with popular companies or celebrities for prize sponsorships.

This event is a great way to create awareness for your cause in front of a large group. Also, these activities can raise funds for a cause within a specific timeline.

Learn more about Toornament.

12. Live Streaming

Live-Streaming Events are great fundraising ideas for companies or organizations with an established large social media presence.

To organize this event:

  1. Choose a date and live-streaming platform for your event, such as Twitch.
  2. Promote and create awareness for the cause you support. For example, post e-flyers on your page with relevant information about the cause or charity. Another great idea is to create video content sharing details about the cause and how the brand intends to support and contribute to it.
  3. Plan exciting events for viewers, like games, talk shows, or art.
  4. During the session, a representative will further discuss the cause and how the participants can support it.
  5. Ensure viewers have access to relevant links so they can donate anytime.

Live-streaming events are a great way to connect to a younger audience and prominently display your cause’s goals.

Check out Twitch.


Online fundraisers are virtual events and activities organizations use to gather money to support their brand or a charity cause. It is important to create awareness and educate your audience on the importance of your cause before seeking donations. Sharing this information ensures your audience can empathize and see the vision behind the set target.

Another essential part of online fundraising is promoting the cause on relevant social media platforms. You can advertise through paid ads, video content, or even have an influencer post on their page. Promoting your fundraiser ensures you can draw in a larger crowd and meet your goals.

Social media plays a large role in online fundraising campaigns. Next up, learn more about using Facebook to grow your audience and using Instagram for team building.

FAQ: Online fundraising ideas

Here are frequently asked questions about online fundraising ideas.

What are online fundraising ideas?

Online fundraising ideas are virtual events and activities organizations use to raise funds for a start-up or charity cause.

What are some good online fundraising ideas?

Some good online fundraising ideas include Live Streaming, Virtual Concerts, and Online Networking Events.

How do you do fundraisers online?

To do fundraisers online, you can follow these steps:

  • Promote your cause on different platforms to reach a wider audience.
  • Set a realistic target and timeline to get donations for the cause.
  • Organize a variety of fun and engaging activities where you can charge attendees a fee for their tickets or seek donations during the event.
  • Use the proceeds from the event to support your cause.

In the digital age, virtual fundraisers are some of the fastest ways to support your community or start a new venture.

written with 💖 by Tasia Duske

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