5 Steps to Host an Online Fundraiser

Live events are a great way for charitable organizations to build communities and network with loyal donors. However, many nonprofits feel burdened by the time and money required to host traditional in-person fundraisers.

Instead, many organizations are turning to online fundraisers to raise money for causes. Online registration platforms like SignMeUp have made it easier than ever to connect with supporters and boost funding to new heights.

With online fundraisers you can:

  • Save on the cost of live events
  • Make it convenient for donors to give
  • Generate extra funds and meet financial goals quickly
  • Simplify marketing
  • Complement live events with an online presence
  • Collect seasonal or holiday donations easily

5 Steps to Host an Online Fundraiser

1. Define the purpose of the fundraiser

As with your in-person events, you’ll need to answer a critical question for your donors: “Why should I get involved?” Clearly explain the purpose of your fundraiser, the goals of your organization or project, and how the funds will be used to carry out your vision.

2. Create online registration form

On your online registration form, write a title and description to describe the goals of your fundraiser. Use emotional language and storytelling to build a compelling narrative to attract donors.

Even though online fundraisers do not occur at a particular place and time, you should set deadlines that align with the goals of your campaign. Make sure to give yourself enough time between the end date of your online fundraiser and when you’ll need the funds.

When hosting an online fundraiser, many organizers make the mistake of not suggesting a donation amount. Studies have shown that, while asking for a specific donation amount does not increase individual donations, it does increase participation and generate more funds overall. Try setting a suggested amount that is slightly higher than what you expect the average participant will donate to maximize your return.

3. Promote your form

When it comes to marketing, you should treat your virtual fundraiser like any other event. Once your form is completed, share your fundraiser on social media, email, and your website.

If applicable, contact local news outlets and send a press release about your online fundraiser. This works particularly well if your fundraiser is tied to an urgent project with high visibility in your community.

4. Involve your community

Engage loyal supporters in your marketing efforts. Ask contributors to spread the word via social media and email. Request testimonials to demonstrate the value of your cause and efforts.

To expand your social influence, try running contests and offering incentives to generate word of mouth.

5. Say thanks and show results

Through SignMeUp’s online registration platform, you can send emails automatically to thank contributors for donations. Expressing gratitude is an important step to building a long-lasting relationship, particularly with new supports who’ve participated in your online event.

At the end of the online fundraiser, send a general thank you to your entire community via email, social media, and your website. Share any results or plans for funds as soon as possible. Demonstrating the impact of the funds raised shows accountability and reassures donors that they’ve contributed to a worthy cause.


Make your next fundraiser a success with SignMeUp

Collect payments and registrations for any event—live or online—with SignMeUp’s easy, all-in-one registration platform. Start for free today.

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