How to Accept Donations During (and After) Virtual Events

October 25, 2021
9 minutes

Your virtual event is coming up, and you. Are. Ready. You’ve perfected every detail and promoted the heck out of it. Now, you can sit back, relax, and watch the money roll in—right?

Not so fast. Even if you’ve booked the talent, finessed the flow, and filled a digital stadium for your upcoming event, your work is not yet done. The most important piece remains: accepting those donations.  

To do that, you need (drumroll please) …an online donation form! This magical form’s whole raison d’être is to make it easy for donors to give directly from whatever device they’re using—and if you want to keep the donations rolling in, you’ll want to make the giving process as smooth as possible during your event. Fortunately, with Funraise on your side, you can go big or go simple—or choose something in between. Let’s review your options and find the best one for your nonprofit’s needs (and wallet).

Level 1: Accepting donations on your website

Every single Funraise customer can create a branded donation form that embeds directly into their website. That means all you need to do is set up an account, and you can have a snazzy donation form for your donors in 15 minutes flat. Our donation forms plug right into WordPress and work with all major hosting platforms. During your event, you just need to remind guests to head to your site and click that “donate” button.

Need a bit more information about online donation forms? Get everything your nonprofit needs to know about online donation forms.

Level Up: Accept donations on a separate campaign site

For a major event, you want to make an impact, and for a major virtual event, a standalone campaign site gets the job done. One of Funraise's favorite features is the fully optimized campaign site editor, which makes creating separate campaign sites a snap. Build a site that matches your event theme, weave in some compelling stories, and add a real-time progress meter or donation feed to up the excitement (and donations) during your event. Then, direct your attendees to your super-impressive event hub for all their giving needs. Another bonus: you don’t need to log on at 5 AM the next morning to revert your main site back to normal post-event.

Ultimate Level: Embed the livestream on your event's campaign site

You’ve got an awesome campaign site, but you really want to go big for your virtual event. We’ve got you: how about letting people tune into the event on your site rather than on YouTube or Facebook? Funraise lets you embed your event livestream on the same page as your donation form for a polished, streamlined fundraising experience. Guests will be able to see each donation coming in in real time as you work towards your fundraising goal. Pretty exciting stuff! The best part? Funraise makes it as easy as copying and pasting in the campaign site editor.

The Small Print: Tips and Tricks for Accepting Online Donations

Once you’ve polished your online donation form to perfection, ensuring anyone and everyone can give quickly and easily during your virtual event, it’s time to consider the rest of the donation experience. Here are a few of our top tips and tricks for optimizing donations for your virtual event.

Strike a match.

Matching gifts are a triple-win (win-win-win!) for donors, corporations, and nonprofits. And in the hectic world of nonprofit fundraising, an integration with Double the Donation requires no extra effort from you. So, get out there and double your donations by reminding your event attendees that their employer may offer a matching gift program.

Get social.

The bigger your social presence, the bigger your potential revenue. Social media allows you to cast a wide digital net by engaging with current donors and connecting with new ones. Be sure to share your nonprofit’s social media profiles (and maybe your event hashtag if you’re really #winning) before and during the event. Additionally, ask all your speakers and attendees to share the campaign and their event experience on their own social media.

Ask and you shall receive.

If you think your fundraising is over once your attendees log off, think again. Events are exciting, people get distracted, and a lot of folks simply forget to donate, then assume they missed the window. You want those donations! So, follow up afterward, reminding those that didn’t give that it’s not too late.

Seal the deal.

Post-event, your number one goal is to make sure every attendee feels appreciated. Send a live recording of the event, a thank you for attending, and an update on how much you’ve raised so far. And remember: new donors are much more likely to give again if they get a personalized thank you right away, so don’t dawdle with the follow-up.

Keep the good times rolling.

After an event, you have a rare opportunity to engage with a group of people who have already proven their commitment to your cause. Take advantage of that! When you follow up, keep the momentum going by letting everyone know about your next campaign or event. Worried about donor burnout? Fear not! Your donors are invested in your success, so balance any new asks with a focus on the impact of their past donations. And, of course, double down on the donor appreciation.

So there you have it: a winning recipe to make your virtual event into a donation powerhouse! If you get that (Funraise-perfect) donation form up and running, grow your donor network, and don’t forget to follow up, you’ll keep those donations coming—even after the screen goes black.

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