10 Virtual Fundraising Campaign Ideas for the Coronavirus Lockdown

WRITTEN BY Kristina Brunnler

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a massive shift in the day-to-day operations of nonprofits across the country. You’re likely wondering how your nonprofit is going to continue fundraising for your mission during this uncertain time. If your mission isn’t directly related to coronavirus, it may be tricky convincing donors your cause still needs funds right now. Supporters are likely stressed enough as it is, but don’t be discouraged. Many MobileCause customers have either launched a campaign in response to the pandemic or adapted their existing campaign strategy. Here are ten campaigns nonprofits are currently running that you can incorporate into your fundraising strategy.

10 Virtual Fundraising Campaign Ideas

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1. Device Drive

If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic as a society, it’s that technology and internet access is essential to our everyday life. If you work for a University or K-12, some of your students won’t have access to remote learning. Allow supporters to donate their used equipment or submit donations online.


2. Donations (Specific To COVID-19 Victims)

If you’re in the human services sector, chances are your beneficiaries need your help now more than ever. Your regular services, such as food drives or housing, are essential right now, as many Americans are being furloughed or laid off. Starting a fundraising campaign specific to COVID-19 relief will allow you to appeal to supporters who are likely grieving their own loss as well.


3. Digital Happy Hour

Many nonprofits offer a free digital happy hour to support local food and beverage workers displaced by COVID-19. Attendees learn how to make cocktails from home while texting in donations and questions about workers in need.


4. Drive-Through Testing

Nonprofits that provide free or low cost healthcare to low income individuals are offering drive-through coronavirus testing. Those who believe they may have contracted COVID-19 can register for testing without having to visit a hospital.

Christ Community Health Services Coronavirus Virtual Fundraising Campaign Ideas

5. Pajama Ball / Virtual Gala / Etc.

There’s no reason to cancel your upcoming gala, luncheon, or other formal event simply because you can’t meet with supporters in person. With Facebook and YouTube Live, you have the ability to broadcast your event to “attendees.” Incorporate a live Q&A session so attendees can participate by texting in their questions to guest speakers. Participants can watch your presentation from the comfort of their homes, without needing to get dressed up and drive across town. One upside to a virtual gala, your organization saves money on overhead costs.

Virtual Fundraising Campaign Ideas Pajama Ball

6. Travel Funds

As universities begin holding classes online, students were forced out of on-campus housing. Some universities are even raising donations to provide funds for students to travel back home.

NCAT Alumni Coronavirus Virtual Fundraising Campaign Ideas for Students

7. COVID-19 Information

If your nonprofit is in the religious or education sector, your supporters may be looking to you as a reliable source of information. Provide supporters with a free fact sheet or a blog post.

Christian Broadcasting Network - Virtual Fundraising Campaign Ideas

8. Virtual Run/Walk

If you had an athletic event scheduled you can always convert that event into a virtual one. Have participants pledge a specific amount of miles they plan to run or walk on their own.


9. Emotional Support

One of the easiest ways to help your supporters is by being there for them. Elderly individuals especially may be isolated from friends and family. Nonprofits are dedicating an hour of the day to prayer or offering free phone-in services for those alone in quarantine.


10. Guided Learning

With schools out of session many parents are struggling to balance their children’s education and their own jobs. Some organizations are offering virtual guided learning sessions for free.

Youth in Arts Coronavirus Virtual Fundraising Campaign Ideas

Need assistance pivoting your in-person fundraising event into a virtual one?
Request a consultation from one of our Fundraising Experts

If you had a fundraising campaign scheduled during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s likely you’ll need to adjust your fundraising message. Consider how your beneficiaries have been impacted by the pandemic and how you can support them while still staying sensitive to current developments. These are just a few ways your nonprofit can wish supporters well during this trying time while still continuing your good work.

Stay safe, healthy and best of luck with your campaigns!

Kristina Brunnler
Marketing Manager


Our goal at MobileCause is to help nonprofit organizations create and manage successful digital fundraising campaigns, raise more money and retain donors longer. Request a free demo with one of our fundraising experts to learn, step by step, how MobileCause can simply help set up your campaigns while transforming your results.

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