COVID-19 Guide to Virtual Nonprofit Fundraisers

online nonprofit fundraiser planning

No doubt, economic times are tough due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonprofit organizations that rely on in-person fundraisers are especially hard hit due to the Coronavirus regulations that discourage in-person gatherings. Despite this challenge, we believe money is still flowing into the charitable organizations. Charitable, 401 (c)(3) corporations do so much good for the community. People continue to support their favorite causes. Even if they can’t run a race, walk a 5K, or bid at an auction, many supports are still willing to donate. An online nonprofit fundraiser is a worthwhile alternative to consider.

In this article, Bill Koehne of Packerland Websites and Joan Koehne of Writer to the Rescue share ideas regarding digital/traditional media promotions to make your online nonprofit fundraiser a success. In related articles, we list 12 virtual fundraising services that make money and tips for conducting virtual nonprofit fundraisers. We are happy to collaborate, so contact us with your fundraising vision. We’ll open our tool chest of marketing strategies listed below, and find the right approach that leads to a successful online nonprofit fundraiser.

Add Fundraising Page to Your Website

Create a fundraising page on your website that explains the benefits of giving and includes a donation button. Share the page URL via your organization’s social media channels. Add a pop-up and/or advertisement and Donate Button to your website’s Home page for one-time and year-round giving. We can help you determine the best marketing strategy, give direction and assist with page development.

Create a Media Release/Ad

Create a media release and advertisement and send these to the local news outlets asking for free publication. Ask your sponsors to share the releases with their contacts. We can write and format media releases to industry standards and create attention-getting, educational, attractive ads with a clear call to action.

Publish and Distribute an e-Newsletter

Publish the ad/media release and photos in the organization’s newsletter, if you have one. Ask your sponsors to share the newsletter with their contacts. We can compile information, write, format, and publish newsletters that reinforce the organization’s brand and promote the fundraiser.

Launch an email marketing campaign

Launch an email marketing campaign through Constant Contact or another provider, using email addresses on file for potential and past donors. Be sure to send a thank you email as a follow-up. Ask your sponsors to share the email blast with their contacts. We can craft email marketing campaigns that encourage the audience to open, read, and give.

Implement Social Media Campaigns

social media campaign for online nonprofit fundraisers

If your organization has a Facebook page, it only takes a few clicks to create a Fundraiser. Promote the fundraiser in posts, videos, testimonials, image, etc. Publish on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. if applicable. Ask your organization’s members to share posts on their personal pages. Ask your sponsors to share the posts on their social media sites. Add a donate button to social media pages. We currently manage Facebook accounts for several clients, publishing bi-weekly posts along with images, slide shows, photo albums, videos, events, etc.

Send Direct Mail to Your Address List

Send a simple, attractive flier to the contacts on your address list. Include an easy-return envelope. Ask your sponsors for the addresses they are entitled to share. We can write promotional messages for nonprofit fundraiser fliers. We collaborate with a local printer for final design, printing, and mailing.

Conduct an Online Auction

Virtual auction services are available to display prizes, register bidders, manage an auction, and collect secure payments. You would be responsible for soliciting prizes from sponsors, taking and publishing photos of the prizes, writing descriptions, setting opening bids, delivering the prize, etc. Auctions make money. However, the set-up, promotional campaign, and follow-up require time and effort.
We can assist with all aspects of an online auction.

Solicit Donors for Matching Gifts

Invite a major donor to match the gifts you collect. In return, you mention the donor in promotions. Encourage employees to request a matching gift from their employers. We can write compelling letters to donors telling a nonprofit organization’s story, the purpose of the fundraising campaign, and how the donor can make a difference.

Find Success with Your Online Nonprofit Fundraiser

Nonprofit fundraising is challenging during the best of times, and the COVID-19 pandemic adds a new twist. Transitioning from an in-person fundraising event to an online nonprofit fundraiser is a strategy worth considering. For assistance with marketing strategies that lead to successful online nonprofit fundraisers, contact Bill at or Joan (AKA, the Wonder Writer) at