3 Tools for Parent Volunteers Hosting Virtual Fundraisers

23 Jul 2021 By Roger Devine

It’s no mystery that students’ parents are busy and virtual tools have made online events easier than ever to host. However, running a virtual event can be tricky, especially if your parent volunteers have never hosted one before. Luckily there is a multitude of helpful tools for running your event as smoothly as possible.

Regardless of if you’re hosting a virtual gala or a silent auction online, there are robust and affordable software platforms your school can invest in for optimal results. This guide will review a few of the best tools for running virtual school fundraisers:

  • Fundraising Thermometer
  • Event-Specific Software
  • Social Media Marketing Tools

From virtual walkathons to live-streamed talent shows, there are a myriad of creative virtual fundraising ideas to keep everyone connected. Don’t let technology be a blocker—use these three tools to boost your next virtual event!

Fundraising Thermometer

Most people would agree that fundraising data isn’t the most exciting part of a fundraiser, but it is crucial to track your progress. Make this process engaging and efficient with a fundraising thermometer! This tool will keep your PTA and your supporters up-to-date on your goal progress.

Fundraising thermometers can motivate your donors with a visual illustration of how far you’ve come in your fundraising progress. For example, if you’re selling cookie dough and you’re close to reaching your fundraising goal, families might be incentivized to buy when they see that just a few more sales would help reach the goal.

But fundraising thermometers can track more than just money. You can also follow specific progress regarding:

  • Participants: The number of people who actually participated. For example, this might be the number of students who competed in a costume contest for your elementary school fundraiser.
  • Contributions: Not all contributions to your fundraiser are monetary. Use a fundraising thermometer to track volunteer hours or the total miles completed in a walk-a-thon event.
  • Tangible impact: Raising money is only step one of achieving your goal. Use a thermometer to track the fundraiser’s impact. For example, you might track the number of new books purchased for your school.

To get started, simply create your thermometer and embed it on your site. Then, ensure the thermometer is updated regularly with the most recent information.

Event-Specific Software

No matter which fundraising idea you pick, there are software solutions to help you out in all areas. For example, auction software can help you choose items for your school auction, set prices, and accept payments. You might host the auction completely virtually, allowing participants to bid from their mobile devices. Here’s what to look for in a mobile bidding tool:

  • Real-time bidding notifications to keep everyone looped in
  • The ability to browse available items
  • Registration and ticketing

Translating your fundraising event to the virtual sphere doesn’t have to be hard, especially when you have robust tools that will do a lot of the work for you. With many profitable school fundraising ideas to choose from, make sure you have the right software to help you reach your goals, whether financially or with attendance numbers.

Social Media Marketing Tools

According to Feathr’s social media strategy tips, the growing number of social media users indicates that social media is an essential part of digital marketing. Your target audience likely follows your school’s pages, so boosting attendance will be easy when you use social media to communicate your message. Consider these best practices as you approach social media marketing for your virtual event:

  • Research your target audience. Before developing content to post, consider who your content will target and what message will appeal to them. For example, your prospect research might reveal members of your audience who are avid sports fans. In turn, you might expect a positive response to a fundraiser for basketball team jerseys.
  • Post content native to the platforms you use. When posting your event content on multiple platforms, make sure you vary the content based on platform best practices. For example, you could post a long-form explainer about your event on Facebook. However, you likely wouldn’t put the full text in an Instagram caption.
  • Create a hashtag to collect event media. Consider developing a hashtag for your event and encourage your attendees to use it. This way, you can see everyone’s photos and videos from your virtual event in one place.
  • Track your social media analytics. Social media is a beneficial tool because it can track your engagement numbers and deliver actionable data. Use this data to see what works and what doesn’t work in your social media strategy to improve ahead of future virtual fundraising events.

Coordinate with your PTA members to develop a posting schedule. This will ensure no information is double-posted. Plus, keeping your team on the same page can help everyone work together to boost awareness about your event.

ABC Fundraising’s idea guide has a plethora of inspiration for unique fundraising campaigns. Whatever your team chooses, it’s sure to be successful when your PTA is equipped with the best tools.

To run a successful school fundraiser online, you’ll need an interesting idea but also robust software tools. Take into account all of the fundraising software you think you’ll need. From there, conduct some research on which can work best for your school, and then put your new tools to work!