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2021 Nonprofit Trends: Virtual Events Are Here to Stay

2021 Nonprofit Trends: Virtual Events Are Here to Stay

Posted on April 7, 2021
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The past year has changed literally everything! We are all adapting to new ways of living and cautiously creating a “new normal!” The new normal is going to have technology at the forefront. This is because only technology can help people across the globe collaborate and work towards common goals.

The global economy has suffered huge setbacks in the past year and is still taking time to recover. The nonprofit sector is also impacted. However, it is heartening to note that more people across the globe are motivated to their bit for the community amid the crisis. Therefore, the nonprofit sector is witnessing more interest and involvement.

It is now time for nonprofits to buckle-up and adapt to the “new normal!”

Events are the mainstay for nonprofits to engage their audience. However, social distancing has put a halt on physical events since 2020. And virtual events have become popular in 2020.

Virtual events are the way ahead for nonprofits in 2021!

When organizing an event virtually, you need to get creative and organize events that engage a larger audience. It is recommended that you study the demographics of the donors for your cause and customize your event according to their interests.

Here’s how nonprofits can strategize virtual events to reach a wide audience:

How to make Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Virtual?

Peer-to-peer fundraising help create a sense of community. Besides they have the potential to generate twice the amount of funds compared to most other digital fundraising initiatives.

One of the best ways to convert existing campaigns into peer-to-peer fundraisers is by asking your donors to set up their own online fundraising pages and linking them through software tools. You can urge your donors to reach out to their friends and social groups to build the community.


Crowdfunding is a traditional form of fundraising that has an integrated online component.

You can create a dedicated crowdfunding page to fund a specific fund with a target amount. This method offers complete transparency, and you can communicate the progress to your donors easily.


During the pandemic era, online videos have experienced a surge in engagement. Nonprofits can create live events on Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or Zoom.

Live-streaming comes closest to a physical event because it offers an opportunity to question and engage with each other.


Webinars help raise awareness and engage the audience digitally. You can organize a series of webinars with specific agendas.

You can start with educating your audience about how to interact and what they stand to gain. You can organize informative webinars with the CEO and interviews, etc. with your donors.

Webinars are quite effective in engaging a wide audience and sharing valuable information.

Virtual Gala

This is an interesting concept of a virtual event where you can organize a fundraiser with the top supporters of your nonprofit. You can invite a speaker to address the group.

You can make it a fun event by organizing a virtual dinner party or luncheon. Decide on a menu and ask the members to cook. The group members can dress up for the virtual dinner party to add a zing! Alternatively, you could organize a theme party.

Such creative ideas make the event engaging for all the members.

Virtual Marathons

Did you think that marathons are impossible in 2021? Think again! Use your creativity to organize virtual marathons!

You can ask the attendees to run outside their homes or on the treadmill on a specific date at a particular time. Make sure to set up an activity goal when all attendees run at the same time on their own. Of course, the attendees must be asked to sign-up for the event and pay a registration fee.

Make it a fundraiser through the race date while tracking their race times. Check out who are members who cross their fundraising and physical finish lines. This a very effective method to engage the participants.

Take it a step ahead by celebrating the members with a live-stream. You can also make the event interesting by inviting someone from your organization to address the group. Help the participants to connect. This will make your event popular because, during the time of self-isolation, people will be looking for an opportunity to connect with other like-minded people.

The same concept can be used to organize a bikeathon or a climbathon. All these activities offer great engagement and are highly effective fundraisers.

Online Charity Auctions

Charity auctions are very popular fundraising events. Fortunately, the concept of online auctions existed even before the pandemic. In 2021, online auctions might almost replace physical auctions until the pandemic comes in control.

An online auction is beneficial as it can engage a global audience. You can use online auction platforms like for an online auction.

Make bidding easy for your audience by setting up a page specifically for listing the items available for bidding. You can compare the bids and organize a fancy event to declare the winners. Events such as webinars, live streams, or Virtual galas are great options for declaring the winners.

Although, the concept of an online auction is simple to implement and offers several benefits, finding quality products for auction might be a challenge this year. This is because of the way businesses are struggling to cope with the present economic situation.

Virtual Conference

Don’t let social distancing hamper your efforts to cultivate a community! You can explore the option of the virtual conference for your purpose.

You could organize a day-long conference with talks, workshops, etc. in which people can dial into events of their choice.

Some examples of the speakers at the conference are members of the Board who can explain about the charity. It is a good idea to ask people who have benefitted from your organization to share their experiences. Experts who are knowledgeable about your cause can be good speakers at a conference.

Conferences may be organized on Zoom. Make sure to make the conference interactive to retain the interest of your audience.

Virtual Bingo/Concerts/Happy Hours

If you are looking to engage a wide audience, it is recommended you try different types of virtual events. This is because the type of audience you attract depends on the type of event you organize. While events like conferences are a little serious in nature, they will attract a specific type of audience events like virtual bingo, virtual concerts, or virtual happy hours are fun events that attract a very different type of audience.

While such events are organized virtually through Zoom, etc. they give the audience a feeling that they are getting out of their homes and having a night of fun.

Gaming Fundraisers

Gaming has become an extremely popular form of entertainment during the pandemic.

Virtual gaming can be used effectively for fundraising in different ways. For instance, you can engage popular gamers and Livestream their game. They can point viewers towards your fundraising campaigns.

Gaming can also be used to cultivate community by organizing a competition between teams. organizing such tournaments helps in fundraising. You can have local businesses sponsor gifts for winners of such tournaments.

These are some ideas of the types of virtual events you can organize. However, technology has made it easy to innovate and create more variations in virtual events.

An event management platform simplifies the process of organizing events. It is recommended that you choose a platform that offers you several features to give you the flexibility to add variations in your virtual event.

iConnectX is just the perfect platform for organizing any virtual event. This platform has been used for organizing events for nonprofits for several years. Therefore, it already has some of the essential features required for such events. Besides, at iConnectX, we are persistently updating the platform with new features to enhance the user-experience through events.

Connect with iConnectX to create events that will delight your audience!