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Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Schools are Here to Stay

By Clay Boggess on Jun 26, 2021
Virtual Fundraising Ideas for Schools are Here to Stay

Going online enriches school fundraising strategy while expanding reach

There has been a collective shift in our country, with people feeling more optimistic about moving past the pandemic. In fact, Good News Network reports, “More than 60% of Americans say they feel optimistic that the pandemic will end before 2022, and they’re preparing themselves for a better future.”

A considerable catalyst for this optimism is what the pandemic afforded us in terms of laying the groundwork going forward. Good News Network reports that foundation-building exercises over the last eighteen months have focused on improving health, self-care, and confidence.

Many reevaluated life goals and work-life balance, including revisiting the importance of family and their relationships. Others are seeing new opportunities and reaching greater levels of productivity with the pandemic’s influx of technology-based solutions. In fact, without technology, our pandemic experience would have been decidedly different.

The use of technology for good is here to stay. From transforming the global workforce, to enabling communication and connection, to serving as a conduit for things we used to do in-person – moving into the virtual space has not replaced our physical world. It has instead, extended and enriched it. This has become more evident in our schools than perhaps any other realm.

Virtual Fundraising Helps Schools Handle the Pandemic

75.7% of respondents in a survey by Stanna felt technology became more valuable during the pandemic. And certainly, for schools, creative use of virtual space became a lifeline. Online fundraising ideas for schools was yet another way educators and parents utilized technology to bridge gaps in 2020 and beyond.

Many reviews of Big Fundraising Idea’s online fundraisers mentioned the ease of raising funds online despite the global pandemic, as well as the success they experienced in doing so. As many schools and PTAs continue to face fundraising struggles – cancelling many of the large-scale activities and events that traditionally bring in support – virtual fundraisers during COVID, and after, will help our students prevail.

“We are losing a lot of our normal activities,”… [and] “groups are pondering ways to move to online fundraising,” – Kansas City Star

Read on to get the rundown on our virtual fundraising benefits, how-to’s, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Advantages of Online Fundraising for Schools

With no need for face-to-face sales and inventory handling, virtual fundraising ideas offer several time, efficiency, and health/safety advantages. These concerns, such as a desire for a touchless process and maintaining socially distanced practices, are driving schools to look for fundraising ideas during Covid in place of traditional in-person choices.

With innovative and unique partnerships and products, Big Fundraising Ideas is helping schools and groups get back on their fundraising feet. Some of the main advantages to our programs include:

  1. A completely virtual process – generate sales by inviting people using a personalized link.
  2. No in-person selling or face-to-face necessary!
  3. No start-up costs – signing up a group is completely free.
  4. Larger market – sell to people anywhere in the continental United States.
  5. Easy promotion – our online sales tools make it simple for students to network.
  6. Instant updates – our portal enables the team to see sales progress in real-time.
  7. No paperwork – no order forms to collect or money to count.
  8. No minimums – no minimum order requirements.
  9. No hand delivery – products are shipped directly to the customer.
  10. High earnings – groups earn up to 50% profit on every product sold.
  11. 100% product guarantee – we work directly with buyers to take care of any product issues.

With Big Fundraising Ideas, raising money online is easy. We provide the tools groups need to succeed. Instead of asking for donations door-to-door, students can sell products using the power of the internet, all while being able to reach every friend or family member in the nation and doing so by using modern, day-to-day means of communication.

Not having to take catalog orders in person or coordinate a mass hand-delivery ensures every team can manage a safer, smoother, and socially distant fundraiser.

Getting Started on Your School Fundraiser

Getting started is easy – and free! We provide teams with everything needed to run a successful, completely virtual, fundraiser from start to finish.

Follow these steps for success with Big Fundraising Ideas’ virtual fundraisers:

  1. Consult our blog for some great pointers before getting started.
  2. Look around at our great virtual fundraising ideas for schools.
  3. Sign up your group.
  4. We will send instructions which can be shared with the team and its students.
  5. Students are encouraged to register to access our online sales tools.
  6. Invite friends and family to shop the group’s online store. Students can send invitations using email, social media, and text messages.
  7. Your online store will feature a personalized message at the top with a call to action to purchase.
  8. Track your sales using our real-time progress portal.
  9. Continue promoting your online fundraiser by scheduling and sending periodic reminders to everyone.
  10. Keep the fundraiser open for at least a 2-week period.
  11. Big Fundraising Ideas mails out profit checks within 15 business days of the sale end date.
  12. All items are delivered directly to your buyers, reassuring them, and you, that the process will be efficient and easy!

FAQs Schools Need Answers To

Virtual fundraisers are a great option to enrich, supplement, and support each school or group’s overall fundraising strategy. Yet, some may still be wondering what that process looks like or have more questions. In addition to the plethora of information on our website, below are some of the most popular questions about our online fundraisers.

What are your most profitable products?

Our biggest sellers are popcorn and cookie dough. Flowers are a unique fundraising idea. Can’t pick just one? Groups can offer a large selection of products through a fundraiser like Goodies & Gifts Online. For an in-depth article on virtual fundraising ideas during covid, click here.

Do participants/students need to register?

Registration is the best way to promote an online fundraiser. It is also an effective way to get participants engaged in the cause. As participants register, they will be able to share their unique link using text, social media, and email.

The shareable link takes customers to the online store where that participant’s name appears at the top of the page. This helps make it recognizable to friends and family. For example, “Thank you for supporting John Doe with ABC High School Band!” will be displayed.

Project sponsors can track both individual and group sales progress. Besides dollars raised, sponsors will be able to see the number of social shares and emails sent out by students/sellers.

Getting participants to register is the key to success. Groups can enhance sales by setting individual seller goals based on the team’s needs.

Tip: Wondering how much money you could raise? Use the ‘Calculate Your Profit’ calculator at the top of each online fundraiser page to determine your potential profit.

Teams should be sure to track their fundraiser’s success and remind participants to invite people to the store. This will help participants reach their goal.

Registered participants will also be eligible to earn credit towards prizes. We encourage groups to supplement the prize program we offer with additional incentives of their own.

Can participants earn prizes?

Incentivizing participants can improve sales. We offer two prize program options:

  1. Cash
  2. Traditional

We email the prize flyer before you start, which can then be shared with the group at the kickoff. It is also important that project sponsors continue to promote the prizes throughout the life of the online sale. This will keep the group motivated.

After the sale is over, we add the total cash amount to the group’s profit check. Or, if the team chooses a traditional prize plan, we ship prizes to the group’s address. Prizes arrive packed by seller.

Project sponsors will receive access to sales reports showing their participants’ names and how much they’ve sold. Prizes are shipped with a reference list that matches prizes with participants.

There is no cost to the group for our prize programs.

Do you only work with schools?

No, we work with non-school groups as well. Examples include church groups, sports leagues, and dance organizations.

Can we use more than one store at a time?

No, groups must choose one store. For example, ‘Goodies & Gifts’ cannot be run at the same time as ‘Popcornopolis Online’. However, groups can always run a second online fundraiser after the first one is over. It is always a great idea to plan online fundraisers to coincide with important holidays.


Since 1999, Big Fundraising Ideas has been helping schools nationwide raise millions. Our continued innovation improves student fundraising success, even if that success is achieved a bit differently today. With online fundraising here to stay, ensure your school leverages one of our touchless options in the 2021-2022 school year. You can always find additional suggestions and tips on our website.

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Author Bio Clay Boggess, Author

Clay Boggess has been designing fundraising programs for schools and various nonprofit organizations throughout the US since 1999. He’s helped administrators, teachers, and outside support entities such as PTAs and PTOs raise millions of dollars. Clay is an owner and partner at Big Fundraising Ideas.

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