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Keeping Up with COVID-19, 3/20: Take Your Fundraising Events Online

March 20, 2020, The Association

“One thing is clear,” reveal The Association’s Jim Tedford and Trish Dewald of Phoenix Innovate in their recent blog. “For organizations to remain true to their missions, active fundraising must continue.

We’ve seen many of you thinking out of the box to come up with successful solutions that are raising funds and rallying communities—and many of these entail turning your in-person events into virtual ones. Online auction? Virtual pet walk? Yup, you’re making it happen. Here are some examples from the field and tips and resources to help you get started:

Virtual 5K? Yes Way!
Do you hold an annual dog walk or fun run this time of year? Take it online, just like SPCA Tampa Bay. Last Friday, the Florida agency announced on their Facebook page that they’d be converting their 29thAnnual Pet Walk to a virtual walk, and take a look at the response in just one week, as of this writing:

Note how inviting the OneCause online platform  is (a running tally of donors and funds raised is such an effective impetus!), and the strong, positive way they message their decision and invite participation: “We feel the decision to have our first Virtual Pet Walk is in line with our core values and will keep our community healthy.” Also loving: the description of the event as “online party that raises critical funds.”

Sold To the Dude WFH (working-from-home) in his PJs: Online Auction Platforms
We’ve also seen many organizations recommending platforms for online auctions, another great option for fundraising online that allows mobile bidding:

Bidding for Good: “I have a lot of experience with this platform,” says one Association member. “There’s good support, and lots of reach beyond your current supporters.”

Bidding Owl (free software)

GiveSmart: “So easy, anyone can do it!” says one colleague. Allows for mobile bidding and silent auctions.

You don’t have to stop here—any event you can think of that would allow supporters to sign up, donate, log in, watch and in some cases participate virtually is fair game. Dog and cat fashion show, anyone? Goat yoga? Livestreaming an intimate concert with local musicians playing from their home studios? If anyone can come up with innovation in a time of crisis, the leadership of animal welfare can.

Leave us a comment or email us at and let us know what events your organization has decided to take online.

Additional Resources
Swain Strategies COVID-19 Fundraising Event Toolkit


About The Association
The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement is a cohort of leaders on a mission to champion, advance, and unify the animal welfare profession.

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