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How To Run A Virtual Trivia Night Fundraiser For Your Nonprofit

Candace Cody
Candace Cody

As quarantining and social distancing drag on, basically everyone in the country wants fun ways to connect with their communities. As a fundraiser, that desire is something that you can use to tailor your events and fundraising strategies. And we have the perfect idea: host a virtual trivia night fundraiser.

Choosing fundraising events that make people feel like they’re having a night out will get you enthusiastic participants who are grateful to attend.

Intrigued? Keep reading to find out how you can put on a virtual trivia night fundraiser and make it wildly successful!

How Do I Run A Virtual Trivia Night?

One of the best parts of a virtual trivia night fundraiser is that it’s actually really easy to do and costs you basically nothing to set up. 

The steps are pretty simple:

1. Plan Your Event + Get Participants On Board

As with planning any virtual event, you’ll want to make a couple of decisions about how you’ll be running your virtual trivia night fundraiser before you start sharing the deets with everyone. 

  • Pick a date and time. 
  • Choose the streaming platform you’d like to use (Zoom works great). 
  • Decide if people will be playing in teams, as individuals, or if you’ll assign them randomly to teams (this is truly diabolical). 

Then it’s all about getting folks on board to play! You’ll want to use all your marketing savvy to get your audience + supporters signed up to participate in the trivia night. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Start with loyal supporters: that might be your Board of Directors, super volunteers, or people who have benefited from your programs.
  • Make sure your current donors know that they can fundraise too.
  • Share on social media! Some supporters may not be able to donate, but could fundraise for you.
  • Share the word through email so that your whole community gets involved.
  • Make a few strategic phone calls to some of your top supporters. They’ll be pleasantly surprised and you may get a few new fundraisers.

Trivia lends itself well to cute names, fun graphics, or sample questions on social media to get people interested. If you’re feeling worn out by a long year, this is a great chance to have some fun.

2. Pick Your Trivia Night Questions

This is one of the most fun parts. There are a few strategies to picking questions, and you can choose the one you like best. 

Themed trivia can be great if you share in advance what the theme is (Harry Potter trivia is always popular). 

But if you want to draw in people with a variety of interests you can make the questions completely random or have small rounds that are each themed (one of my favorite trivia companies has themes for every five questions). 

If you know anything about the people who are playing, throw in a few questions that will really draw them in. If you’re an autism organization and you’ll be hosting families affected by autism, include a question about the diagnosis.

virtual-trivia-night-fundraiser-campaign

Oak Hill School ran a trivia night back when we could host things in person, and raised over $70,000 their first year, and over $85,000 their second year.

3. Run The Game

Ok, here’s where people have the most questions, but it doesn’t have to be super complicated. Zoom is the best option for trivia because you can put people into breakout rooms (and you can even assign breakout rooms in advance if people are registering as teams). Once people enter the Zoom room, split them into breakout rooms with their teams.

Now you can read out the questions from the first round and have each group send you their answers in the chat.

Take the time to score everyone’s answers and bring them back to the main room so you can announce scores and answers. 

Keep going until you’ve finished all the rounds you want to play. You’re done!

How Do I Turn a Virtual Trivia Night Into A Fundraiser?

So now you know how to make the trivia happen, but what part of this is a fundraiser? There are a few options to monetize a trivia night, so let’s take a look.

1. Charge A Trivia Night Entry Fee

First, you can charge participants to sign up to participate and charge a fee for participation. This is the simplest way to monetize your trivia night fundraiser, but it also means that you’re not going to be bringing in tons of revenue unless you get dozens and dozens of teams.

virtual-trivia-night-fundraiser-teams

You can use CauseVox’s registration system to take ticket fees (and set up multiple ticket levels). That brings us nicely to the next piece: asking your teams to be peer-to-peer fundraisers.

registration fee

2. Ask Trivia Night Participants To Fundraise As A Team + Incentivize Fundraising

Ask participants to sign up with teams and create a fundraising page for the evening. This is where the real fundraising power is: activting your community to fundraise on your behalf.

Typically, organizations that use peer-to-peer fundraising raise 2x as much as those that don’t, and you can bank on your community to reach networks of people you never would have reached otherwise.

virtual-trivia-night-fundraiser-peer-to-peer-fundraising-page

You can incentivize fundraising with advantages and prizes: maybe they get a free point for raising a certain amount, or receive an alcohol delivery the night of the event. 

CauseVox makes it so easy for participants to sign up and create their fundraising page all at the same time, with almost no work at all.

A great example of this is The Gauntlet. The Gauntlet happened back when we could see each other in person and was a table top gaming contest, but their model could easily be applied to virtual trivia. Top teams got advantages in the competition. The language they used to describe it was pretty dang cute too:

virtual-trivia-night-fundraiser-incentives

“Teams of four, from local community groups and games industry businesses, will raise donations for El Centro de la Raza. These donations will unlock power-ups to aid them as they compete in a series of table top games to win glory, and victoriously hoist the Gauntlet!”

Consider creating power ups for your event to incentivize fundraisers to meet their goals.

Get Started with CauseVox

Want to try your own virtual trivia night fundraiser?

CauseVox makes it easy for you to run all elements of the event, from registration to donations, helping you raise more with less effort in this uncertain time.

Even better, CauseVox’s Basic Plan is free to help support all nonprofits during this pandemic.

Get started today for free with CauseVox.

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