Charity game nights are a fun, interactive way to raise funds for an organization. Even if you can’t be in person, the energy and fundraising potential of a game night easily transfers to a virtual setting.
Sometimes, we all want to let loose and have a little fun. Hosting an event that lets people feel like they’re having a night out will get you enthusiastic participants who are grateful to attend.
A virtual game night can be a perfect solution to capture your audience’s attention. However, you want it to be more than a game night – you’re looking for a meaningful way to still raise funds while having fun. You can easily use GiveWP to power your game night and drive donations back to your site. Here’s how to design a virtual game night with fundraising still in mind.
Plan and Promote Your Event
As you’ll do with any virtual event, you’ll need to make a few decisions first about how you’ll be running your virtual game night. Even simple decisions like picking the day and time can have an impact on turnout.
- Are you considering both PST and EST?
- Are you attracting international visitors?
- Do you foresee large conflicts or other obligations to occur during that day/time?
Additionally, make your streaming platform easy to use. While many of us are familiar with Zoom, you could also host your game night right on your own website. As we’ve written about previously, hosting your event on your own website drives traffic and organically boosts your SEO. It also cuts down the hassle of Zoom links, passwords, and permissions.
Plus, since users are already on your site, it’s natural for them to click around and learn more, and your Give WP donation page should naturally earn more clicks.
After your streaming platform is decided, brainstorm what games would work best for your fundraiser. (More advice on game selections below!) Remember, the content streamed and the fundraising goal don’t always have to match.
Once your games are picked, make sure to list the games titles on the invite, so that participants know what to expect. Some people might be shy or uninterested in a long, involved game that’s a mystery. Make sure your invite mentions why this event is important and how donations will work.
After details are determined, it’s all about getting folks to sign up! In addition to making sure your GiveWP form is ready to go and sending the invite out to your current supporters, make sure to share on social media streams, email campaigns, even personal phone calls or texts.
Those personal touches can show a dedication to the event, and a personal invite is often harder to refuse!
Choose Your Games!
Picking what you’ll play together is the most exciting part! Here are a few recommendations to get your night going:
Trivia. A trivia night can be either company or charity oriented, pop culture, or both! Asking questions about your organization or charity can be a fun way to get attendees to learn more about your cause. If you want to draw in people with a variety of interests, you can host small rounds that are each themed around a different topic.
Jeopardy. One way to mix up the standard trivia format is with a Jeopardy board. Jeopardylabs.com easily lets users create their own custom Jeopardy board.
Don’t have the time to build your own set of questions? You can also browse built boards and find one with an accessible level of questions for your group. This tutorial helps show users how to easily set up their Jeopardy game night to start raising funds.
Charades. The game night classic translates surprisingly well in a virtual space. The competitive team format of charades lets participants interact and feel a sense of camaraderie as they shout out their best guesses.
Need ideas for charades topics? Get Charades Ideas keeps generating topics for teams to guess for never-ending fun.
Codenames. If you’re a fan of the popular social game Codenames, good news – there is a free online version. Each game begins with a five-by-five grid of word cards, and one one player from each team is chosen to be the clue-giver. It’s up to the clue-giver to provide hints on which cards are the correct team cards while avoiding the “assassin” card. Each team can view their own board and chat over a live call while they work out their guesses. It’s an interactive and easy-to-learn game that’s great for a crowd!
Jackbox Party Packs. The ever-so-popular Jackbox Games can provide hours of entertainment for a game night. Each party pack contains five unique games for a variety of players.
The great benefit of Jackbox games is that everyone plays along on their smartphone. All that is needed is a host who downloads the games and streams them live. Then players join with a room code and play along using their phone’s web browser. The intuitive play style of each game makes this another low-stakes option for a large group of participants.
Among Us. Among Us has become one of the most popular games to play online for its addictive fun and ease of use. Anyone can join a game from their computer or smartphone. Even famous politicians have played tHe game while livestreaming to raise money for charity.
In Among Us, players work together to uncover who among them is an impostor. Discussions can get heated as accusations fly and crewmates vote each round. If they get it right, they win! If too many crewmates die before the imposter is found, the impostors win!
The game has a free phone app or is very affordable on Steam. Players sync up by joining the same lobby and can chat on a live call, working together to win the game for their team.
While a game night can simply be a fun way to connect with donors, you can’t forget that the goal of the event is to raise funds! Whether the funds will go to support your organization or a charity you are passionate about, there are a few ways you can incentivize giving while gaming.
First, you could consider a small fee for participation. This is the simplest way to monetize your game night. Tying a $5 donation to the event is a passive way to ensure your game night is bringing in some funds, but it might not hit the goal your organization has in mind for the night.
You could also ask participants to sign up with teams and ask each team to fundraise for the event. Taking advantage of peer-to-peer fundraising can help you reach networks beyond your own scope and pull in even more participants.
Teams can even create their own custom GiveWP donation form to drive some competition heading into game night. You can incentivize team donations through prizes for both the team who raises the most and the team who wins the most games.
Another option is to create “tiers” of prizes for winners throughout the night that unlock with certain donation amounts. Want to unlock more games or let participants choose the next round? Make it a donation incentive! You may also place “bets” on who may win game night, and invite others to take part in those odds all for charity! Gamifying the contributions in addition to the gaming will bring another level of fun!
Once the event begins, remind everyone what you are raising money for and lead them to your donation page. Have fun and engage in the content. High levels of engagement show your dedication and passion for your cause, which donors love to see.
Have Fun with Your Virtual Game Night!
To keep the fundraising spirit alive, make sure to promote engagement before, during, and after the game night. Be sure to take screenshots for social media to show the world how stellar your event is and post them to social media or include them in a blog post later on.
At the end of the night, thank your guests for their time and contributions, remind them again of how to donate, and ask if they’d be interested in another charity game night in the future
Fundraising doesn’t have to end once the event is over. Afterwards, use social media channels to talk about the value of the event and how important their contributions are. Work towards planning the next game night! Perhaps your teams or participants want a chance at redemption or a round two. Initializing an ongoing game night for your organization or charity can become your new favorite strategy!
Interested in hosting a game night with the GiveWP donation plugin? Schedule a demo or get started for free now.