Inspirational Events for A Cause: Case Studies of Virtual Event Fundraisers

October 15, 2020

Disclaimer: This post is reflective of our company while under the name Pledgeling and the listed information may be outdated. Please refer to our main company website on Pledge for current information and resources.

Virtual events are here to stay and, now through Pledgeling, any virtual event can easily become a fundraiser to support causes you care about.

Here are a few examples of recent virtual event fundraisers, powered by Pledgeling, including:

  • Laugh Aid Comedy Livestream,
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High Live Table Read,
  • Taraji P. Henson's Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation,
  • Ringo Starr's Big Birthday Show,
  • CoachArt's first virtual gala, and
  • Discovery's Turn Up campaign on the Food Network.

Laugh Aid Comedy Livestream in Support of Comedy Gives Back

Comedy Gives Back's "LAUGH AID" livestream event attracted 2.5 million unique viewers, streamed over eight hours of much needed laughter, and raised over $350k in donations for its COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. Over 90 comedians, including Jimmy Fallon, Howie Mandel, Ray Romano, Whitney Cummings, and Adam Sandler, generously participated and funds raised supported fellow comedians affected by COVID-19.

"It was wonderful to participate in LAUGH AID. It's such a worthy cause with so many caring funny people helping other caring funny people who have been affected by COVID-19. I look forward to the day when we won't need this event ever again, but always ready to help those in need in unforeseen, incredibly tough times."

-Bob Saget, Comedian

Donations to Comedy Gives Back emergency crisis relief fund provide immediate relief to stand-up comics who have lost work and income due to COVID-19 related shutdowns.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High Live Table Read Supporting Community Organized Relief Efforts (CORE)

CORE founder, Sean Penn, gathered with Shia LeBoeuf, Julie Roberts, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston & many more familiar faces for a Fast Times at Ridgemont High live table read. The reading of the 1982 film was organized to raise money for coronavirus relief efforts by CORE and drew more than 4 million viewers across Facebook, TikTok, and LiveXLive, a music and streaming platform.

CORE saves lives and strengthens communities impacted by or vulnerable to crisis. Their life-saving programs revolve around building healthier and safer neighborhoods to mitigate the scale of devastation caused by the disaster. Donations support the local communities CORE works in, providing free COVID-19 testing and essential resources to vulnerable populations.

Taraji P. Henson’s Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation

Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation uses Pledgeling to power donations through an embedded donation form on their website and through text to donate. Taraji promotes the call to action during her many live (and virtual) appearances, such as Live with Kelly and Ryan and The Late Late Show with James Cordon! The donation call to action is also promoted via social channels and dedicated emails, mobilizing and engaging their donors and followers.

Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation was named in honor of Ms. Henson’s father, who suffered from mental health challenges as a result of his tour of duty in the Vietnam War. They fight for mental health support in urban schools, to reduce the prison recidivism rate, and to increase the number of African-American therapists. Donations to BLHF will go towards providing resources to increase mental health services in communities of color across the country.

Ringo Starr’s Big Birthday Show Supporting The Lotus Foundation

Ringo’s star-studded 80th birthday bash was an hour of peace, love and rock & roll and featured friends like Paul McCartney, Sheila E., Gary Clark, Jr., Ben Harper and many more. Over $100K was raised in one hour in support of organizations near and dear to Ringo’s heart: The David Lynch Foundation, Black Lives Matter, Heal the Healers Now, MusiCares, and WaterAid. Because mobile messaging is specific to US donors, international donations were supported using the custom URL, and donation forms were supported with additional currencies.

CoachArt’s Salute to Coaches Gala

CoachArt engaged Pledgeling to power donations during its first virtual gala, Salute to Coaches, which raised 2x more in 30 minutes than their previous virtual fundraiser and was their biggest virtual fundraising event to date.

“CoachArt’s first livestream gala using Pledgeling included ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro to honor our volunteer coaches and raised over $100k in only 30 minutes to support our free arts and athletics coaching for kids impacted by chronic illness -- almost double what we’ve raised in our previous livestream gala!”

- Greg Harrell-Edge, CoachArt Executive Director

CoachArt creates a transformative arts and athletics community for families impacted by childhood chronic illness. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, they’re using online products to continue to offer free arts and athletics programming to families impacted by chronic illness and to give their community new opportunities to make a difference.

Discovery, Inc.’s Turn Up Campaign Supporting No Kid Hungry

Turn Up! Fight Hunger is a partnership between No Kid Hungry and Discovery, Inc. to help provide one billion meals to kids living with hunger in the U.S. over the next five years. Their movement reaches audiences through beloved brands like Food Network, HGTV, TLC, Investigation, Discovery, and more, and enables consumers to Turn Up and fight hunger through donations, all powered by Pledgeling via text to donate and a dedicated website. Donations are promoted across networks, in social media, and through partnerships.

No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger through effective programs that provide kids with the food they need. Millions of vulnerable children are losing the healthy meals they depend on as the coronavirus closes schools nationwide. Donations will help feed children in need during the crisis and in the months ahead.