American Red Cross of Michigan: Bringing a State Together with Virtual Fundraising

For the first time, American Red Cross chapters in the state of Michigan came together to make the shift to virtual fundraising.

After forming a regional alliance, they put their heads together to create a virtual livestream event with mission moments, a silent auction, and donation opportunities for donors across the state of Michigan.

Don’t be afraid of the what-ifs with a virtual event. Across the world, people are looking for ways to help and do something good. We saw that at our event, and because of our success, we are going to turn this virtual event into an annual fundraiser.” Erin Abel

Online Fundraising Activities

Online Fundraising Activities

Ready to take collaborative action, the Michigan chapters of American Red Cross brought their fundraising activities online. These included:

What made this event unique

What Made This Event Unique?

American Red Cross Giving Center

Click above and check out the American Red Cross Giving Center!

American Red Cross, a national organization with the mission to prevent human suffering in the face of emergencies, knew they had to take action in the midst of the pandemic to honor their mission.

The chapters in the state of Michigan proved to be up to the challenge. They gathered an impressive group of sponsors and secured a partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings to have a portion of sales throughout 48 hours benefit their campaign.

On fundraising day, they combined livestream programming with powerful virtual fundraising strategies to drive donor engagement.

Because the campaign was virtual, they were able to reach the entire state of Michigan at every donor level between the 5 chapters’ donor bases.

They made fundraising easy for donors, whether they wanted to support by ordering Buffalo Wild Wings, buy a silent auction package, or simply donate.

Virtual Fundraising Strategies

Virtual Fundraising Strategies

They drove donor engagement and motivation to give with these fundraising strategies:

  • Create a virtual fundraising proposal to communicate plan
  • Bring mission moments and entertainment to programming
  • Make a regional alliance with your fellow national chapters
  • Form partnerships with local or national restaurants
  • Communicate to sponsors their recognition in a virtual world
  • Follow-up to thank donors and sponsors

Best Practices/Lessons Learned

Best Practices and Lessons Learned


Click above to download the American Red Cross one sheeter!

American Red Cross’ virtual fundraising strategies were executed with success! Looking back, here are a few of their lessons learned and best practices:

  • Going virtual reduces expenses with a great ROI
  • Constant internal communication is key when collaborating
  • Execute a donor communication plan with email and social media
  • Communicate fundraising progress during the event
  • Virtual fundraising broadens your donor base
  • Reach out for partnerships
  • Short program: 1 hour



The results were in, and American Red Cross of Michigan’s move to virtual paid off:

  • 122% to Silent Auction Goal
  • 5.5 avg. bids per item
  • $177,000+ in Donations
  • $55,000 via Buffalo Wild Wing’s Partnership
  • $190,000 total raised

Connect with a Cause

You can learn more about American Red Cross and support their mission by visiting their website.

Wrapping Up!

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