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Virtual Fundraiser

How to Host a Virtual Fundraiser

Bring your network together to support Playtime children!

Little girl smiling

Have a direct impact on families experiencing housing insecurity in Washington, DC and Prince George's County, while bringing more recognition to the barriers children and families face in the shelter system, by hosting a small virtual event for your friends.



Event Goals and Impact

  • Increase knowledge of barriers children and families face in the shelter system, the role of systemic racism in housing insecurity and COVID-19 crises, and advocacy opportunities;
  • Communicate your commitment to the local community and your values to your network, including family, friends, employees, and clients;
  • Introduce Playtime to a new audience of passionate people, cultivating their interest in our work—this might result in donations during the event or after.

How to Get Started

  • Decide what kind of virtual event you’d like to host. Brunch, happy hour, town hall, small discussion groups—Be creative!
  • Confirm and discuss your idea and date with Playtime staff so we can make a plan to support you and attend.
  • Choose a virtual platform to host your event (e.g., Zoom, Skype, Teams, etc.). You may want to do some research about the technology and practice using it, so you’re comfortable with it well before the event. Playtime staff can help you.
  • Craft your guest list. When creating the guest list, consider your entire network of family, friends, colleagues, and connections: Who would be passionate about Playtime families and willing to contribute—their ideas, expertise, connections, time, or support? The goal is to introduce Playtime to new people who care about children and families experiencing housing insecurity in their area.
  • Set your date and invite your guests!
    • Giving them appropriate notice, send an invitation to your virtual event. Consider if email, evite, phone call, paper invites, or some combination is the best way to get your friends to come. Playtime will provide you with language explaining our mission and the event program. Give guests explicit instructions for “attending” the virtual event, making it as easy as possible for your guests to login.
    • Ask for RSVPs and make phone calls to confirm your guest list two to three days before the event.
  • Give guests explicit instructions for “attending” the virtual event, making it as easy as possible for your guests to login and donate.
  • Coordinate with Playtime staff to plan the event program. Best practice says virtual events should be around 30 minutes. 
    • Consider if and how Playtime staff should participate and any time you'd like for discussion and/or questions.
    • Decide how you'd like the event to end—will you ask for donations?
  • Throw your event! A day or two afterward, debrief with Playtime staff and follow-up with attendees, thanking them for attending and linking them to Playtime’s website and other information.

Promotional Materials

Girl painting

Below are resources you can use to help promote your virtual fundraising event. has a great selection of templates to create your own promotional materials!

For more information about hosting a Playtime virtual event, please contact Stephanie Holladay, Development Director, at