RIP, Virtual Fundraising Event

Virtual Fundraising Event, 23, died July 25, 2020 in Whynot, North Carolina with 95,400 nonprofit fundraisers by its side. A memorial service was held Tuesday afternoon via Instagram Live, because nobody could figure out how to get it working on WebEx, and our admin was taking a personal day.

Virtual Fundraising Event was born as “Online Crowdfunding Campaign” in 1997, the lovechild of progressive rock band Marillion and the Internet. As a youth, Virtual Fundraising Event moved frequently around the World Wide Web until 2008, when it became entangled in a torrid throuple with MySpace and PayPal. For the next dozen years, it really came of age until the entire flippin’ planet was struck by a highly transmittable, novel respiratory virus.

Virtual Fundraising Event was at its best in spring/summer 2020, where people would use HDMI cables to interface laptops with big-screen TVs in their living rooms so they could see overzealous, poorly prepared event co-chairs streamed live with bad lighting and hokey messages about “wishing we could all be together in person if not for this gosh darn international health crisis.” But people were not dissuaded, because, now more than ever, Nonprofit XYZ really needs financial support, which is why this sacred cow gala event was hastily thrown together on Zoom, accompanied by a cold sandwich delivered (freaky fast) from Jimmy John’s. It had nothing to do with the fact they were lazy with fundraising the first half of the fiscal year.

Though it lived a storied life, Virtual Fundraising Event succumbed to the simultaneous strain of a global pandemic, online meeting fatigue, and the rising cost of in-home Wi-Fi. As it closed its eyes for the last time, Virtual Fundraising Event whispered, “Don’t forget to click the link at the bottom of this page so you can visit our easy-to-use online auction! We have some really great items this year — and if you miss the link, don’t worry, we’ll e-mail it to you several dozen times before the week is over.”

Virtual Fundraising Event is survived by its siblings, DonorPerfect and Facebook Fundraiser. Though estranged, it is also survived by its cousin, Text-to-Give. It was preceded in death by Telethon.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to your favorite charity through their website, with the hope you will cough up the additional 3% to cover the online processing/transaction fee.

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