Over recent years, the approach to fundraising and donations has been inching steadily towards digital, particularly through online payments and mobile technology. Here at Donater we’ve talked a lot about how our society was already going cashless, and the coronavirus pandemic has pressed the fast-forward button.
Shops re-opened but were asking for card payments only, preferably contactless. Restaurants and pubs are due to re-open in the coming weeks, and again many are requesting that orders are made using mobile apps and paid using contactless means of payment by card or mobile. People are swapping coins and notes for Apple and Google Pay.
What else has COVID-19 accelerated?
But it’s not just digital payments that Covid-19 has accelerated – Everything has been taken online, from fundraising events to reaching out to the lonely.
At a time when charities saw a surge in demand whilst simultaneously struggling financially, they were forced to be creative with their approach to fundraising and fostering supporter relationships amid this isolated atmosphere.
As with almost everything during the Covid-19 lockdown, fundraising had to be moved to an online world as we surrendered to and navigated a new normal. More traditional means of fundraising were halted amid lockdown regulations and social-distancing rules.
Out of this came innovative strategies to utilise social media, websites and email to connect with their donors and keep fundraising alive.
So, how can understanding isolation help charities fundraise online?
Charities such as Age UK are only too familiar with the loneliness and isolation felt by many across the country. For an elderly person living alone, a conversation with a neighbour at the garden gate or the small talk exchanged at a cash desk paying for shopping are the only human interactions they might get on a weekly basis.
Suddenly, the entire population were thrown into the same situation. Conversations over the fence with neighbours and talking to the shop assistants doing the weekly shop for essentials suddenly became lifelines in a world of lockdown and isolation.
What is it that everyone was missing? Face-to-face contact, a feeling of community, a sense of belonging. These are the areas that charities could tap into for their online fundraising initiatives.
Charity organisation Guide Dogs, as mentioned by Charity Digital in their article, are an excellent example of this. Usually the charity would host an in-person tea party fundraiser for their supporters to enjoy. Of course, this wasn’t able to go ahead during Covid-19 so they moved the event online. Supporters were instead encouraged to share a photo of them enjoying a tea-party at home, and with over 4 thousand individual entries, they ended up setting a new Guinness world record for a virtual tea party. The online realm became the ideal venue for people to come together and support each other virtually.
Isolation inspired fundraising campaigns
The whole country have been unexpectedly thrust into a world which enabled us to feel empathy for others on a whole new level. And this new-found empathy and thirst to help those around us that were less fortunate brought out an extraordinary surge of community spirit and generosity. This led to an increase in consumer-led fundraising where people have been more likely to set up their own fundraising campaigns online to raise money for charity and good causes.
Fundraising ideas through lockdown
- Exercise – Solo running and other daily exercise challenges, for example ‘Run 5, Donate 5, Nominate 5’
- #TwoPointSixChallenge – An online alternative to the London Marathon encouraging supporters to do 26 of something to raise money for their chosen charity, resulting in over £11m raised
- Online Auctions – An opportunity to raise money online through all kinds of creative means, from selling artwork to once-in-a-lifetime experiences
- In Memory Fundraising – This an area of growth, where social media platforms and websites have offered people a way of fundraising in memory of someone at a time when traditional funerals haven’t been possible
- Online Gaming – Raising money through live streaming of gaming events, for example Comin Relief’s Dungeons and Dragons live stream with famous faces raising £33K.
As we’ve commented in previous articles, the absence of cash or in this case face-to-face interaction doesn’t mean that the want to donate isn’t there. People want to give and to help if they can, particularly during a global pandemic.
The Covid-19 crisis has presented many challenges for charities, and whilst we know that we’re not through them yet, it has also provided an extraordinary opportunity for online development and growth.
It has always been our passion here at Donater, to utilise technology to do good and bring about real change for those in need through online and mobile payment technology for donations. It is our hope that charities and donors alike continue to embrace this ‘new normal’ we are entering and utilise all the innovative online solutions we’ve welcomed throughout the last few months.
If you would like more information on Donater’s innovative smart stickers and how they could help your charity or non-profit organisation take fundraising online, head to our website or get in touch with us today on 01962 670190. Where could you place our smart stickers to create a digital donation box?
Thank you to Charity Digital for the inspiration behind this article.