Social distancing is likely to be in place for the foreseeable future, and as such charities and businesses alike will need to adopt new technology, be innovative in their fundraising strategies utilising online methods, and strive to continue to keep charity awareness alive and donations coming in.
Lockdown has taught us a lot about how quickly we can adapt to change – Many charities and other organisations have modified their processes and transformed into businesses that can successfully operate online.
As Charles Darwin famously said:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
And this rings true for businesses as well – Those that will survive this pandemic are the ones that are willing to revolutionise the way they operate and embrace online and mobile technology.
How can charities fundraise virtually to boost much-needed donations?
We live in a world where it’s extraordinarily easy to share our story with family, friends and strangers through the internet – Websites, social media platforms, and live videos are just some of the ways people can engage with others from around the globe.
This ‘Age of Experience’ as the experts call it, enable us to immerse ourselves in the authentic experiences of others as well as sharing our own. And perhaps this is why, despite coronavirus having a somewhat catastrophic effect on charities and events industries, that innovation in these trying times can lead to great things. Despite the physical separation of lockdown and continued social distancing, various charities proved that it was still possible to fundraise successfully through mass participation.
Here are our 5 top tips to virtually fundraise in this post-Covid world.
- Get your running shoes on.
Lockdown saw a whole host of sporty initiatives to kick-start fundraising and get donations sprinting in. People across the country started cycling in their living rooms, ran marathons in their back gardens and really got behind mass participations like the ‘5’ challenge (Run 5K, Donate £5, tag 5 friends to do the same). Not only did it give people something to do to escape the boredom of being stuck at home, it also let them get competitive with friends comparing their times. With online apps such as Strava and Fitbit, this is an easy bit of friendly rivalry that you can evoke in your supporters and encourage donations from current and new donors. Sports are always a popular fundraising strategy, and lockdown conditions have proved that they can still be successful through online support and despite physical distance.
- Host an online auction.
As we spoke about earlier – We are living in an ‘Age of Experience’ – so why not reward your donors (or tempt new ones) with an experience of a lifetime via an online auction? The better the lots, the higher the bids so it’s definitely worth putting the effort in to sourcing the best you can. It doesn’t have to be an experience – It could be anything! From signed memorabilia, art, jewellery – Anything that you think your supporters would be interested in bidding on. The auction can be as big or as little as you see fit. For that extra wow-factor, perhaps consider bringing in a high-profile supporter to donate something unmissable.
- Don’t underestimate the power of famous
Whether you have a famous supporter or not, there’s no harm in approaching a celebrity that you think would willingly support your cause. Whether they are a current patron or a potential, ask them if they would consider sharing your cause and fundraising events on their social platforms. This will get your message in front of a wide, new audience. And if they nominate their famous friends to participate in your challenge too, you could very well see your fundraiser go viral.
- Utilise social media.
Where people have been unable to meet up with friends face to face, social media has provided connection and interaction – And it can do just the same between charities and donors. Share your cause, speak to your donors, stay connected and keep building those relationships with those that support you. The more connected they feel to your cause, the more passionate they will be about sharing it and helping fundraise for it. Challenges such as the 2.6 Challenge that took the place of the London Marathon saw huge success during lockdown, gaining momentum through online shares. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram which facilitate going live are also a great opportunity to encourage direct online donations through easy and simple to use online stickers.
- Go mobile.
More and more people are using their smartphones to make donations. The first obvious thing to ensure is that your website is easy to use for those accessing it on a smartphone, and that the donations process is as quick and simple as possible. Many charities still have charity boxes sitting in various sites, and odds are they’re not very full at the moment. More people might be starting to get out and about again, but less people are using cash – Not only might they feel worried about exchanging cash in the current climate, but shops, pubs and cafes are actively requesting people to use card and contactless payments. Thankfully there is a simple way to get mobile donations, whilst still utilising your charity boxes – Donater’s smart stickers. Using clever QR code technology, our smart stickers can instantly turn your charity boxes from cash to mobile. Rather than drop loose change in, donors can scan the QR code with their smartphone and donate an amount of their choice.
Some simple first steps your charity can take towards taking your fundraising online.
Click here for more information on Donater’s smart stickers.