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Socially distanced fireworks fundraising event.

Socially Distanced Fundraising in the Community – A Donater Case Study

Every year Winchester Round Table put on a Bonfire and Fireworks event. It is a spectacular evening with a fireworks display of epic proportions. Like so many events this year, their traditional fundraising event had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. Social distancing regulations meant that the biggest one-day charity event in the city would have to adapt. Efforts would have to be made to take their fundraising online.

Every year, this fireworks fundraiser raises tens of thousands of pounds for local charities and good causes in the Winchester district. Last year they raised in excess of £60K! An incredible amount of money that has helped so many organisations and individuals across the city.

With so many charities struggling to survive the pandemic, this group of volunteers were determined not to lose their annual opportunity to fundraise. It was time to go digital!

Their Challenge

This year Winchester Round Table faced the issue of social distancing and lockdown. They couldn’t hold the event in its original format – Crowds of thousands of people just wasn’t an option. But cancelling it altogether wasn’t an option either. So how could they take their fundraising online, to adhere to social distancing? Their tenacity to find a way to raise money for local charities led them to their Light Up Winchester idea.

They decided on 3 secret locations across the city to be the sites of the firework launches. The fireworks would be lit at the same time across locations, and result in a huge display that could be seen across the whole city. Lighting up Winchester! Locals would be able to enjoy the annual firework display they know and love from their own homes.

But Winchester Bonfire and Fireworks isn’t just for the locals – It regularly draws crowds from far and wide. Many frequent visitors wouldn’t be able to see the display from their homes, but would be able to watch a live stream of the event via Facebook.

Whilst they couldn’t sell tickets for such an event, they could still ask for donations. That’s where Donater comes in.

Our Solution

So how did Donater help Winchester Round Table overcome these fundraising challenges? How did we open up opportunities to raise vital funds online for those in need?

Every year the Winchester Bonfire and Fireworks website gets a lot of traffic from people ordering their tickets online. This year they couldn’t sell tickets, but they did sell merchandise and torches to help locals light up the city. Therefore it made sense to have a Donate button on their webpage to enable them to take their fundraising online.

Donors visiting the webpage could click the ‘Donate Now’ button via computer or mobile. This would take them to a Donater donation page where they could then choose the amount they wanted to donate and easily pay. Those doing so from a mobile could choose to pay via Apple Pay or Google Pay – A simple and speedy way to make donations online within 20 seconds.

Donater’s donation page for Winchester Bonfire, enabling simple online and mobile donations

The link to their online Donater donation page, uniquely on-brand to their styling, could also be shared digitally on social media platforms and email campaigns. Those watching the Live feed via Facebook were also encouraged to make donations via the ‘Donate Now’ button. Potential donors were encouraged to donate online the loose change they would ordinarily drop in the collection buckets.

The Results

Winchester Round Table received 899 donations via Donater’s online donation technology – All in one day. At the time of publishing this article, the total amount of money raised through Donater stood at an incredible £19K.

This was an extraordinary effort in times of hardship. Proof that with a tenacious attitude and willingness to adapt, fundraising events can be taken online successfully.

More and more charitable organisations are turning to digital donation technology and online fundraising. This is not just to survive the coronavirus crisis but to make charitable giving more accessible to all.

For more information on Donater’s suite of online fundraising tools such as our Smart stickers, QR codes, NFC tags and donation pages head to our website.

Looking for online fundraising hints and tips to boost donations? Then follow our social media platforms where we share our latest blogs, full of fundraising ideas.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to see how we can help your charity to bring your fundraising online.

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