Good online fundraising shouldn’t just be about just asking for donations. Use social media, ecommerce and video to get a lot more creative with fundraising, upping your chances of attracting new donors and supporters. When raising awareness for charities who support families and children — let your humour and creativity shine, but always be mindful of boundaries when talking about sensitive issues. Here are six fun fundraising ideas that you can use for your fundraising project — whether you are working as part of an organisation, or just reaching out to your personal network about an issue that means a lot to you.
Facebook is the largest social media site in the world and therefore the most obvious platform – and one of the easiest – for reaching out to people. Everyone on your Friends list and their friends are potential donors and you need to find a way to connect with them – share your fundraising story and persuade them to help.
If your charity doesn’t have one already, create an official charity Facebook page which posts regular updates and gives people an insight into exactly why your charity is so important and the impact it is having. Shout-outs like this are really important – people are more likely to donate if they can see the difference you are making to people’s lives, so show the stories behind the brand. You can also include a ‘donate’ button on your page which links to your official charity website – links like this are great, as they tend to catch people who might not necessarily search for your website on their own.
And if you’re raising money individually, set up your own page or event, making sure you link back to your charity’s official Facebook page so that your friends can see for themselves for great work your charity is doing. Show the families you’re helping, interviews with staff, and how your charity is getting involved with nationwide projects.
Hashtag away – use Twitter & Instagram to get trending
If you want to get your voice heard and shout out about what you’re doing, Twitter and Instagram are a must. If you’re doing a big event or a flash fundraiser, co-ordinate your team of volunteers or staff to let them know what your event will entail, what your hashtag is and how to show the work exactly what you’re up to – not only does this raise awareness for your cause, but it also brings the whole team together in a joint effort.
Make sure you accompany any tweets or images you post of your fundraising efforts with an easily-remembered hashtag. Check out this blog post for some good examples of charity hashtags to use (eg #donate #fundraising) and how to create a short catchy hashtag for your campaign. It’s great for people to see everything you’re doing and encourages others to get involved, so get going and hashtag away!
Make your own crowdfunding/online donation page
Websites like Just Giving and Go Fund Me allow you to create and customise your own fundraising page – whether this is a page for the organisation, an individual page, or for a particular event. It’s a great platform to share what your charity does, include any photos, videos or stories, and explain how it would plan to use any money raised. And if you share links to your donation page on Facebook or Twitter or other social media platforms, you’re quickly providing a very large group of people with a very simple way of donating money and making a difference. With visual aids to show visitors your target and the percentage you’ve raised already, as well as one-click buttons to donate or share, fundraising pages are one of the easiest ways to collect funds!
Create your own charity online store
If you want an easy way of raising money without a crazy amount of organisation involved, why not open an online shop for your charity? Minimal effort is involved, and the profit from your products goes straight to your charity.
Not sure what to sell? Pick something that fits your charity or perhaps homemade products made by the team. If anyone’s got a knack for knitting, or crafts, or chutneys, now is your time to shine! We use our charity shop to sell seasonal items and decorations — charity Christmas cards and decorations are always popular!
Website builders are a great base for building your nonprofit online store from scratch, but you also have the option of using a WordPress plugin to turn your site into a store — just make sure you invest in some good hosting and that you use a secure payment option to keep donors and their details safe (check out this handy nonprofit WordPress guide). If you go down the ecommerce route for fundraising, it’s advisable that you start small so that you can keep things affordable. You may want to test the waters with an Amazon, Etsy or eBay page instead, just to see if your products have a market (though you will have less control over your branding).
The way that Facebook has evolved over the last year or so (think less words, more puppy videos) is proof that videos gather traction quickly. Visual news and short clips are how to grab the attention of a potential donor and reel them in (pun intended).
Create a video diary of any challenges you undertake, a compilation of your day-to-day work, or a short vid to explain the fundraising you are doing: this is a quick way of informing viewers what you’re doing and why you need to raise money. You can put these videos on your personal crowdfunding page, Twitter, Facebook… basically anywhere they will be seen.
Everyone remembers the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014 (which raised millions for charity) or the #nomakeupselfie which raised over £8 million for Cancer Research UK, and there are plenty of other challenges we’re seeing at the moment. Viral challenges spread like wildfire across countries, continents and even the world… So get the ball rolling!
This is an easy one to do; all you really need is the imagination to come up with a good challenge (read: fun, accessible, and a little bit daring), someone to record the challenge and upload it to social media, and then tag a whole bunch of people in it to get going… If you’re fundraising for a family charity, why not gets the kids involved? Record each family member doing the Chubby Bunnies Challenge (shoving as many marshmallows as you can into your mouth while still being able to say ‘chubby bunnies’) or competing in a Disney Song quiz. If you tag 5 people, and they in turn tag 5 people (and so on and so forth) imagine how many people you could reach! This can raise awareness for your cause, but also raise money if you’re getting people to make a small donation once they’re tagged/they repost a challenge video.
What do you think of our easy online fundraising ideas? Is there anything you feel that we’ve missed out? Let us know in the comments below….