Following recent Coronovirus updates from the Government, there will be hundreds of small charity fundraisers up and down the country who have made the heartbreaking decision to cancel upcoming fundraising events. There will be even more fundraisers who will feel the knock on effect of large challenge events, such as the London Marathon, being cancelled.
We won’t know the long-term impact of Coronavirus on the Third Sector for some time yet but that doesn’t mean that fundraising needs to, or should, stop. This is particularly important for those smaller charities whose income is heavily reliant on community and event fundraising.
We have put together our top 5 ways that small charities fundraisers can continue making an impact during these uncertain times with a limited budget.
1. DON’T PANIC!
Easier said than done when things are up in the air but now is not the time to make rash decisions about budgets or income. Take a step back, review budgets, look at other potential avenues for funds such as digital fundraising or individual giving and try to remain calm. Stay safe and talk through your worries with colleagues or fellow fundraisers. There are lot’s of social media groups for the amazing people working in our sector so make the most of these ready made support groups. Our favourites are Fundraising Chat and Trust Fundraising Hub.
2. GO VIRTUAL
Even before Coronavirus hit, Virtual Fundraising was an area seeing massive growth and there is no reason why small charities can’t get a slice of the action.
There are a number of fantastic providers who can do the hard work for you and host virtual fundraisers. Recommended platforms include Virtual Athlete for challenges and Give Penny for events. However, with these providers comes charges, which might rule them out for small charities. This doesn’t mean you can’t go virtual. Use the platforms you are already using and scale up. Get your volunteers involved and have some fun! Here are some budget friendly suggestions…
– Host a Facebook Live Broadcast with supporters linking to your donate page. Tell the stories of the people you help, highlight some key figures and shout-out to donors. Make it engaging and entertaining to ensure people keep watching and don’t forget your call to action.
– Ask supporters to log onto Twitter at a certain time for a ‘live event’ using a snappy hashtag. Get a local celebrity or someone associated with your charity to ‘host’ the event by taking over the feed for a couple of hours, their fans will love it!
– Host a ‘Virtual Ball’, set up a Facebook event asking supporters to host an ‘At Home Ball.’ Put on your glad-rags, cook some yummy food, pour a glass of something fizzy and have a boogie all in the comfort of your home. Share pictures, make a donation and get some light relief.
3. KNOWING ME, KNOWING YOU
Now is the perfect time to get to you know your supporters better and for them to learn more about the incredible work you do. Pick up the phone, send an email, start a Whatsapp chat. Ask why they support you, what you do that they like, and what you could be doing better. This information is gold-dust and can really help to focus your strategy moving forward.
Tell your supporters stories about the people you work with and how their support has changed lives. Even better, if its appropriate, host a webinar with a service user or key staff member where supporters can ask questions. This personal touch is what will help cement your relationship moving forward.
4. FACEBOOK FUNDRAISERS ARE YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND
It doesn’t have to be you doing the online fundraising, don’t forget your lovely supporters and volunteers will want to help. Over the coming weeks there will be lots of people who are spending more time at home and who need entertaining. They will also have more disposable income from not going out as much, make the most of it.
Keep it interesting. Ask people to set up a Facebook Fundraiser asking them to do something sponsored at home. A binge of their least favourite TV show, a live stream of them cooking a family recipe, a sponsored silence, encourage them to get creative!
Don’t forget to include links to your website and always make an ask.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. You might have had to cancel fundraising events or postpone challenges that would have generated income but there is no reason why you can’t ask those taking part to continue fundraising or to make a donation instead. Don’t forget that these are some of your most engaged supporters and they want you to carry on with your vital work. Be open, honest and simply ask with clear instructions on how to donate. Be bold!
We are fundraisers. Thinking on our feet, adapting and making a difference is what we do best.
Stay safe, be creative and remember you may be small, but you are mighty.
Take care x
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