From Captain Tom and Comic Relief to virtual marathons and Giving Tuesday, we take a look at some of the best (and most lucrative) digital fundraising campaigns of 2020
Charities have experienced plenty of challenges and opportunities in 2020. Despite the difficult environment, Blackbaud’s Status of UK Fundraising Report suggests that there is a degree of optimism in the sector. The report found that 66% of surveyed charities are coping well and that they expect to recover from any decline in income.
With the arrival of COVID-19, charities took to creative, innovative, and exciting forms of digital fundraising. Taking stock of the year’s trials and tribulations, we celebrate some of the best fundraising campaigns of 2020.
Impressing the public with his stellar efforts, Captain Tom’s social media campaign has surpassed all expectations. It started out with an aim to raise a modest sum of £1,000. The veteran caught the attention of local media and the campaign went national.
The social media and digital fundraising campaign went viral as more and more people joined in the effort. Captain Tom’s Twitter page garnered the attention of nearly 120,000 followers. Hashtags, such as #Walkwithtom and #TomorrowWillBeAGoodDay, were created to increase reach and attract additional donors.
Sport Relief’s 2020 campaign to end poverty started with plenty of celebrity support. Eight celebrities completing a 100-mile adventure in Africa. Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas cycled from Cardiff to Aberdeen while Radio 2 hosts Jo Whitely, Richie Anderson, and Reverend Kate Bottley did three marathons. These events, broadcast online and on social media, helped to generate excitement and interest in fundraising.
Organised by Comic Relief, Sport Relief’s digital campaign also featured innovative activities broadcast on YouTube. The charity engaged famous gym trainer Joe Wicks, footballer Gary Lineker, and British Airways to break a new Guinness World Record. The celebrity studded team pulled a British Airways airplane 100 metres to raise money for the charity.
In total, the digital campaign raised £40,540,355.
London Marathon runners in 2020 faced two challenges: to shift to digital efforts and to create fun virtual events. With the closure of the physical marathon, amateur runners pivoted quickly to the digital 2.6 Challenge.
Raising over £16,000,000, volunteers participated by engaging in creative activities related to the 26 miles of the race. Runners showed their efforts by posting photos of their progress on their social media accounts.
Raising a whopping £41,000,000, BBC’s Children in Need campaign used TV, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram to increase reach. This year’s primetime TV fundraising event beat last year’s total of £35,000,000.
Over YouTube, the emotive campaign showcased the impact that the charity has on children. The video featured children participating in projects funded by the BBC’s corporate charity. Fundraising updates and activities were posted on Instagram and Twitter to generate more momentum.
2020’s event followed digital transformation changes in 2019. In 2019, the campaign increased the number of digital channels to engage with audiences.
The BBC Children in Need also joined the Givetoview platform. The platform lets volunteers fundraise while posting videos. The volunteer can explain why the charity is important, pause their video, and ask viewers to donate before they can continue with the rest of the video.
Giving Tuesday offers UK charities an opportunity to go global. The worldwide event helped charities large and small in digital fundraising efforts. In total, 2020’s event has been predicted to raise more than $600,000,000 for charities.
For smaller charities, participating in Giving Tuesday affords them the chance of a social media boost. Myton Hospices benefited from focusing on the single day. The charity used email and social media marketing to enhance digital fundraising efforts. By concentrating on the day, the charity raised around £6,000 in 2017 and more than £8,700 in 2020.
The co-ordinated digital campaign also helped Tiny Tickers surpass its goals. Tiny Tickers aims to improve detection of heart conditions for babies. The charity uses funds to buy specialist machines to detect heart anomalies. The charity raised enough to replace four machines, above its original goal of one. The Giving Tuesday appeal was part of the small charity’s digital fundraising campaign Test for Tommy.
The Big Give’s digital fundraising campaign affords charities a much-needed boost this season. The digital fundraising campaign’s matched funding is a chance for charities to double their money. The Christmas Challenge starts over the summertime with charities getting pledges from donors. The funds are then matched by Big Give Champions and online supporters.
The Big Give uses its own fundraising platform, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to reach out to audiences. For audiences, the best part about the campaign is that donations can be made to any participating charity. That means that people can read about charity efforts and choose to support specific causes that are close to their hearts.