With digital fundraising being more important than ever, here are some things to keep in mind
For most of us in the UK, life has changed significantly since the Prime Minister announced ‘lock-down’ measures to prevent the spread of disease. Charities have also had to acclimatise to the new rules – flexible working practices, digital meetings, and virtual events are becoming business as usual. Launching into a new era of digital fundraising ideas, here we take a closer look at digital fundraising, and creative ideas to engage.
For many fundraising teams, the lock-down has meant more pressure on finding new sources of income. For charity digital leaders, this may be an opportunity to take stock of current digital channels and assess performance.
Our recent interview with Comic Relief’s Product Lead Caroline Rennie reinforced periodic evaluation and refining the digital fundraising universe:
“We have a very diverse number of different platforms that we use. From a data ingestion point of view, we wish there were fewer. To be honest, tackling one and getting a bigger market share, and optimising the largest possible area is probably a better use of time…Rather than having your fingers in too many pots. By that, I mean certainly try out tons of different marketing hit – Facebook and Instagram. But when you have your conversion point of when you’re getting the money, simplify that as much as you can.”
Now, in particular, is a time to be creative – with the emphasis on social distancing, charity digital marketing and communications teams can pilot new projects and ideas on social media.
Getting creative, the BigGive digital fundraiser and the National Emergencies Trust have launched an appeal for funds to combat coronavirus. Supporters are being asked to donate the cost of their usual commuter journeys to the cause under the banner #DonateYourCommute. The funds will support local grassroots charity UK Community Foundations. Two-fold, the digital fundraising campaign has launched a brilliant hashtag helping to raise over £125,000 and has increased its grassroots appeal – in future, local grassroots engagement could be called on.
For charity digital leaders who have engaged in traditional fundraising activities, the lock-down is an unusual chance to try new tech. With many people working from home, demand has increased for opportunities to exercise – members of the public visiting parks and taking up outdoor sport has visibly grown.
Grabbing hold of the trend safely, charities can partner with well-known live-streaming exercise groups to raise funds. One Peloton, the live-streamed interactive gym class partnered with Action for Healthy Kids. Launched at last year’s Giving Tuesday, the Move for More classes series was added to the collection of on-demand exercise sessions. Once selected and completed, a $5 donation is made to the kids’ charity from Peloton.
For charity digital leaders thinking to kick-start a digital fundraising campaign during lock-down, on-demand exercise classes may be an opportunity to connect with corporate partners and capitalise on new demand. Many yoga, HIIT, pilates, and sport instructors already live-stream workouts, creating opportunities for charity digital leaders to pilot new digital fundraising ideas with little infrastructure investment.
Earlier, we featured Greenpeace’s digital quizzes as a successful way to increase reach and engagement. With many people missing out on local pub quizzes, charities are in pole position to be filling that gap in social interaction.
Charities can create their own virtual quiz events. Digital platform provider Virtual Quiz Events has already worked with charities to develop digital quizzes. Charities simply register a time for the event, and advertise their game. Players log into the platform at the arranged time and play. Charities receive 60% of the ticket sales, with cash prizes awarded for the first, second and third place participants.
Expert video game players and platforms can boost digital fundraising efforts. Partnering with celebrity gamers can offer charities in lock-down an online outlet for digital fundraising.
Partnering with e-players can be an opportunity for charities to raise awareness and funds in the virtual world. Upcoming is Epic Games’ Fortnight Summer Block Party, a two-day event with the Victory Royale award winner receiving $3,000,000 to donate to a charity of choice. The event partners both professional and celebrity gamers as a team, playing Fornite for the proceeds.
Expressly for charity, the Gaming for Good online platform has hundreds of live-streamed games available to play. The games shop offers keys, skins, and gaming tools for purchase. Proceeds go directly to Save the Children’s account. In the past special disaster, appeals have been made on the site – Ebola relief funding was raised.
For charity digital leaders in lock-down, now may be the time to visit the online gaming community to investigate what partnerships work.