We look at some cost-effective fundraising ideas for Valentine’s Day
For a long time, Valentine’s Day in the UK on 14 February 2021 was a bit overlooked compared to the extravagances of our US counterparts, who always seem to go big or go home on any holiday. But like many trends that originated across the pond, it has been growing in popularity is growing among Brits.
The spending figures for Valentine’s Day in the UK are no small change. In 2020, according to Statista polls, Brits spent nearly £1 billion on Valentine’s Day. Who said romance was dead?
2021 is likely to be slightly different, though, with social distancing restrictions preventing the conventional date nights and gift giving. There are lots of virtual options, however. And for charities, Valentine’s Day presents an opportunity. It represents an untapped day of giving that could give a boost to Christmas fundraising totals.
Here we examine some virtual ideas to get you started.
Since Valentine’s Day is the first holiday after Christmas, giving someone the gift of planting a tree, helping a family, or adopting an animal in their name feels like the perfect antidote to all the consumerism and excess.
There are also a growing number of retailers aimed specifically at supporting charities with a percentage of the proceeds. Platforms like Ethical Superstore allow consumers to sidestep traditional mass-produced products to choose gifts that are unique, one of a kind, and support good causes – and they have a page marketed just for Valentine’s Day gifts.
Other charities have set up timely e-commerce on their own websites – Unicef and Save the Children have their own Valentine’s gift boxes for sale on their sites, set up to coincide with specific campaigns.
Lastly, could your charity offer donors a chance to a dedicate a place, monument, or virtual dedication wall or garden to their loved one as a gift that will endure for many years?
The British Heart Foundation encourages supporters to honour someone they love by engraving their name on a sculptural steel heart that stands in Yorkshire. The heart contains over 15,000 names of people who want to show their dedication to the cause of fighting heart disease, remember loved ones, or mark a milestone.
The National Trust offers the chance for people to dedicate a special place under their care to a loved one, to mark a wedding day, anniversary, a special memory or just as a romantic gesture. The dedications are stored on a virtual map that anyone can view.
There’s nothing new about the idea of charity greetings cards, which are a particular staple of charity shops at Christmas time. But why not encourage people to exchange virtual cards for Valentine’s Day?
It makes perfect sense when you think about it. They’re easier on people’s wallets after the excesses of Christmas, and sending them in the name of a charity is in keeping with the spirit of love and generosity that Valentine’s Day represents.
Sites like Don’tSendMeACard.com allow people to send charity e-cards for the cost of sending a physical card, with the cost going to charities, and over 500 charities signed up with their choice of imagery.
Charities based around environmental concerns are especially suited to the virtual card strategy as a major benefit is saving paper, and cute animal imagery lends itself to Valentine’s Day.
Wildlife charities like Somerset Wildlife Trust, Friends of the Earth, Sumatran Orangutan Society, Forever Hounds Trust, and Ape Action Africa all have virtual Valentine’s Day cards for sale.
It might seem a bit impersonal, but for corporations or organisations wanting to send out higher volumes of cards, the lure of quick and easy e-cards is not hard to understand, as they’re quick to send and download. Charities can give them to option to add their own company logo alongside the charity’s.
It’s also straightforward for charities to sign up and get started. Many platforms come with free content to let charities promote their cards on social media, and come with a choice of card imagery, or charities can create their own using free graphics software like Canva Card Maker where it’s simply a case of dragging and dropping the elements.