Out of cash? 4 ways to fundraise in pandemic times
Whichever way you look at it, it’s money that makes the world go round. Providing enough funds for projects is usually a daily struggle for small non-profit organizations just like SOGH. For our projects we receive funds from official grants, but proactive fundraising makes up almost a quarter of our total annual income. The success of our organization’s matters truly depends on successful fundraising. But how do we raise money amid an ongoing pandemic? Today Emilia Lindquist, our new fundraising manager, is sharing some of her ideas with us to get your organization’s tills ringing.
Text-to-donate, also known as mobile giving is a direct and modern way to enable people to donate money to your cause through their mobile phone. This is an increasingly popular method of fundraising and it’s easy to understand the appeal. While it takes a little time, it is simple to set up, convenient for users as they can donate anytime, anywhere and has been proven to have high success rates. In order to make use of this, firstly, you need to choose an SMS provider. Textedly is a great user-friendly option charging $25 a month for their services with options for slightly cheaper annual subscriptions as well. If you’re on a budget and targeting your texts to a smaller group of people, Eztext is an excellent option that allows you to send 250 messages monthly for free. Once you’ve selected a provider, it’s time to select a keyword for your campaign. This word will be what your audience texts to initiate a donation. It should be short, easy to remember and spell. This word should also reflect your campaign or organization. Next, you need to create templates for donation requests and thank you messages. These templates will allow you to easily send bulk messages and they will dynamically add in personal information specific to each recipient, like their name. Finally, spread the word! Use social media and word of mouth to make people aware of your drive and then, start texting!
2.) Social media challenges
You’ve probably heard of and had your social media flooded with friends completing various challenges like the ALS ice bucket challenge, Movember, the #10yearchallenge and virtual runs, to name a few. Social media challenges are a great way to raise awareness and to involve friends across the globe. Your challenge doesn’t have to directly reflect the cause you want to fundraise for, but it is best to keep it simple. Any task that involves too much planning or materials is likely to be ignored. Take advantage of any momentum from local or global events that pair well with your mission. When sharing your challenge, ensure that links for donations are easily accessible and can be shared easily by others. Finally, create a memorable hashtag to organize and follow the movement.
3.) Fundraising for your birthday with facebook
What better way to commemorate your birthday than to ask family, friends, and colleagues to donate money to a cause dear to your heart? In the weeks leading up to your birthday, Facebook advertises the ability to start a birthday donation. All you need to do is pick your cause and set a donation goal. This is a great option if you are short on time as it only takes a few moments to set up. But if you find that you have a bit of spare time on your hands, we recommend you tailor the text to really portray why the cause is important to you, so that your fundraiser stands out in the crowd. After you’ve shared with your Facebook friends, there’s nothing more to do but wait for generous donations to come in!
4.) Online events
During the pandemic, we are all finding an abundance of spare time. Online events are a great way to have a good time and raise funds simultaneously. What’s great about this option is that there are few limitations to the kind of events you can have. So, you can adapt to take advantage of your and your team’s skills. You can sell tickets at a set price or let people donate a sum of their choice to participate. It’s important to advertise your event as much as possible, so more people are able to join in. Here are some suggestions for events you could host:
- A conference with prominent speakers
- Movie night – All the major streaming services have a ‘party’ feature that allows you to watch movies in large groups.
- Game night – Using a video platform of your choice, you can organize quizzes, play team games such as Pictionary or charades. There are also a lot of virtual games available on platforms such as Apple Tv, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch and more
- Virtual concert – Several artists have held concerts on Instagram live or YouTube live
- Online auction
- Exercise events
If you would like to get a hands-on experience of the latter, join SOGH for our online Inhale, Meditate and Donate event on Thursday, 4th of February at 6pm CET, held on Zoom. For fundraising purposes, we are hosting an online yoga session with Sarah Sung, a professional yoga instructor and founder of Smoove Circle, to help you relax your body and mind while also financially supporting our projects. The class is suitable for any level and everyone is welcome to join in after leaving donations from as little as 50kr. Sign up today to reserve your spot in the event and release some tension within your body and mind for a good cause. Do you happen to know someone else that might feel stressed about the current situation or maybe misses going to the gym? Help us spread word of this event! We genuinely hope to see as many of you there as possible!
Any more ideas on how to fundraise safely and successfully for your organization during a pandemic? Please share in the comments below or get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org
Emilia is currently completing a master’s degree in Global Health Policy at London School of Economics. Prior to this she pursued a bachelor’s in biomedical science from Imperial College London where, in her final year she specialised in Global Health. After a few years of illness, Emilia is committed to improving access to healthcare and pushing for research for tick-borne diseases. As such she is an active ambassador for the Global Lyme Alliance and is also involved in the London based think-tank Polygeia.
Emilia joined SOGH as an intern on the Mama & Family Project in 2020 and is excited to take on the role as fundraising manager to help raise funds for the expansion of SOGH’s mission.