A Guide to COVID-19-Safe Fundraising

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A Guide to COVID-19-Safe Fundraising

Most fundraising and non-profit organisations across the globe have reported negative outcomes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing measures introduced to curb the spread of the virus.

In one survey, 96.5 per cent of the respondents reported negative impacts pertaining to the coronavirus. Of these entities, 67.9 percent experienced a drop in contributions and 63 per cent suffered from disrupted contacts with sponsors, donors and recipients.

Is it possible to do Covid friendly fundraising? The short answer is yes.

Luckily, new technologies have come to the rescue, enabling fundraising schools and community organisations to continue with their activity without jeopardising anyone’s wellbeing. Online fundraising for schools and other entities has delivered excellent outcomes and is considered a solid approach towards accomplishing the goal, regardless of the conditions.

Online Fundraising During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Numerous non-profits have been making good use of virtual fundraising throughout the duration of lockdown and quarantine measures.

Any entity can engage in online fundraising but there are a couple of specifics to keep in mind.

In the absence of direct contact, impactful messaging becomes more important than ever before. It’s crucial to keep on communicating – donors and supporters should be hearing from the organisation during difficult times.

Organising virtual events and live streaming workshops are two other tools that can be employed by fundraisers to get the message across, establish some rapport and strengthen the bond. Messaging should focus on the importance of the cause and the need to keep on supporting the particular project.

Covid-19 has brought new challenges and fears to the forefront. As a result, social focus has shifted from other issues. This is an added problem that fundraisers need to address. Be it through social media or live streaming events, it’s crucial to keep building awareness and promoting the importance of the cause.

Strategies for Effective Virtual Fundraising

Starting out with a great virtual fundraising idea is obviously the first essential. Once you have the concept in place, you can move on to exploring other steps for effective Covid friendly fundraising:

  • Optimise online donation forms: your website is one of the most powerful tools in your possession. There should be a visible donation button and a streamlined form that necessitates just seconds to complete. Understand the fact that people have to put some effort into completing a virtual donation. It’s up to you to eliminate obstacles and hindrances standing in the way of engagement.
  • Employ crowdfunding platforms: a crowdfunding platform provides you with additional opportunities to reach a large audience and maximise the spread of your campaign. In addition, this fundraising methodology allows you to set a particular goal, track progress and inform supporters of the steps being made towards accomplishment (which can keep morale levels high).
  • Consider incentives for your supporters: a good incentive for virtual fundraising doesn’t have to be massive or expensive. Offering supporters some form of recognition and an enhanced social standing within the community can be equally attractive forms of motivation.
  • Ensure the safety of online payments: this final strategy is probably the most practical one but it’s imperative for building and maintaining the reputation of your organisation. Numerous payment platforms offer effortless integration into digital channels for fundraising. Choose the one that ensures the most security and convenience. If you’re not confident about the specifics, do consult a professional!

Types of Online Fundraisers + A Few Additional Tips

There are so many types of online fundraisers that you could lose some focus in an attempt to do Covid friendly fundraising.

When choosing the right approach, however, you should consider several essentials.

What is your primary goal and what’s the timeframe for hitting that milestone? What is the demographic profile of your supporters and sponsors? How can you reach them in the easiest and most convenient way?

There’s no such thing as a cookie-cutter virtual fundraiser. You can tweak just about every aspect of the campaign to make it more palatable to the specific group of individuals you’re targeting.

Some common types of online fundraisers you may want to consider experimenting with include:

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising
  • Online giving days dedicated to specific causes
  • Text-to-give campaigns
  • Online auctions
  • Fundraising email campaigns
  • Social media fundraising events
  • Online contests
  • A partnership with an online business for proceeds

Needless to say, these are just a few of the options. Depending on your goal and knowledge of the audience, the campaign specifics can be tweaked further.

Remember that the number one thing you have to do first is determine your ultimate goal. You really cannot do effective virtual fundraiser planning if you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish.

The Perfect Online Fundraiser Is Tailored, Cost-Efficient and Engaging

Not only is online fundraising for schools a good approach in a Covid-19 world, it also happens to be one of the most affordable and least challenging projects to put together.

An online fundraiser gives you optimal reach and the range of set-up challenges you’ll potentially face is limited in comparison to putting together a real-world event.

Still, you should be prepared for the specifics of fundraising in a world heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Being ready to modify the campaign on the go is one of the biggest essentials because the current socio-economic situation is pretty dynamic. The conditions that apply to your sponsors and supporters today may not necessarily be the same a few days from now.

Increasing impact right now is of utmost importance so do evaluate your current efforts and pinpoint some of the virtual activities you could be doing differently.

Know the strengths you can leverage and the reasons why your message is still important in the midst of a pandemic. These should be the core values built into your virtual fundraising campaign. Timelessness and relevance always matter and they will be even more vital when the fundraising opportunities are somewhat limited due to circumstances. Needing more support? Contact Australian Fundraising to discuss fundraising ideas, products and prizes.

June 25, 2020

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