The coronavirus will have an unprecedented effect on fundraising over the coming months.
Bans on large gatherings, social distancing and travel restrictions mean charities and non-profits may find their ability to raise funds is significantly compromised.
Maintaining community health is paramount, however, fundraising may still be required to support important causes that continue to need help.
If you have postponed a live fundraising event an online 'event' may help generate support over the coming months:
A silent auction can be held totally online. Digital catalogues showcase auction prizes. Bidding takes place online and is supported by SMS outbid notifications and end-of-auction alerts.
Anyone with a mobile device can participate – no matter where they are in the world (just make sure your prize posting and packing obligations are made clear in the terms and conditions).
Supporters simply access the auction via the dedicated URl and start bidding!
Like a traditional raffle, its digital counterpart issues tickets and draws a winner (or winners). However, unlike the old-fashioned version the modern raffle removes the paper in favour of digital technology.
Virtual tickets are sent via real-time SMS and the winners are randomly drawn by the app. Winners are also notified by SMS.
Participants access the raffle via the online link and buy as many tickets as they wish. You can also set a per person ticket limit if appropriate.
You can offer prizes or keep it really easy by making a percentage of the ticket takings (e.g. 20%) as the main prize.
Possibly the easiest way to raise money online.
Supporters can make a direct donation via a secure SMS link.
While the above three methods are incredibly effective for raising significant funds, the key to maximising your efforts is marketing.
Treat your online fundraising event like a live event. Create an identifiable brand with a distinct theme for your fundraiser so that it feels like an important event.
Some ideas include inviting people to a virtual gala or hosting a 48-hour online fundraising marathon.
Promote through your social media channels and send direct emails to your supporter database.
Think about the features of a live event that inspire people to give. Include the story of your cause in the digital fundraising space so supporters have a clear understanding of the need and how they can make a difference.
Specify a fundraising target and show a progress thermometer that rises as the money rolls in.
Although you may not be able to make use of a MC or auctioneer, you can send real-time updates and alerts to keep people engaged. For example, you can issue a SMS telling supporters that only X amount of $ is required to reach the target.
The coming months will prove challenging for every member of society.
Not everyone will be able to work. People may be caring for loved ones who have fallen ill. Some people will also experience the grief of loss.
Make sure your communications and expectations reflect, respect or are sympathetic to the on-going situation.
While people will want to continue to show their support it may not be with the same energy that you are used to.
An online auction or fundraiser can be an effective way to keep your cause viable during this time.
However, be mindful of the widespread disruption and challenges to people’s lives.
The GalaBid team are on hand to provide and advice and support regarding any aspect of digital fundraising over the coming months, including help with rescheduling postponed events. Get in touch here.