Forget fundraising dinners and car boot sales, the philanthropic landscape has changed.
Gone are the days of passive events. Donors and potential donors want to be engaged and involved in something bigger than them.
Most of all, people want to make a difference and let everyone know about it. That’s why websites like Upworthy gain massive popularity in a very short time – their tagline being ‘Things that matter. Pass ‘em on’.
It’s interactive and allows people to share things on social media that make them seem a lot less vapid than posting vacation photos. Here are five innovative fundraising ideas that will help raise awareness and publicize your efforts, just as much as it will win you donors.
Fashion shows are a great way of getting the community involved. While featuring major designers will bring the media, be sure to include up-and-coming designers as well. Getting professional models is great, but using members of your organisation or people who have benefited from the charity (where appropriate) gives the show a relatable human element.
Of course, if it’s possible to have an extra-special sponsor who will do the modelling for you, it’s going to draw the best of both worlds.
Example: Foundation of Light raised an estimated £40,000 when team members from Sunderland F.C. took to the stage as models in the charity’s annual Fashion Strikes fashion show.
The online gaming industry is big business, and some websites are now allowing charities to promote their projects through the platform. This attracts a new demographic of donor, who may be unreachable otherwise.
One such project is Playmob, which works with a service called Giverboard. The service gives players of online social games to buy virtual items linked to a charity, so their users ‘give back through gaming’. For example, if a player purchases a panda in Sim Social, they donate a percentage to the World Wide Fund for Nature.
This increases engagement of mass online audiences, by utilizing people’s competitive nature, and provides an additional revenue stream to charity.
Example: Marie Curie Cancer Care joined with digital agency Paper to create a loyalty-based gaming website. Donors would support the charity by playing a wide variety of free and paid-for games which would provide them with prizes as well. They are hoping to engage 100,000 users in the first year.
Make a World Record Attempt
Promoting your charity fundraiser as a world record attempt would give people the opportunity to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Your event would make history – who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
With the right PR, this could also result in unsurpassed media attention because it would be a unique campaign. There would be the potential for the world record attempt going viral or at least a lot of social sharing during the event – which means more engagement and more exposure.
Plus, this type of event builds loyalty to the charity the desire to tell all their friends about it because participants would leave with a happy memory of the day.
Example: Guinness World Records and PwC US worked together in 2012 to attempt the record for the largest financial literacy lesson. It resulted in almost 4,800 students from 18 schools across three states, along with 840 volunteers, participating in the event.
Viral content will be:
- Thought provoking. It makes people see something in a way they hadn’t before.
- Full of the ‘wow factor’. It might be hilarious, strange, over-the-top-or absolutely ridiculous, but it opens eyes and makes people say, “What the…”
- Informative. This is the content that answers a question a lot of people are asking, or tells them something they didn’t even know they wanted to know.
- Inspirational. This goes back to people wanting to feel a part of the greater good.
- Original. Don’t do something someone else has done – unless you’re going to do it 10 million times better.
Example: Water is Life took over the hashtag #firstworldproblems and created this ironic video where victims of the earthquake in Haiti read out tweets making light of superficial problems in developed countries.
Seriously. Make up a campaign and then get people to actually do it. Bonus points if you can get a major celebrity or a influencer in on it.
Think about what will give people the opportunity to participate and show their friends that they are doing so. It’s a great way to build awareness and enhance engagement – by doing it from the ground level.
Example: Movember. A group of guys in South Australia started growing moustaches to raise money for charity in November and coined in ‘Movember’. In 2004, it grew to an event where 30 men would grow a moustache for 30 days. In 2012, the Movember Foundation raised upwards of $95 million and had 1.1 million participants.
What do you think?
Do you have more brilliant ides? Which fundraiser ideas you like best? Tell is in the comment section bellow.