4 Easy Fundraising Campaigns That Will Boost Your CV
With so much job uncertainty lingering around every corner, it can be easy to feel that now is not the time to get into charity work. But actually, that’s not true. There’s never been a better time to rally for change and give back to your community—so why not get involved by launching your very own fundraising campaign?
While this might seem like a bit of a daunting task, it’s actually a lot easier than you think. Coming up with a creative campaign is fun and it is, of course, rewarding to raise money for a worthy cause. But it’s also a great way to gain relevant sector experience when you’re in between jobs or considering a major career shift. Just think about all the project management skills and digital fundraising experience you’ll gain that will help you stand out as a strong candidate.
Thinking of getting involved this Giving Tuesday? Here are four easy fundraising ideas to help you get started.
1. Start a social media challenge
The circumstances we’re all in—working from home and lack of social interactions—have given rise to lots of unique and creative fundraising campaigns from both individuals and charities. Since the start of the year, we’ve learned to adjust to a range of limitations, which has inspired organisations to lean more heavily on digital when it comes to their fundraising. And social media has been the perfect platform for getting these campaigns in front of millions of potential donors.
Take, for example, the Run for Heroes campaign which asked people to run five miles and tag five other people on Instagram to do the same—each of which donated £5 to the NHS. Not only was this fun, but it raised over £5.5 million! This campaign was started by a girl in Edinburgh who had no idea how fast the interest would spread. A simple idea went viral and was very effective, so yours could become a trend too!
Start by identifying a challenge that is accessible and achievable for most people, so that anyone would be happy to do it. You can still be creative when choosing the type of activity you’re encouraging people to do. It could feature art, writing, sport, acting or something more unique. Then, all you have to do is:
- Come up with a clear, catchy name for the campaign.
- Set up a page on a fundraising platform and give clear instructions for the challenge, your monetary target and the mission of the charity/cause you’ve chosen.
- Promote it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Remember, bigger is better, so blast it on as many channels as you can. And don’t forget to link to the fundraising platform page and add any relevant hashtags.
And that’s it! Watch and see how fast it grows. And who knows, this could even be the thing that lands you a social media or fundraising role at a charity you love.
2. Host an online tea party
Since the start of lockdown, many events have gone online. So, it’s not unheard of to host a virtual party where people share food and donate funds to a good cause.
A great example of this is an event put on by the organisation Smile Train, an international children’s cleft charity which delivered a very successful virtual tea party earlier this year. Instead of holding their annual fundraiser, where friends and family share baked goods, donors caught up online for a Big Virtual Cuppa.
A campaign like this is simple to set up. Everyone is missing out on seeing each another, so your loved ones and friends will be keen for the opportunity to have a catch up for a good cause—whether it’s for Covid relief or a charity of your choice. You could send participants information about your chosen charity to get them interested in its work, inspiring higher donations. Be specific about what the charity spends its money on and avoid telling your potential donors generalised purposes, like ‘Covid relief’. By researching a charity you’re interested in and learning about the cause it supports, you’re gaining valuable insight into how the sector works, building up a network of donors and getting experience that will help you find your own charity role.
3. Create your own fitness challenge
For those who were looking forward to raising money by running a marathon—all is not lost. Tom Moore, the 100-year-old army veteran who walked 100 laps of his garden to raise money for the NHS, has shown that lockdown won’t stop us from staying fit to raise funds. Many people have still found ways to get involved by reframing their challenges—whether that be a marathon, mountain climbing, or sky-diving—by covering laps on the stairs, garden or running a marathon at a different date or place.
Thinking outside the box and setting yourself a strange or unique feat can also be really effective. For example, in 2016 Jesse Carey live-streamed himself watching 24 hours of Nicolas Cage films back to back and raised $30,953 for Charity: Water. So why couldn’t you do something similar?
Don’t forget to promote your campaign through social media and use an existing fundraising platform like Just Giving or Crowdfunder. It’s important to make the conditions of your campaign clear. For example, explain whether the money will go to charity on the basis of you completing the challenge, or regardless of completing it. Also, set a payment target and a time limit for raising the money.
Don't miss another post, sign up to our weekly newsletter
4. Put your talents to good use
For years, talented people and organisations all over the world have been selling clothes, music and art and giving the proceeds to charity, like the fashion brand RIXO, which raised money for the NHS by selling stay-at-home inspired T-shirts. The One World: Together at Home concert, organised by Lady Gaga, featured home performances from global stars, raising $127 million for coronavirus relief.
You can learn from these campaigns and start a fundraiser of the same nature. If you’re a budding artist, you could sell some of your designs on tote bags or t-shirts or create Covid inspired art for charity. Look at your costings carefully to see how you can fund the additional expenses and remember to make it clear to people how much of the money will go towards your cause.
But it doesn’t have to just be an artistic pursuit. Do you fancy yourself a quiz master? Then you can host your own charity quiz online. Or, you could set up a sports tournament for a group of families to do in isolation, with a portion of the winners’ prize money going to charity. Some charities and websites invite you to host an online bingo fundraiser, encouraging you to dress up and make a night of it. Finding the fun in lockdown limitations by hosting a community fundraising event shows a lot of creativity and initiative, boosting your employability. It also equips you with experience and skills you can apply to community fundraising or event fundraising charity jobs in the future.
It’s all about showing initiative
Charities are often already organised to deliver fundraising appeals of the sort you’re planning. You could make your donations go further if you can contact the charity before you set up your campaign and sign up your appeal with them. By reaching out to the charity directly, you’re building valuable relationships that could help you get your foot in the door in the not-for-profit space.
Make sure your contact details are visible for potential donors to get in touch and be ready to answer questions about the charity or cause you are fundraising for, as well as your fundraiser and its targets and objectives.
Think you’ve already got what it takes to work as a full-time fundraiser? Find out what charities are hiring fundraisers today.
Marion Weaver has worked in outreach and as a youth leader for several charities. She’s now spending her time applying creative writing to help promote the charity sector. Her life’s showreel includes a claim to fame role in a CBBC drama and a year teaching in Ghana.