Thinking about festive fundraising? As the Christmas season gets into full swing our Grant Manager for the North West, Ella Sips blogs on how, charities can make the most of this bumper shopping season with a simple solution to raising extra funds online.
My conversations with the charities we fund always includes the subject of fundraising. It is at the forefront of every charity CEO’s mind and can sometimes feel like painting the Forth Bridge; a never-ending task.
For most, fundraising is a necessity – something that must be done to continue delivering a charity’s much needed services. Small charities, more than most, recognise that having a variety of funding sources puts you on more secure ground, reducing the negative impact from funding cuts if (and when) they happen. But for CEOs and Fundraisers alike, the holy grail of fundraising is unrestricted funding – the money that allows you to do everything from developmental work, to running pilots, building up your reserves or even plugging the unavoidable budget deficits.
Raising money, the hard way
Someone once said, the best fundraising is when others do it for you. The success of sites like Just Giving and Virgin Money Giving are a testament to that. Whether having enthusiastic supporters packing bags in a supermarket or a friend or family member running a marathon in support of your charity, this type of fundraising significantly contributes to the sector’s unrestricted funds.
But there are other, easier ways to launch a fundraising campaign for your charity that require very little effort if running a marathon (and the inevitable blisters that come with it) is not for you. I’m thinking online shopping here, and with Christmas around the corner, it’s a good time to think about how your charity can capitalise on the season of gift-giving. Most people do it, but we don’t all realise that our online activity can raise cash for charities without leaving the comfort of our chairs.
There are a growing number of platforms to choose from. Amazon Smile is a recent initiative, alongside the more established sites like Give As You Live, the Giving Machine and Easy Fundraising. It’s a no brainer really, as a customer you sign up and choose a charity to support. As a charity it’s free and easy way to generate a bit of extra income. Two extra clicks of the mouse before you start and by doing your shopping through affiliated websites every pound you spend gives a little back to a good cause. The benefit can be, on average, 2% of what you spend, and number can go even higher on certain things like holidays or insurance.
Do this in isolation and the returns will be low, but this is where people power comes in. If you invest a bit of time on social media spreading the word about your charity’s ask, the £35 raised in a year by one supporter becomes £350 by 10, and £3,500 by 100. Just think how much unrestricted income the 43.5 million digital shoppers in the UK could raise for charities!
So, as you and your supporters start thinking about stocking fillers for loved ones, and with online shopping more popular than ever, why not think a bit more about how two extra clicks could create a line in your next year’s budget?
It’s a gift that really does keep on giving!