The Fundraiser - Practical advice and insight for the charity sector

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11 tips and tricks for charities to make the most of lockdown easing

Many charities have faced struggles in raising funds to keep them going during lockdown, and now, as things slowly return to normal, they are looking for ways to maintain donations during what would traditionally have been a quieter summer holiday period.

Charities like Berkshire County Blind Society and the Gunnersbury Estate who rely on donations to keep them going and support the community, are looking at the ways in which they can capitalise on venues re-opening.

Bart Leonard from National Funding Scheme, DONATE said; “Lockdown has been an unprecedented challenge for charities and charitable organisations despite the rise in virtual events and digital giving.

“Some charities remain in a desperate need of support and inspiration, but can now make the most out of spaces re-opening with outdoor fundraisers that will bring the community together at a safe distance and donations in to support their work.”

Here are 12 ways your charity can make the most out of lockdown easing:

1. Host a treasure hunt

Treasure hunts can be a good way to encourage whole families to get involved with your organisation. If you run a garden or a place of historical interest and are able to open with social distancing restrictions then these are definitely worth doing to raise awareness and money for your cause. Provide families with a treasure map upon entering your grounds and let them tick off what they find as they explore and simply ask for a donation to be given in return.

2. Make the most of re-opened gardens

Open gardens are back for us to explore so why not reach out to one that is local to your charity and host a socially distanced picnic to get the local community together? Everyone can bring their own lunch and donate the amount they would spend on a cafe lunch to charity!

3. Convince car parkers to donate to a better cause

As venues start to open up, many are still offering free parking to save the public touching meters and to encourage us to head out. Could you connect with your donors and encourage them to donate the £3 in place of their ticket?

4. Congregate dog walkers (at a distance)

Both dogs and their owners have been enjoying extra walks, come rain or shine, during lockdown. Why not host a mass dog walk event in a local park where dog-owners can enjoy walking with fellow walkers? As long as you stipulate social distancing this is a great way to raise both awareness and funds for your charity. Everyone donates £5 to take part.

5. Arrange a golf tournament

Golf is back, with courses open for socially distanced tournaments. So reach out to your local/favourite golf course and ask the owners to consider donating the course and a pro for a Charity Day. Then it’s your job to encourage golfers of all levels to come and play for a donation. Some might even become long term members of the club!

6. Have afternoon tea

With cafes and hotels not yet open, but with many offering takeaway options, why not team up and host an afternoon tea in a local park or community space for £8 per head with a percentage of donations going towards the cost of the tea? You'll be bringing in donations, supporting the outlet and community whilst bringing people together. A win-win-win.

7. Create a car wash event

As it becomes safer to head out (and as some cars haven't had a good wash in months) why not encourage a local charity car washing day? Ask locals to donate the cost of the standard car wash for you to get there cars road ready again. This is also a great activity for older children to get involved in during the summer holidays.

8. Organise a grow-off

Now garden centres are open again and plants are needing to be bought before bloom, challenge local community groups, churches and even schools to a ‘grow off’. The school with the highest sunflowers or biggest tomatoes wins. All schools and nurseries can donate £25 to enter.

9. Hold a group yoga session

We’ve either been working out or letting things go since lockdown began, but regardless which side people take, both will be ready for a refreshing yoga class to re-energize before we re-enter the new sense of normality! Consider hiring a yoga instructor and a large space for a socially-distanced yoga class and charge a £3 entry fee - you’ll soon have a regular fundraising event that brings the community together.

10. Create a drive-in cinema

As cinemas are still closed for the foreseeable future, is there a car parking space that you could rent out for the evening? If so, hire a big inflatable screen and host a drive-in cinema evening where guests can donate £10 in lieu of a cinema ticket. Remind them not to forget their popcorn!

11. Encourage a mass boot sale

We’ve all been bagging up bits and bobs for the charity shop, but as many will be overloaded with stock, could you utilise your grounds or community space to host a socially distanced boot sale? Not only will people be able to get rid of their many bags of clothes and bric-a-brac they’ve uncovered during isolation, but your charity will also benefit from the donations!

As things return to the new version of ‘normal’ we hope these eleven fundraising ideas will encourage and inspire your charity to keep going and reap the rewards of your hard work over the past few months. 

For charities looking to fundraise at socially distanced events, like mass boot sales and group yoga, contactless giving will become an essential part of receiving donations for the foreseeable as it is quick, easy and eliminates the need to handle cash. To register your charity with DONATE and receive donations through contactless, web or text giving, please visit our website.

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