The Fundraiser - Practical advice and insight for the charity sector

Posted in Special Focus Local & Community Fundraising, Online & Mobile Fundraising Technology & Digital, Innovation

What is community giving and what does it mean for my charity?

Community giving | The Fundraiser

Digital fundraising has become a real essential for charities of all sizes over the past six months as many have been looking for new and contact-free ways to fundraise during the pandemic.

Community and digital fundraising go hand in hand, particularly at times like this. Community fundraising is typified by local groups organising fundraising events across their community. Due to the pandemic, we have seen a surge in this type of activity with local communities seeing a large rise in the number of residents working from home, and in turn - a rise in community spirit. Reports such as Communities vs Coronavirus: the Rise of Mutual Aid and Danny Kruger’s recent report titled Levelling Up our Communities both tackle this subject.

Regionalised charities like Rotary, Lions and Round Table clubs, local charities and regional branches of national charities can really utilize the current situation and use digital fundraising to support wider efforts at a time when festive fundraising events are still on pause - or going digital too.

With community fundraising, building strong relationships with your community long term is key for future success. In the current climate, there is an abundance of volunteers looking to support those in need with the free time that they now have. Volunteers can help to grow your charity within the community, in terms of developing relationships and helping you reach audience demographics with compelling messaging.

Charitable organisations like Citizens UK, who are instrumental in organising communities to act together for the greater good, are a really useful resource when it comes to community fundraising. Many of their members work together for social justice, and therefore may be inclined to support other causes - like local charities and community fundraising.

Digital fundraising platforms like DONATE™ can ramp up your community fundraising, be it a larger fundraiser like an easy to set up an online auction, a mid-size fundraiser like a virtual concert where viewers text to donate as the show goes on or a smaller fundraiser like a contactless plant sale. With DONATE™ you can target individual giving, and in terms of funds received, donations can go into regional bank accounts which speeds up the process. With DONATE™, there are no registration fees for community initiatives, making them all the more appealing.

With digital fundraising, your cause can also have multiple fundraising campaigns running alongside each other - which for schools and community groups like Scouts and Girl Guides who are running different fundraisers, can be a real help.

The local community, of course, covers more than just volunteers; it includes community groups, local companies, local government, and any corporate businesses that have local offices. Many businesses look for charities to support locally as part of their corporate social responsibility, which is perfect for seasonal fundraising and when things pick up again, events.

Local businesses and governments are also keen to support and promote fundraising from contactless card donations or text donation codes in local cafes and pubs to raising profiles at events, even if virtual.

For many regional charities, having ownership over how they fundraise can drive motivation and enthusiasm, which drives innovation and creativity in community fundraising.

Charities like The Charlie Watkins Foundation have utilised digital fundraising, using DONATE™’s text, contactless and web-giving to support its work in supporting young people with their mental health. The charity hosted a white-collar boxing night in collaboration with Fighting For Charity, raising £6,856. Each competitor had their own personalised donation code, spurring a real feeling of community and togetherness.

As more charities take their fundraising online and go digital, they also take their community online. Planning and running ongoing supporter stewardship and deciding how this will be managed is critical and will be the subject of a future article.

The National Funding Scheme, DONATE™ offers charities and charitable organisations the opportunity to fundraise via web and text giving, and also through online auctions which has seen a huge surge in interest over the last few months as more charities take their fundraising online and focus on engaging ways to keep their audience engaged, whilst catching the eye of new audiences and donors. For more information visit their LinkedIn page.

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