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Posted in Special Focus Online & Mobile Fundraising, Charity Retail & Auctions Innovation, Technology & Digital

Why auctions are a growing fundraising tool

As more charities take their fundraising online than ever before due to lockdown, many have been looking to online auctions and text raffles to fundraise and make up for income lost through a pause on gala giving events.

Recent research conducted by digital fundraising platform DONATE revealed that 83% of charities have had to change their fundraising strategy in recent months in order to survive. The research also revealed that half the charities surveyed noted that events income was down more than 50%.

The lack of fundraising events combined with a growing cashless economy, exacerbated by the pandemic, has meant that charities have focussed on digital fundraising, such as text giving, web giving, text raffles and online auctions in order to continue to support their cause.

The Furniture Makers’ Company took their fundraising efforts online this summer with a month-long online auction, in which 40 lots were on sale with items ranging from limited edition prints to a night in a five star London hotel with dinner.

The online auction, a first for the furnishing industry charity, was organised to cover the shortfall in funds following the cancellation of their summer fundraising events. Bidders were able to support the cause with ease from home, leading to plenty of last-minute bids being made right down to the wire.

Alistair Gough, Fundraising Chairman at The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “Like many charities, The Furniture Makers’ Company’s fundraising efforts have been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic this year, with many of our regular calendar events having to be cancelled.

“To mitigate the shortfall in funds, we decided to organise an inaugural online charity auction and were able to raise over £12,500 for our charity.”

The new research into the rise in digital fundraising, also found that just under half (44%) of the charities surveyed stated that their levels of fundraising income this year were down by up to 50% in January-June on last year. 52% reported that they had been using text giving as a new channel.

Text raffles are a growing method of fundraising for charities. Similar to online auctions they are easy to set up and easy for donors to use.

The Northampton Saints Foundation set up a text raffle to raise much needed funds, with a signed and framed season Saints shirt being raffled off with the easy keyword ‘SAINTS’ which provided a donation of £10 as well as entry into the raffle.

With text raffles, easy and memorable keywords are the key as they can be shared through marketing materials and social media, driving awareness and entries. The Saints text raffle raised £1,100 in essential funds at a time when sports clubs are closed and crowds are unable to attend matches and donate to match day collections.

Sue Wright at the Northampton Saints Foundation said “We were really pleased with the way our first text raffle has gone, so pleased in fact we’re already planning a second one!”

As with charities and charitable organisations, PTA’s are also being urged to seize the digital fundraising opportunity in order to make up funds lost due to cancelled fundraising events in the last school year, and to assist with any increasing budgetary pressures that has meant that new equipment or school essentials have been pushed back.

Text raffles make it easy for schools to run raffles with prizes donated by parents and the local community. They also have no running costs meaning all funds go to the school giving PTAs the confidence at this uncertain time to plan upcoming fundraisers, like Christmas raffles and any spring activities with unique keywords like “XMAS10”.

Both online auctions and text raffles are easy for charities to set up and allow donors and supporters to donate directly with ease. For more information and to register, visit easydonate.org/join

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