Charity supporters can still do their worthwhile thing while remaining safe during the current lockdown regulations. With the implementation of level 3 from the start of this month, most entities have reopened with people also officially returning to work in the process. Despite that, the sad reality is things may never – and probably shouldn’t – go back to the way they were before the crisis, according to online fundraising platform GivenGain.
Marius Maré, President of the charity supporting platform that originated in South Africa, says there’s much to learn from “online fundraising 2.0” methods that emerged during COVID-19.
As public events were shut down, charities and fundraisers have had to find creative new ways to raise money without breaking lockdown rules – and the results speak for themselves, he says. “But even when marathons are reinstated and door-knocking campaigns can begin again, fundraisers should keep using the new virtual ways of raising money alongside them.”
Ordinary people have sprung into action. Activity on the GivenGain platform has climbed by more than 60% year-on-year since 1 April, Maré says. “Donations are also hitting record highs – April was our best ever month in South Africa.” He adds that around 40% of donations to South African charities were made in foreign currencies, with donors from 90 different countries stepping in to help.
Social media, livestreaming apps and video conferencing platforms like Zoom have given fundraisers a way to reach out to a global network of donors and share inspiration with each other, but they also provide a platform for fundraising events.
For a perfect example of the kind of fundraising this enables, look no further than South African video game streamer Grant Hinds. He spent his birthday in May raising money for homelessness charity New Hope SA by livestreaming a marathon gaming session on Twitch; alerting his followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; and directing viewers to donate through his page on GivenGain. By using all the online tools available to him, Grant raised more than R40 000 without leaving his house.
Maré says the average fundraiser on GivenGain connects with 15 donors and raises R10,000 simply by creating a project page and sharing it with friends and family.
South Africa’s lockdown continues, and it could still be months before events are allowed to resume. But after the power of online fundraising has been shown so clearly, it seems sure to become a permanent part of the fundraising landscape.
Image credit – @katyukawa
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