As more fundraising switches to digital and virtual fundraising, the variety of fundraising platforms that support these options becomes more obvious.
Charities and, more importantly, people who want to support a charity have a fantastic range of tools that can help support them in whatever way they wish to donate or to raise funds with or from others.
Fundraising and giving platforms
First, if you simply wish to donate, there are plenty of digital platforms to choose from:
Virgin Money Giving has waived all its fees for the duration of the lockdown.
Some specialise in mobile giving such as text donations:
There are also plenty of crowdfunding sites where individuals, groups and charities can run campaigns that you can donate to e.g.
Some of the above platforms enable you to fundraise or give in multiple ways e.g. setting up your own fundraising event on behalf of a charity, or donating and crowdfunding.
There is also Facebook, which offers individuals, companies and charities a range of fundraising and giving tools. You’ve probably already been invited by Facebook to set up a Facebook birthday fundraiser campaign: that is just one of their fundraising tools.
Stuck at home? What you can do
The list below attempts to give individuals and charities a sense of the many ways in which it is possible to fundraise for or give to your favourite charity even while you having to remain at home under lockdown during the coronavirus period.
There is almost no limit to the approaches and creativity that individuals are taking to keep supporting charities. And there are platforms that can help – or inspire you to do something, whatever you idea!
1. Affiliate shopping
Online shopping is even more attractive to many of us. Fortunately we can generate donations for charities when shopping online at no cost to us, via a number of online platforms.
The Giving Machine
Raise for free, everyday, for a cause you're passionate about. We are now live in 10 UK cities! 🚀
— @wearepercent (@WeArePercent) October 8, 2019
2. Rounding up and micro-donations
Roundups works with your bank to round-up automatically all of your card payments (to 10p, 50p or £1 – you choose), donate the difference to a good cause of your choice “and report back on the amazing impact of your penny donations.”
This is Roundups. We are a community of people donating pennies as we spend.
It’s not much to ask of any of one of us individually. But our pennies soon add up and, together, we can achieve amazing things. Join us: https://t.co/FLzPT7mQHk#Roundups #Kindness #Fundraising pic.twitter.com/21EdYlKb15
— Roundups (@roundupsorg) April 14, 2020
Micro-donation service Pennies works with brands such as Screwfix, Domino’s and Rontec, letting customers top-up their payment as a gift to the company’s charity partner. It has raised £23 million so far for over 600 charities.
For the first time it has launched a direct appeal to the public, to enable consumers to give ‘micro-donations’ in support of two national charities directly combating the impacts of Covid-19 in the UK: The National Emergencies Trust and NHS Charities Together.
3. Double your donations
Some platforms offer to double the value of donations made, either through the platform company itself or an individual, trust or corporate donor. Check to see if the matched giving option is permanent or for select campaigns.
The Big Give
Aiming to raise £1.35 million with its Covid-19 Emergency Appeal, The Big Give is urging the public to donate through its website to see their gifts doubled, pound for pound, until the £611,000 match funding pot is emptied. Match funding has been donated by a range of generous partners, including the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, the Reed family, Reed Foundation and Cazenove Capital (Schroders).
4. Donating unwanted goods
VintageGiving.com turns unwanted old and vintage items quickly and easily into funds for charities. They say that, typically, a donated box is worth around £80. Currently the company is “boosting the value of all boxes sent to us from charities and their supporters by 10%.”
5. Giving accounts
If you give regularly to multiple charities or wish to do so by setting up a family giving account, there are various platforms that support this kind and other kinds of approach:
6. Fundraising from playlists
GivePenny is running a free webinar on how this works on 17 April.
7. Virtual events
— trac4GOOD (@Trac4GOOD) March 18, 2020
CharityCheckout, the fundraising, donations and events registration platform, has integrated with Strava for its virtual events and fundraising product. This will enable charity supporters to record and easily share their indoor or outdoor fitness activity as well as giving them the ability to update videos and pictures from their runs, cycles or at home workouts. The integration of Strava is part of a wider update of its Fundraising and Event registration product to enable charities to better navigate the COVID-19 crisis.
Crowdfunder has expanded from its standard crowdfunding campaigns to enable charities to run virtual video events in lieu of their physical version to replace lost income. These range from comedy nights, to music events, pub quizzes and sports engagement.
Crowdfunder is “100% free for charity fundraising projects during the crisis”.
8. Payroll giving
Let us know what you're doing today to keep yourself busy during lock down. We're busy processing donations from generous employers and their employees to thousands of UK charities! 😍 #charity #COVID19
— Charitable Giving (@CharitbleGiving) April 16, 2020
Geared for Giving
If players signed up to take a 30% paycut due to #covid19 then almost £1billion could be raised for the @NHSuk and good causes. Demand @premierleague look into this! #GivingBack #Football #DoingGood #Charity pic.twitter.com/kNlJ4uXVWA
— Geared for Giving Campaign (@GearedforGiving) April 8, 2020
Geared for Giving helps anyone – not just Premier League players! – donate to charity via payroll giving.
9. Corporate support
Work for Good
Work for Good lets companies link giving to charity through their sales. It has recently removed membership fees for companies.
Now you can support us by linking donations to your sales. @workfor_good will help you donate in an easy way that’s sustainable for your business – register here for your free account https://t.co/uGbmkekQxd #workforgood
— Rainy Day Trust (@RAINYDAYTRUST) March 23, 2020
In Kind Direct
In Kind Direct is a charity that distributes donated stock from over 1,200 companies to 10,000 charities in need. Companies can donate products at any time.
It is currently benefiting from a hashtag campaign by Andrex which is offering to donate up to £100,000 to the charity.
— In Kind Direct (@InKindDirect) April 14, 2020
If your company wants to give in other non-financial ways you can offer your services via the government’s business support service:
— Martin Lugton (@martinlugton) March 27, 2020
Streaming is one of the biggest opportunities for fundraising in these times. And it’s not because of the scale and popularity of online gaming. That’s important of course, but the real significance of streaming is that it is about people’s passions and skills, and sharing that with their ‘tribe’ of people who share that passion. People will pay to watch, play alongside, learn from and engage with people who are amongst the best in their area – whatever that is.
US company Tiltify expanded its services to the UK last year. It is the official fundraising partner of streaming site Twitch.
Comedian Richard Herring chose to use it this year for his annual ‘When’s International Men’s Day’ fundraising campaign for Refuge.
— Richard K Herring (@Herring1967) March 8, 2020
GivePenny lets individuals fundraise by doing that they love, by integrating with a whole range of activity, sporting, leisure and entertainment apps like Strava and Spotify.
JustGiving offers a streaming and gaming option too.
11. Online lotteries and raffles
Plenty of charities including hospices run online lotteries, and this is another option under lockdown for those who want to donate to charity with the possibility of a cash win.
The GivingLottery, from The Giving Machine, is way for schools, charities and community groups to raise funds. Players have the chance to win £25,000 while supporting causes that matter to them from just £1 a week.
12. Online auctions
Individuals and charities can still turn valuable items into donations via online auctions.
eBay for Charity
eBay for Charity supports over 30,000 UK charities.
When listing an item for sale, individuals can consider donating a percentage of the sale to a cause of their choice – from 10% to 100%.
The site currently has nominated NHS Charities Together as its latest Give at Checkout partner.
Elmwoods in West London is one auctioneer that runs online auctions. On 23 April it is holding an online jewellery auction to raise funds for the National Emergencies Trust.
12. Group gifting
Some platforms let you manage contributions to a single fund, for a birthday, a wedding or a celebratory event. These can also be used jointly to contribute to a charitable donation on behalf of someone, to celebrate that event.
13. Online quizzes
Plenty of charities are benefiting from online quizzes, some that they have set up, and some that their supporters have. Some are using existing channels such as Facebook Live, Zoom and YouTube. Others are using dedicated online quiz platforms.
Virtual Quiz Events
Virtual Quiz Events was set up in January this year. Not surprisingly, since lockdown they have grown by 900%!
The charity/cause schedules a quiz and determines the entry fee. They then promote it amongst their supporters who pay to enter the quiz. 60% of entry fees goes directly to the charity, with 20% being shared amongst 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed players. Virtual Quiz Events retains 20% to cover admin/development/staffing costs. All questions are pre-set and anyone can take part from anywhere in the UK. The not-for-profit platform is now generating around £5,000 per week for UK-based charities and good causes.
14. Other platforms
There are of course many other platforms that aren’t designed for fundraising but which have turned out to enable them in various ways, not least video app Zoom.
— Louise Eagle (@L007Eag) April 14, 2020
People and charities using Zoom don’t have a built-in fundraising option of course, so usually set up a fundraising campaign on one of the standard giving platforms.
But there are tools available to help build in fundraising to the Zoom, Skype or Rooms experience.
Lockdown Loveup is “all about encouraging people to stop loneliness either you are young and vital or old and lonely”.
The idea is to ask someone for a date: it could be your crush, old friend, husband or flatmate. You can keep your name secret and will be revealed after the lockdown.
Your invitation is emailed on our behalf. Once you design the perfect fun date through the website, you are asked to make a donation to the Re-engage charity that provides social activities and contact to elderly in the UK.
The Giving Room
The Giving Room has been developed in partnership with PurplePot, the contactless giving service for companies, workplaces and business events. It is encouraging thousands of business people setting up online video conferences on platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams to insert a simple donation weblink or QR code into their next few meetings.
Did we miss your online giving or fundraising platform from our list? Or miss out a whole type of virtual fundraising? Let us know. We’re only listing platforms that serve a UK audience, and we aren’t aiming to be comprehensive.
If your fundraising platform could benefit from additional promotion on UK Fundraising please contact Catherine Chin and Dawn Ray for details.
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