20 ways people are fundraising to support the people of Ukraine

Ukrainian bird of peace - image: Andrii Hryhorash
Image: Andrii Hryhorash

People and organisations around the world are fundraising for the people of Ukraine in a wide variety of ways. Here is a selection.

Some have used their professional skills or contacts, other their artistic skills, and others have focused on particular ways of helping and chosen an appropriate way to fundraise on that theme. Others have resurrected previous fundraising approaches.


1. Appeals for specific items

Medical volunteers are fundraising to buy trauma kits to send to Ukraine. Twelve boxes of hospital-grade kits have already been sent. Each kit contains what is needed to set up a trauma hospital.

2. Appeals for professional counterparts

Staff in the UK cinema exhibition sector have launched Cinemas for Ukraine to help their counterparts in Ukraine.

UK Cinema Association (UKCA), Event Cinema Association and digital agency Powster are fundraising for the campaign following discussions with the Union of Cinema Theatres of Ukraine.

A figure skater from Edinburgh has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help a group of Ukrainian skaters attend a major championships in Germany.

3. Film screenings

Screenings of Olga, Elie Grappe’s Cannes 2021 film about a Ukrainian gymnast displaced from her homeland, are raising funds for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian appeal, with a donation from each ticket sale.

4. NFTs

The Ukrainian government has launched a NFT (non-fungible token) to help fund its war efforts through the sale of digital art.

5. Donating advertising space

Members of BBX, a community that allows businesses to trade services without using cash, have donated over £50,000 to support victims of the war in Ukraine, providing advertising space for the British Red Cross and UNICEF.

BBX has created a media fund for charities working on the ground, which members can donate their digital credits to. The fund then buys advertising space for these charities to help to promote their fundraising efforts and encourage donations from the general public.

6. Concert venues combine to raise funds

ASM Global Acts, the corporate social responsibility arm of venue management company and consultancy ASM Global, has launched a fundraising campaign involving the venues it manages. These include AO Arena (Manchester), OVO Arena Wembley (London), First Direct Arena (Leeds), Utilita Arena (Newcastle) and P&J Live (Aberdeen).

For example, customers at events will be able to add a 50p donation when ordering food and drinks during shows, to be donated to the British Red Cross.

Other arts venues put on events to raise funds for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, including the Royal Opera House and Southbank Centre in London and East Sussex’s Glyndebourne Opera House.

7. Human billboard

Twenty-three-year-old Andrey Kushchinsky, a Ukrainian living in London, has walked around central London carrying a billboard seeking donations to fund him to travel back to his homeland and distribute aid packages.

He told Metro London “‘My back is the only advertising I can afford, so I’m just trying to walk around and spread the message of what I’m doing”.

8. Cat on Instagram

It’s not just people fundraising but pets too. Stepan, the Ukrainian cat, has ‘raised $10,000’ via its Instagram account to support animals that are suffering as a result of Russia’s war.

9. Free food and drink from locals

Some Ukrainians are saying a simple but well-targeted thank you to those in their armed forces by donating the cost of a coffee or cake, so that the servicewomen and men can enjoy a free treat.

10. Free food and drink from abroad

The same notion of paying for others’ food works internationally.

11. Competitions

Norfolk-based Marie Russell and Melissa Hewitt have set up a fundraising group that runs regular competitions to raise funds for Every Life Counts, a Romanian-based animal charity which is helping Ukrainian refugees and their pets.

12. #CookForUkraine

Following the #CookForSyria model, people are hosting suppers, inviting their friends and suggesting a donation.

13. Vodka 4 Peace

Founded by Anastasiia Rosinina, who fled Kyiv in March, and Dr. Tobias Reichmuth, Vodka 4 Peace donates 100% of its profits from the sale of its bottles of vodka to selected Ukrainian NGOs. This means a minimum of £5 per bottle is being donated. The initiative was created in response to the Russian invasion, and has been developed by entrepreneurs, volunteers and refugees. It is based in Switzerland.

Five bottles of Moskovskaya Vodka rebranded to Mosko Vodka and on sale to raise funds to help the people of Ukraine. Image: Amber Beverage Group
100% of profits from the newly rebranded ‘Mosko Vodka’ from Latvia-based Amber Beverage Group will be donated to help the people of Ukraine.

Latvia-based Amber Beverage Group has also rebranded its Moskovskaya Vodka to Mosko Vodka and produced it in a limited edition, available in all three Baltic countries. The Group states that “100% of the profits” from sales will be donated to support Ukrainian people via the Stand With Ukraine nonprofit.

The back label on the bottles includes a QR code that gives consumers more information about the company’s and the brand’s support for the people of Ukraine and invites them to take part in further support.

“All materials required for production [of the vodka] are obtained only from the countries of the European Union, including alcohol, bottles, labels and other materials.”

You might not be surprised that there are other Ukrainian vodka-related fundraising campaigns. Dima’s Vodka has been raising funds by making a donation from sales of its vodka and from fundraising auctions of some of its bottles.

Dima's Vodka - photo: Dima's Vodka
Photo: Dima’s Vodka

14. Crowdfunding for yourself

Mariia R from Ukraine, crowdfunding to help her continue her UK studies, at a Ukrainian rally. Photo: Mariia R via GoFundMe.
Mariia R is crowdfunding to help her continue her studies in the UK.

Some Ukrainians outside their country are finding themselves in great hardship. For example, 23-year-old Mariia is a Ukrainian student who has been accepted onto a Physics PhD programme at Warwick University. She was being supported financially by her parents in the Ukraine, until the invasion left them with nothing.

She is using GoFundMe to help her continue her studies in the UK, and has so far raised £3,340 of her £10,000 goal.

She told The Yorkshire Post “The war has turned my life upside down. Just last month, I had a home, a happy family to always return to, and enjoyed my engineering degree in Sheffield.”

15. Bibs for Ukraine

Four baby pacifiers from BIBSworld in the colours of the Ukrainian flag
Pacifiers for peace, from BIBSworld, sold in aid of Unicef.

Premium Danish baby and toddler brand BIBS has created two pacifiers in the colours of the Ukrainian flag, with “all proceeds from sales being donated” to UNICEF.

The pacifiers cost £4.50 at BIBSworld.

16. Carve one wooden bowl

Twelve-year-old Gabriel Clark has raised over £250,000 for the Save the Children Ukraine appeal from his wooden-bowl-carving idea.

Originally he planned to make and sell them to help him buy a mountain bike. But after his father Richard asked via Twitter for people to follow his Instagram account – which had just six followers – and he attracted over 250,000 followers, Gabriel decided to do something to help the people of Ukraine.

He received over 20,000 orders for bowls.

Rather than commit the next few years to hand-carving that many bowls, he decided, as a fundraising idea, to carve just one bowl, and to raffle it in aid of the children’s charity. 14,000 took part and his fundraising page is still raising money.

17. Win Eurovision

The Kalush Orchestra won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest for Ukraine. Before they returned to their country they decided to raffle the winners’ trophy to raise funds for “a charity fund that helps the Armed Forces and Ukraine”.

18. Auction a road sign

Ukraine road sign with blunt directions for invading Russian forces to return to Russia
Blunt road sign messages for invading Russian troops. Image: Prozorro.sale

Not just any road sign, but a propaganda sign which attracted attention in the early days of the Russian invasion.

Instead of simply pointing fingerpost signs in different directions to confuse the enemy, or removing road signs to frustrate them further, this sign presented an unambiguous message for invading Russian troops. The 2.4m x 1m sign was erected in the Sumy region and, when sold, had evidence of bullet holes in it.

It was sold at auction for charity for the equivalent of $21,000. The money was donated to the fund set up on 1 March 2022 by the National Bank of Ukraine to “support Ukraine’s Armed Forces”.

19. Create and auction war figurines

A diorama with figurines of Russian soldiers, some of them looting possessions from a war-damaged Ukrainian home, are to be sold at auction to raise funds for charity. They were created by Lithuanian modeller Tomas Upskas. He called the work ‘Brothers in Arms’.

Ukranian war diorama. Photo (republished with permission) by Tomas Upskas.

Upskas is working on a new diorama featuring the Ukrainian defenders of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.

20. Auctioning a toy Patron dog

Patron is the most famous dog in Ukraine because of his mine-clearance achievements.

A soft-toy version has been created and the first one is being auctioned online. Indeed, an anonymous donor has pledged to match the winning bid up to $5,000.