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How to increase public fundraising for your charity

It's been a difficult year for charities. Now it's time to kick public fundraising back into gear. Read our top tips for engaging and supporting fundraisers.

Gabriela James Noguera

With COVID-19 having hit charities hard, many organisations are looking to increase public fundraising activity. A few charities and causes have catapulted to the forefront of the public's consciousness. Yet many have been left behind as people's attentions and freedoms are given over to the coronavirus. With depleted resources, diminished staff and limits on our usual activities, what can charities do to galvanise support and increase public fundraising?

Online activity is non-negotiable if you want to increase public fundraising

One of the most important things any charity needs to do if it's looking to encourage engagement and increase public fundraising is harness the power of the Internet. Of course, being accessible online has been vital for years now. But with people being out and about less due to the pandemic, if you're not active online your charity may soon be forgotten.

Use social media to your advantage

It's really important that your charity is present on social media - now more than ever. It's a really great way to connect with supporters. Because of its immediacy, its accessibility and the fact it encourages the use of everyday equipment rather than high-spec cameras, it also helps with relatability and transparency - two crucial characteristics of a successful charity in the twenty-first century.

Here are some brilliant uses of social media for charities looking to increase public fundraising

Show your charity's human side!

Let followers get to know the wonderful people that keep your charity running day-to-day by showcasing staff and trustee profiles. You can even hold Q&As to give people a more in-depth understanding of exactly what your charity does and all the work that goes into it. As a bonus, people interested in joining the third sector can find out more about what the job entails. That might mean you get even more staff or volunteers!

Let people see the work you do to increase public fundraising.

As pandemic restrictions ease, you might be able to offer a fuller glimpse into the important work your charity is doing. In the meantime, your supporters get to see how you have adapted to our ever-changing circumstances. Spotlighting your work is a great incentive to help increase public fundraising: when people see the amazing things you do, they'll naturally want to contribute. It also helps give people who already support you an even greater sense of pride, when they see what their efforts have achieved. What's more, it helps with that all-important transparency. People can see that you really are putting their hard-earned money to good use.

Let your supporters take centre stage.

Lending your platform to hard-working campaigners will inevitably help increase public fundraising; it's a simple case of leading by example! When your followers see wonderful people running marathons, scaling climbing walls, white-water rafting or shaving their heads to raise money for your charity, they'll want to join in on the action!

It's a powerful way of saying thank you and showing your supporters how appreciated they are. It also means that people in the spotlight will work extra hard, with all eyes on them. Having a large audience watching also holds people extra accountable: there's no way they'll scrimp on their mileage now.

Plus, many people are inclined to do things that will boost their followings or social media attention. Another reason to start a fundraising campaign in your name!

Go virtual for fundraising events to increase public fundraising

Many events are still off the table as we continue to fight COVID-19. To increase public fundraising activity in the midst of these restrictions, hold virtual events instead. That way, you don't miss out on the communal aspect of fundraising that can be so appealing and self-muliplying!

There are countless approaches you can take to virtual charity events. Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:

  1. Virtual comedy/variety/musical/theatrical show that supporters can buy tickets to.
  2. Gaming tournament - whether of the video or board variety is up to you.
  3. Bake offs, cook-alongs and remote dinner parties for the foodies.
  4. Online raffle.

Take part in something bigger if you really want to increase public fundraising

A powerful way to widen your charity's reach and engage your audience is to take part in a more large-scale event. That way, the event itself is a draw, meaning that people who might not be familiar with your charity learn of all the wonderful things you're doing.

Of course, we know a lot of these big events have been cancelled. Others are still months away, like the London marathon. But there are still things you can do without compromising on safety!

For example, why not take part in Wonderful's Miles Better challenge this May? We're bringing together all kinds of amazing charities and their supporters to work together towards our ambitious targets: 100,000 miles covered and £100,000 raised in May's 31 days.

By taking part in the challenge, your charity will feature on our Miles Better event page. It will be one of the options that any fundraiser who signs up to the challenge sees when selecting a cause to swim, trek, run, cycle, jig, slip'n'slide (you get the idea...) for.

With household names like Cancer Research UK, the National Emergencies Trust and Amnesty International UK taking part in the May challenge, it's bound to attract a lot of attention. Joining in the action is a surefire way to increase public fundraising activity and shine a light on the vital work your charity is doing.

How to take part in the Miles Better challenge this May

Joining our challenge is easy. You just need to make sure you're registered with Wonderful, and then you'll be able to opt-in. To register, visit Wonderful Payments and enter your charity registration number to begin our Speedy Boarding process.

Once you pass through our approvals process, you can enable fundraising on the Wonderful Organisation. That allows supporters to set up pages to raise money for you however they choose. You'll also be able to sign up to the Miles Better challenge. That means fundraisers moving for your charity this May will contribute to our £100,000 and 100,000 miles goal. And if your fundraisers really get into their groove (and rattle their proverbial tins), you might even feature on our Miles Better league table!

A strong sense of community is the key to increasing public fundraising

The overarching theme in all of this advice is that you need to foster a strong sense of community if you want people to fundraise on your charity's behalf. We all want to feel like we're a part of something. It's encouraging, even invigorating to be surrounded (albeit virtually) by people who share our values.

Bring your supporters together on social media, on your website, and through virtual events. You'll get the public engaged and willing to work for your cause. And to really boost your numbers, be part of something even bigger than your charity. You'll get a bigger community of fundraisers. What's more, you'll find a brand new community of fellow charities to support and buoy you through all you do.

Become part of something truly wonderful today.

Giving