How To Fundraise Online

Posted on July 3, 2020 at 10:58 am

So you want to run an online fundraiser? Firstly, we applaud your charitable spirit and determination to make a difference! Secondly, we want to help you reach the full potential of your fundraising efforts, so we’ve produced this handy guide covering every aspect of raising money online.

If you’re still working out which cause you want to support or how much money you want to raise, check out our essential introduction to fundraising guide first. If you’ve got that sorted and want to know how to move forward with your efforts online, then read on to learn more!

Best UK crowdfunding sites

First of all, you need to establish how and where you are going to collect donations from your supporters. There is a whole range of crowdfunding platforms available to support your fundraising efforts, so much so that sometimes it can be difficult to know which best suits your needs. We’ve provided a quick overview of ‘the big three’ best crowdfunding sites in the UK with all the quick-fire stats you need to make an informed decision.

GoFundMe

“The world’s largest social fundraising platform, with over $5 billion raised so far. With a community of more than 70 million donors, GoFundMe is changing the way the world gives.”

  • – Established: 2010
  • – Platform fee: 0%
  • – Transaction processing fees: 2.9% (plus $0.30 for credit/debit card donations)

JustGiving

“The world’s most trusted platform for online giving. Our mission is to ensure no great cause goes unfunded. We are enormously proud to have helped people in 164 countries raise over $4.5 billion for good causes”

  • – Established: 2000
  • – Platform fee: 0%
  • – Transaction processing fees: 2.9% (plus 25p for credit/debit card and PayPal donations)

Virgin Money Giving

“A not-for-profit alternative to other fundraising websites. Whilst you can’t do this for free, you can do it without making a profit.”

  • – Established: 2009
  • – Platform fee: 2%
  • – Transaction processing fee: 2.5%

Of course, there are smaller fundraising platforms that you can choose to use instead. Some of the most popular include Total Giving, Charity Checkout, and Wonderful.

Online fundraising ideas

Now that you’ve settled on which fundraising platform you want to use, you need to decide on an activity that you will do in order to raise the money online. While traditional fundraising events often include things like bake sales and fun runs, there are plenty of ways that you can raise money from the comfort of your own home. For example:

Organise a quiz

Zoom quizzes shot up in popularity during the lockdown period, so why not capitalise on this and organise a trivia night for your friends and family? Or if you have bigger ambitions, you could even stream live on YouTube!

Woman taking part in online quiz

Host a raffle

Many small businesses have been hit hard recently, so this is a great way to raise money for your cause whilst also supporting local businesses. Many places will be happy to offer a prize as this is good exposure for them and can help to drive more business. While you might struggle to get complete freebies, it shouldn’t be too hard to haggle your way to some vouchers or other discounts.

Gold cup trophy

Share your expertise

Plenty of us like watching cooking shows or taking part in yoga classes, so why not organise one yourself? If you’ve got an area of expertise that is valuable to others, it’s worth seeing if people would be willing to donate to learn from you. Think outside the box too – for example, if you’re a teacher by day, why not see if there is an appetite for you to read bedtime stories?

Woman stirring a pot in her kitchen

Run a gaming tournament

Gaming tournaments are a great way to get other people involved in your fundraiser. The popularity of video game streaming is at an all time high, and there are plenty of websites that can facilitate online card games or board games. You could charge an entry fee to compete for a prize, as well as encouraging other friends and family to donate as you play. Getting more people involved in the fundraising activity itself also helps to broaden your pool of potential benefactors.

Man taking part in gaming tournament

Livestream an endurance challenge

Endurance challenges don’t have to stop just because you’re at home. Why not use a platform like YouTube or Twitch to livestream yourself undertaking an endurance challenge? If you have exercise equipment then you could complete a marathon, bike ride, or rowathon, but there are plenty of other things you can do too. Successful online fundraisers have done things like listening to Nickleback non-stop for a week, or watching Nicolas Cage films for 24 hours in a row, so don’t be afraid to get creative! The wackier you are, the more money you’ll likely be able to raise.

Feed on rowing machine

How to promote your fundraiser online

Make use of social media

You’ve got a plan in place, now it’s time to drum up support for your cause. Social media is the perfect tool to reach out to your existing networks and get them donating and sharing your appeal more widely. Facebook even has a specific Donate feature to help you raise funds for your chosen cause, so you can collect donations directly on the social media platform itself.

Screenshot of Facebook's Donate feature

Contact your local press

Local papers love a good news story and Brits love to support an underdog. Reach out to them and let them know of your efforts, and they may be willing to cover it either in print or online! This is unlikely to work if your fundraiser is a fairly standard affair, but if you’re doing any kind of challenge that is a bit ‘out-there’ then it’s definitely worth a shot.

Reach out to relevant celebrities and influencers

This can be tricky to pull off, but is worth the effort if you can get someone with a large online following to support your cause, or even just to promote it to their followers. It’s not uncommon nowadays to see smaller celebrities retweeting appeals for help, and this can be a great (free!) way to get your fundraiser seen by more people.

When organising an online fundraiser, don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for support too! They can be a great source of inspiration and can help to share the organisational load, as well as making the whole thing more fun. Good luck!