3 Epic (But Simple) Online Fundraising Ideas for Charities
Updated 9 August 2022
by Brian Isaac
It’s been another unpredictable year, but people haven’t stopped supporting the causes they love.
And while some in-person fundraising events are finding their groove again, charities are finding the most success by turning to online fundraising events and challenges.
It’s simpler than in-person fundraising, highly engaging, COVID-safe, and unites all supporters regardless of ability or location!
Continue reading for three of our favourite epic, simple, and free online fundraising ideas you can launch this year to help you raise more leading into 2023.
1. Launch an end-of-year appeal
The end of the year is one of the biggest giving opportunities for Australia and New Zealand charities. It’s a key moment in the calendar because the holidays inspire giving and people may also have extra income.
Whether you have a special project you’re working to raise money for or just seeking an uplift in end-of-year donations, make sure to connect your ask with the end of the year and that your supporters are clear about why you’re asking for gifts.
By doing it right, you can see a boost at the end of the year without much extra effort.
Next, use this 3-step email sequence to engage your supporters and raise more leading into 2023 (adapted from Rich Beeston’s Last-Minute Tips to Maximise Your EOFY Results).
- Email 1: focus on your need. Demonstrate the need for your ask by sharing what you’re working on, stories of beneficiaries, statistics, or a mix of all three. For example, if you’re working to build a new mental health facility, tell your supporters what impact this will have on the community and share statistics about why it’s needed.
- Email 2: restate the need and increase the urgency. Share the progress of your campaign, introduce new statistics, quotes, or stories that support the ask, and ensure supporters know their gifts are tax-deductible.
- Email 3: make it short, sharp, and highly urgent. Don’t introduce anything new here, but ensure your supporters know they only have a short time remaining to donate. Share financial updates and how much money you still need to reach your goal.
2. Launch an Online Fundraising Fitness Challenge
As more and more of our lives shift online, fundraising events follow.
One of the most popular types of online fundraising is activity-based campaigns that challenge your most passionate supporters to show their generosity by getting active for the cause they love.
How do online fundraising fitness challenges work?
Whether you want them to run, swim, cycle, walk, wheel, or otherwise, you can ask your supporters to join an online campaign to track their fitness activities and fundraise.
For example, say you’d like to try launching a virtual fundraising challenge where participants must walk, run, or use a wheelchair to go 10 kilometres over a week’s time, all while raising money for your cause from their family, friends, and colleagues.
With wearable tech like Apple Watch and Fitbit, supporters can track and share every step of their progress.
What’s the impact of online fundraising fitness events?
Supporters who track their fitness activity online raise 40% more on average than those who don’t. It’s one of the best ways to gain new supporters, unite your community, and raise more money!
How to raise money with online fitness fundraising
- Create a fundraising Campaign Page to act as a central hub for all of your online fundraising.
- Create and link an Event or Appeal to your Campaign to enable your supporters to work toward a collective goal on a specific date.
- Encourage your supporters to download a free fitness app like Fitbit or Strava and link their activity to their fundraising page to share their progress and smash their targets.
Get our free guide to Creating an Online Fundraising Fitness Challenge for everything you need to know about launching and running a fitness-focused online fundraising challenge.
“We asked people to integrate fitness apps with their page because it takes the donors along in the fundraiser’s journey towards the event. We had a lot of runners smash their targets! Being able to offer this technology to the runners makes a difference.”
— Cure Brain Cancer Foundation
3. Create a charity gaming event
One of the biggest innovations (and opportunities) in peer-to-peer fundraising is charity gaming.
How does charity gaming work?
Video gamers live stream their gameplay online and encourage their audience to donate to your cause. People can then donate easily after gamers connect their stream to JustGiving.
In 2019, gaming group Unreal Aussies held an exciting full-day gaming event on the Gold Coast. They raised over $8,000 in a single day to support beyondblue in helping the 3 million+ Australians struggling with anxiety and depression every year.
What’s the impact of charity gaming?
If you support people in their passion, they’re likely to become advocates for life. To date, gamers have raised over $2 million for charities using JustGiving. An incredible opportunity for Australia and New Zealand nonprofits, especially leading in 2023!
How to raise money with charity gaming
People like to get creative and take initiative in creating their own type of stream for their followers. The simplest way to get involved is to let your supporters know that they can host their own gaming event to raise funds for your cause.
- Create a Fundraising Campaign to act as a central hub for all of your online fundraising.
- Once your page is set up, share it to your email list and social media channels. People in the gaming community will be affected or know someone affected by your cause, so make sure your mission is front and centre!
Learn more on our Gaming Hub.
Using one or a combination of the above online fundraising ideas will help you cap off 2022 and move into 2023 with confidence!
For additional help getting started on these or other peer-to-peer fundraising ideas, including customised fundraising websites and campaigns, contact our team for a free strategy session.