With current changes in technology, there are new ways to fundraise on a virtual level. Video calls and chats allow people to connect for long distances, or in this case, short distances. Today’s COVID-19 pandemic will ultimately subside—thanks largely to the relentless efforts of medical professionals on the frontlines, scientists searching for better treatments and ways to prevent future outbreaks, and the generosity of those who fund their work.
Here are few fun ideas to take your fundraiser virtual and still make a difference while safe at home.
Don’t cancel your party. Host it via video call. (Become a Zoomster!) Ship each guest a “party in a box” for a festive atmosphere on screen; party boxes could include favors (hats, leis), tiny decorations (paper lanterns, mini-umbrellas for drinks), or even food and drink If you already ordered catering, don’t cancel it, but distribute it to each of your guests. Remember that everyone can be creative from the comfort of home. Play verbal games, or try video charades. Make the most of your virtual soirée and create a fundraising page. Ask guests to donate the money they would have spent on travel, a new outfit, a bottle of wine, a gift, or whatever is appropriate. The webcam pic is the new selfie.
VIRTUAL COOKING CLASS
With so many pictures of food posted online, it’s not a big leap to offer a cooking class to your network of friends and family. (How about Facebook Live?) Put on an apron and channel your inner Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson, or perhaps switch to a new head chef every day or week for a fresh kitchen and dish. Set up a fundraising page and gather donations from all those participating.
LIVE STREAM CHALLENGE
A live stream fundraiser is an excellent way to attract, nurture, and convert your audience over the course of a day or longer. Use Twitch for live video game streaming or YouTube for live pod streaming. This approach offers the opportunity to engage with your supporters and thank donors in real-time. Set up a fundraising page for donations to roll in electronically. You can even kick it up a notch with live announcements of additional comments or challenges from donors.
The gym may be closed, but you can still break a sweat. Virtual races, or “No Run Runs,” are great for individuals of all fitness levels and can be done at any location. A virtual race allows your supporters to register to “run” alone or with a virtual group of friends while fundraising. Since your “finish line” is whatever you determine your fundraising goal to be, there’s a lot of flexibility in designing a virtual race—marathon (your fitness tracker logs steps as you pace around the apartment), walkathon (how far can a daily walk in the park—at appropriate social distance from others—take you), cycling (how many people do you know have a stationary bike at home?), etc. Create a team fundraising page and have each member register to join. Use the update features on your fundraising page to keep your supporters apprised of your progress as you prepare.
VIRTUAL DANCE CHALLENGE
“Renegade” may have sparked the TikTok Dance Challenge, but more dances have rolled through the platform to inspire and dare your friends. Set up a fundraising page, start a challenge, and tag a friend to continue. People must donate to pass on the challenge before tagging the next person. That way, you keep both the moves and the money rolling.
VIRTUAL MOVIE NIGHT
While it may not have the intimacy of a movie theater, there are apps and websites that allow people to watch movies together from long distances. Treat this as any other movie night, except you’re encouraged to have your phone on for texting or video chatting with the audience. Guests can donate money for their chosen snacks, or have each guest choose an appropriate donation challenge—every time they kiss £2, every explosion £5, every pratfall £10. . Make sure your Wi-Fi connection is strong, grab your snacks, get comfy, and set a strict start time for the audience. On the upside, you don’t have to share your popcorn.
VIRTUAL COCKTAIL CLASS
Bars and restaurants have closed; however, you should still be able to enjoy an occasional cocktail or mocktail. Create some quality time with friends and schedule one day every week when one person’s favorite cocktail is made. Host a live stream tutorial for your close friends and family on social media. You can set up a fundraising page and gather donations from all those participating and even thank them live if you’re streaming.
CONFERENCE CALL COSTUME CONTEST
Never before has your office been so dependent on Microsoft Teams or Zoom. It can be hard to keep the team spirit. Change up your routine with a very different conference call—the challenge being the costume only works from the neck up. Award prizes for the funniest, the most creative, or the scariest. Set up a fundraising page to get the entire workplace into the spirit.
VIRTUAL BIRTHDAY PARTY
The celebration must go on! We’ve all seen those Facebook Birthday Fundraisers, so why not take it to the next level? Host a virtual birthday party for yourself. Assign a date and time with an online save the date. Coordinate your video chat and ask for donations to your fundraising page. Send our virtual party favors such as e-cards or stickers to those who donate. Better yet, plan a surprise party for your friend. Send balloons to the birthday home and when “opening presents,” read off the list of donations in their name!
We hope you’re suitably inspired to raise money for Tarporley War Memorial Hospital during these unprecedented times.
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