Top tips for charity fundraising during COVID-19 and beyond

07 September 2020

All areas of the charity sector have been impacted by COVID-19, with fundraising becoming an increasing concern for many.

These top tips have been developed to offer suggestions of steps your charity can take during this challenging time. Difficult lessons learned during the height of COVID-19 also provide an opportunity for your charity to enhance its fundraising and resilience. 

  • Continue to fundraise! Many charities, especially those not on the front line tackling the effects of COVID-19, may feel apprehensive about asking for donations during the crisis. However, we have seen that people are willing and ready to step up to support the causes they care about. Success stories such as Captain Tom Moore show us that great fundraising is still possible. Check the fundraising regulator’s guidance to ensure your fundraising is carried out in line with the Code of Fundraising Practice.
  • Keep up communications with existing donors. Being transparent and proactive in your communications with donors is key during uncertain times. Although the peak of the crisis may be over, keep regularly updating your donors as communities come back together and your organisation looks ahead. This could be different to the usual ways you keep your donors informed, such as special email updates, newsletters or virtual events.
  • Create the right message by making sure that you have a clear case for support that outlines why your charity needs funding. Now more than ever, being able to clearly define your organisation’s need for funding and your value to people and communities is vital. View our guidance on writing a case for support.
  • Encourage existing donors to be lead donors during COVID-19. Reach out to people who already give to your cause to see if they can give more during this difficult time or help to encourage others to give to your charity.
  • Emphasise Gift Aid and how it is so important to include Gift Aid with a donation. Make sure that a Gift Aid declaration box is included on the digital donation forms you create for your website and for digital fundraising events.
  • Consider new and creative ways you can raise funds. Ideas include creating merchandise such as charity t-shirts to sell online, online auctions or a competition where participants pay a small fee to submit entries online.
  • Consider your fundraising resilience. COVID-19 has demonstrated that diversifying your voluntary income streams will help ensure your fundraising is more robust in the future. For example, if you own a building you could consider creating income from room hire for events with social distancing measures in place.
  • Research online giving, to begin or improve your digital fundraising. Online giving offers a range of possibilities to expand your fundraising, as well as helping your charity engage more to help you with online giving. If you have been fundraising online for a while, now is a great time to review your digital fundraising strategy. online for a while, now is a great time to review your digital fundraising strategy.
  • Create new online or digital events to inspire people to give and to engage young people with your cause. For example, you could start an online challenge event – get your community on board to come up with their own challenge events or fundraising activity. You could use virtual fundraising platform to run the event and collection online donations. There are a variety of providers available including our commercial partner Tap Simple, who’s all-in-one event offering allows you to create and customise your tickets, host the event live or virtually, and process donations from supporters on the events page, both before and during your event. 
  • Consider crowdfunding, it’s a great way to engage a much wider audience. Providers include Crowdfunder, Go Fund Me, and JustGiving crowdfunding. Crowdfunder is enabling charities to run virtual video events such as comedy nights, music events, quizzes, and it has shared its tips and ideas.
  • Research possible funders. Funders have adapted quickly during the crisis to meet the needs of charities and the communities they serve. We have some useful tips to help you organise your research, with signposts to where you can find COVID-19 emergency grants.
  • Consider reaching out to other charities and local groups to work in collaboration. You may be working with increasingly stretched resources. Collaborating with other charities in your sector or local area may help in sharing resources and reaching more people. For example, you could work with other local charities to map out the need in your local area or create joint events.