Fundraisers have had to be more innovative with the lockdown which prevented them being able to carry out their regular fundraising activities.
The coronavirus pandemic put on hold many key events in the charity fundraising calendar, including some major marathons and other events, but this hasn’t stopped some kind-hearted and innovative souls raising money for charities, while still observing self-isolation rules.
While the lockdown may be being eased to some degree, it is likely that some kind of social distancing will be the norm for some time to come and charities as always are in need of your help. Here are some fundraising ideas that can be done largely by yourself or don’t involve mixing physically with people and could be useful going forward.
1. Running in your backyard/garden
With so many charity running events being cancelled due to the pandemic, you don’t have to put your running efforts on hold. If you don’t want to take any risks running outdoors then put your garden or backyard to good use and clock up the miles, whether it’s a 5k or a mammoth challenge like a marathon. Former Wales rugby captain Ryan Jones completed over 700 laps of his garden to raise over £8,000 for Swansea Bay University LHB Charitable Fund to help buy extra resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Walk in the safety of your own garden
You don’t have to be Mo Farah or even have to break into a sprint as walking is just as good for fundraising. Most people will have seen the efforts of World War II veteran Captain Tom Moore, the then 99-year-old pensioner who did his 100 laps of his garden before he turned 100 and raised over £32 million for NHS Charities Together, a UK-based charity supporting the work of the National Health Service, in the process.
3. Sing it back
With pubs and bars in lockdown, where could people let it all out than in the home? Over acts across two days were brought together for ‘Courtney’s Big Bash’, a Facebook concert organised by a Wirral father and daughter and raised more than £20,000 for children’s hospice Claire House. With each performer singing in the safety of their own home and encouraging people to donate the funds soon mounted up. You could do the same and host a live singing show to raise money for a charity of your choosing.
4. Swear jar
An old favourite, but nonetheless a real fundraiser. We can’t think why! The pandemic has brought varying degrees of stress to people on lockdown and also for some of those key workers continuing to go about their work. Inevitably things can spill over and come out in a mouthful of expletives. If this happens, then your charity will be quids in if you arrange that people make a contribution to the jar, perhaps 50p, on each occasion any foul language comes out of their mouth. Multiple payments for a string of four-letter words can reap dividends for your charity.
5. Keepy uppy challenge
You don’t have to have the ball skills of Lionel Messi or Rory McIlroy to take part in a ‘keep uppy’ challenge. Whether it’s a football, golf ball or even a toilet roll you are juggling with your feet or a golf club, you could set yourself a target to beat. Aim to beat your PB for keep ups or perhaps go for the long haul and aim to rack up a mammoth number of keep ups done over a longer period of time. Get sponsorship for your efforts and your chosen charity will be quids in.
6. By shopping online!
Who would have thought that shopping online could benefit any of over 200,000 UK-registered charities? Yes, well at a time when people are avoiding the high street for obvious reasons, your social distancing shopping could be clocking up the funds for charity. ‘Give as you Live Online’ is a free and easy way to raise money for your favourite charity. Once you’ve signed up and browsed the store you want to shop with and made your purchase, a percentage of the sale (anything from 1% – 10% depending on the store) is given as commission with part going to your chosen charity and the remainder to fund the on-going development of the online platform
As well as relieving the boredom when having to keep your distance from family and friends, quizzes are a great way to fundraise for charities. By organising an online quiz, done via Facebook live or some other platform, you can ask everyone to make a donation to take part from the comfort of their own home. You could put part of the entry fees towards a cash prize for the winner to make it more appealing, with part of the proceeds going to your chosen charity
8. Reach new heights
If you want to carry out a challenge in secure isolation that requires you scaling new heights, you still can, using your stairs! Set yourself a challenge of climbing the equivalent of a major landmark like Blackpool Tower, The Eiffel Tower, Ben Nevis or even Mt Kilimanjaro. The good news is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be done all in one go – you might choose to rack up the height over the course of a week, fortnight or even a month, depending on the scale of your challenge and your current level of fitness.
9. Skip to it
There’s perhaps no exercise better suited to isolation than skipping as clearly you can just do it on the spot where you are standing and it doesn’t have to involve anyone else. While a tremendous cardio workout, it can also be used as a means of fundraising. You can set your target to be as challenging as you like, whether you want to count your number of skips or build up a cumulative time-skipping. You might even want to go one step further and go skipping outdoors and at least your skip rope will guarantee you safe social distancing!
10. Pass it on
If you can complete your charity challenge and then pass it on to others to follow suit, then that’s going to reap huge funds for your chosen charity. One such example is the ‘Run 5 Donate 5 Nominate 5’ challenge whereby people were asked to run 5k, donate £5, and then ask 5 others to do the same. You could do the same with whatever activity you’ve chosen to do, and perhaps you could up the ante by making it 10 instead of 5!
Charities to Support
There are many charities who you could do with your support during a very difficult time when a large proportion of their fundraising income has dried up. Here are some charities and their fundraising activities you could support;
JGift, First Love Foundation, Nourish Community Food Bank, Colchester Food Bank, Watford Food Bank, Oxford Food Bank, Black Country Food Bank, Bow Food Bank, Fare Share, Wirral Food Bank, Trussell Trust, Euro Food Bank, Brighton Food Bank, Readifood, One Can Trust, High Peak Food Bank, Church Poverty, The Felix Project, Family Food Bank, Eat or Heat, First Base Dumfries, Sufra NW London.