Fundraising During a Pandemic
11 Ideas for Fundraising from a Distance
With social distancing needs in mind, here are some smart suggestions for spring fundraisers that will keep your group safe while raising the much-needed funds to keep you going.
Services for Donations
With many folks still staying at home and avoiding trips out into public spaces, it’s the perfect time to create a SignUp to provide ‘come-to-you services’ in exchange for donations to your cause. Create a SignUp that allows participants to add their own spots – those wanting to donate can add tasks they need completed and members of your group can add tasks or time slots to help fulfill the tasks. Services offered could include lawn care, dog walking and bathing, trash or large brush removal, or even porch visits (that allow for safe distancing) to those wanting a little social interaction. Provide homemade meals (made at your home and dropped off at the donors door), mend holes or missing buttons on clothing, power wash house exteriors – what other services can you offer in your community?
Car or Dog Wash
A wash fundraiser is perfect for spring and for social-distancing. Get tips here for planning a successful car wash fundraiser – be sure to ask participants to wear masks and assign only two people per car to allow for distance. Or use SignUp to allow fundraiser participants (car washers and donors) to sign up for specific time slots and take the car wash on the road! Equip participants with buckets and sponges to take with them to wash cars at donors' homes.
Concession Stand Fundraiser
This old tried-and-true fundraiser is often overlooked when brainstorming ways to raise money. With spring and summer sports seasons on the horizon, it's a great time to plan a concession stand fundraiser. Double the bang for your buck (i.e. your valuable time) by selling team or organization apparel at your concession stand, too!
Product fundraisers are a tried and true fantastic source of income. And, with many platforms now fully serviceable online (100% order and delivery), this is still a great method for fundraising during these social-distancing times. Consider one of our favorites, See’s Candies or Fun Pasta Fundraising – everyone could use a pandemic pick-me-up and your school or group keeps up to 50% of the profit earned.
Request auctionable donations from your community – custom artwork, signed memorabilia, handmade face masks, whatever they think could raise funds – and designate a specific location for drop off (with the expectation that no one will be there to greet them). Set a date and time, then advertise your upcoming auction on social media. Set up and host your online auction – there are a number of charity auction sites to choose from. After the auction, provide the winners with instructions for sending payment via PayPal or whatever payment app you prefer, and use SignUp to coordinate safe social-distancing pick up times. PRO TIP: You could also include some of the services listed in the prior section as auction items (lawn care, pet care, etc.), as well as personal mentoring and coaching spots.
There’s no better way to support families and local businesses than through a restaurant fundraiser! Partner with your fave place for a percentage of sales to go to your group during a designated day, then promote the restaurant and event to your crew via social media and the other communication channels you use. Be sure to choose a restaurant that is set up for to-go orders! (Panda Express makes it really easy to raise funds for your organization, school or group and gives you 20% of the earnings.)
First things first, check with your municipality for rules on hosting raffles, as some consider it gambling. If it’s okay to proceed, ask local businesses for prize donations in exchange for free marketing – think restaurant gift cards, popular products, free services (pest control, HVAC evaluation, etc.) – and publicize these prizes on the Events Page of your website and/or via your social media channels. Announce the date of your drawing and require participants to pay $1 for each entry they submit. (If you don’t have a payment system set up on your website, use SignUp to collect the money.) Send electronic certificates to winners for services won and use SignUp to coordinate pick up times for physical prizes.
Promote literacy while raising funds with a readathon! Have each person in your group select a book to read over a specified time frame – ask them to commit to reading a certain number of minutes per day over the course of 2-3 weeks in exchange for support via monetary donations. Publicize the event on your website, community channels, and/or social media and have everyone in your group do the same. Do it yourself with Google tools to track pledges, reader progress, and donations, and use a payment app for money collection. Or consider using a readathon platform that tracks reading progress and supporters for you, and provides a secure channel for online money collection.
Virtual Talent Show
Ask performers to record themselves showing off their talent, whether it’s singing, playing an instrument, juggling, magic, standup comedy, a combination of talents, or something no one has ever seen. Peeling a banana with only your feet and toes? Sure! Belly dancing to a country song? Let’s see it! Rapping a beatboxing version of “I’m a Little Teapot”? Heck yes! Compile all of the videos and share them on your website and/or via social media channels. Ask for donations from viewers in lieu of an entry fee. PRO TIP: Before the talent show begins, reach out to local merchants to ask for monetary donations in exchange for promoting them as a sponsor of the contest.
Sponsor a virtual dare event on Facebook and/or Instagram. Begin by making a list of funny and bizarre tasks and ask participants to volunteer for things they are willing to do for donations. (Use Signup.com’s free signup sheets to make this task a breeze!) Think ice bucket challenge, planking in a designated (uncrowded) public place, or eating a snack without using your hands. You could even include extreme dares for the real dare junkies – think 'give yourself a mohawk' or 'let someone (in your household) wax your back'.
Using the volunteer signup list (dares + volunteers), create a second SignUp for sponsors. Ask them to contribute a certain amount of money per dare, depending on the difficulty level. After a sponsor signs up and funds the dare, notify the dare volunteer and ask that they record a video of them completing the dare. Then share the videos on social media and be sure to tag the sponsor of the dare.
Yard Sign Sale
Spread your school spirit throughout student neighborhoods and celebrate your team members. Sell yard signs with fun slogans and recognition for your team members. “Proud Tiger”, “Super Senior”, “Class of 2021”, “Chess Master”, “Dancing Diva”, “Soccer Superstar” – you get the idea. Partner with a local sign company to provide printing at a discount and deliver the signs without contact. For students living in apartment buildings, consider door posters.