Social Investment How virtual fundraising can make a real difference in 2021

How virtual fundraising can make a real difference in 2021

Facebook: JoziGist

A difficult year has passed and 2021 continues to deliver challenges compounded by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its devastating ripple effects. 

GivenGain, a global non-profit virtual fundraising platform that was founded by two South Africans, saw many caring individuals answering the call to help others through virtual fundraising in 2020. 

“Since the start of the pandemic, scores of dedicated fundraisers and charities on GivenGain have proved how successful online fundraising can be – even with limited public events and face-to-face interaction,” Jannie Smith, regional manager for sub-Saharan Africa and global head of support at GivenGain, said.

People like you love helping – that’s why we built GivenGain

Here are a few of the organisation’s success stories from 2020:

Well-known gamer and live streamer Grant Hinds recently raised R40,000 during a 12-hour gaming marathon for charity. GivenGain’s live streaming tool helped him to engage his audience and build momentum throughout his fundraiser.

“The real-time fundraising progress bar and live donation notifications gave the audience visual stimuli as they donated. It’s really cool and super easy to use – more like a telethon in many ways,” Hinds said.

While Hinds is well known for his fundraising initiatives, newcomers who have never hosted a fundraiser or virtual event can also use GivenGain to engage and inspire smaller networks.

Alexia Polis and Aaron Msipha are among those who mastered fundraising in 2020 without years of experience or thousands of followers. Instead of receiving gifts for her birthday, Polis asked friends and family to donate to the Flama Foundation, a Peruvian charity supporting young women.

Msipha also used his birthday as the focus for a recent fundraiser in which he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, raising money to provide sanitary products for girls in some of the poorest African communities. 

He believes the support he received from GivenGain to maximise his fundraising played a big role in being able to raise more than R91,000 for the Imbumba Foundation.

“GivenGain had really helpful advice in their starter pack, fundraising e-mails and blog about how to promote your projects,” he said. “I think what is most important is the regular system updates – people constantly have to be reminded of what you’re doing.”

For those considering hosting their first fundraiser or virtual event, GivenGain offers ease of use and support from a dedicated team.

Founded in 2001, the non-profit foundation with offices in Switzerland, the US, UK, Canada and South Africa has given fundraisers in 194 countries the tools to assist charities in 70 countries. 

GivenGain enables individual fundraisers to engage with their extended personal and professional networks anywhere in the world, drawing on support from family, friend, colleagues and new supporters. 

The platform enables public events like running and cycling races, and their participants, to fundraise together for charities of their choice. But in the absence of public events, what can fundraisers do to attract donations?

Live streaming is one of the fastest-growing ways for fundraising under the current social distancing requirements. The likes of Amnesty International and Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) have both listed live streaming as a virtual alternative to traditional fundraising events like running or cycling.

2020 saw more fundraisers than ever promoting their chosen charity on sites like Twitch and YouTube – hosting live-streamed events like gaming tournaments and musical performances while asking for donations.    

GivenGain’s live streaming widget can display donations on-screen in real-time, allowing the streamer to thank donors instantly – a powerful form of motivation for many donors.

The foundation is urging the public to make giving a priority for 2021.

“After one of the most difficult years, especially for the more vulnerable members of our communities, it has never been more important to bring everyone together through the power of caring, volunteering and especially crowdfunding,” Smith said.

To set up your own fundraising project and make a difference in 2021, visit the GivenGain website or GivenGain blog for more information on virtual events and live streaming.