What are The Best Fundraisers You Can Still Do And Follow the COVID-19 Guidelines?

Short Answer: Crowdfunding platforms are the most effective and safest way to raise money for your schools.There are other options, but they could be less compliant to Corona Guidelines.

What is safe and effective fundraising now?

School fundraising is as, if not more crucial than it ever has been before during corona. When running an event during these times, the focus is on ensuring all participants -fundraiser organizers, teachers, parents and children are all safe.

Recommendations from the CDC for School Fundraisers in Public

  • Social Distancing- Make sure that all participants keep 6 feet apart. (In Canada the distance is 2 meters). This is to minimize face-to-face contact and to reduce the risk of spreading the disease. 
  • Masks- if you go out in public, always make sure you wear some form of face covering, for example a surgical mask or cloth. This protects you and the people around you including people that are high risk.

Practical Safe Fundraising examples

  •  If you were running a live school band audition – make sure band members keep their distance from one another. Another example, if you were thinking of running a walkathon or bikeathon to make sure that there is at least 6 feet between participants. 
  • CDC recommends using tape markings on floors or signs on walls to direct attendees to maintain 6 feet distance in lines. Using tape to create ‘social distance markers and signs is also recommended at outdoor events.

What are The Best Fundraisers You Can Still Do And Follow Guidelines?

We did some research and found the best fundraising ideas that comply with The Corona Guidelines. 

Here’s our ideas for how to do the best fundraisers now and do them safely. This is where we got these ideas:

Put on a Fundraising Talent Show

A creative and fun idea for both students and their teachers is to put on a virtual talent fundraiser. The idea is that music, drama or any students or teachers – who want to showcase their talent – perform their act on a live video streaming platform such as Zoom or Google Meet. [Zoom or Google Meet can both host up to 100 participants for free]. 

The school department and fundraising organizers will send an email, whatsapp or text to parents and the current list of donors.The recipients will indicate their interest by opting in or not in the email, whatsapp, or text .Those people who opt in will receive a link. 

The organizers of the event will promote the talent show on all the relevant social media channels. They’ll also encourage students and staff to publicize the show on their social media networks. This is to make sure that news of the event reaches as many people as possible.  

A few days before the show commences an online voting portal will be set up to enable people to cast their votes and donate any sum above $20. 

This wonderful event was the idea of ABC fundraising company to raise money for America’s Blood Centers. They found that some members of the public donated just $20 for one person. Others gave $100 when casting their vote. A few people voted and donated sums of money for all the participants in the competition. At the end of the event, ABC managed to raise 30K.  

Why are fundraising talent shows effective?

According to ABC Fundraising CEO Christie Zambricki, virtual talent show fundraisers’ generate a lot of public support and excitement. Zambricki said that people have fond memories of the event and still talk about it today – a few years after the event.

Virtual talent shows are also low cost, but may take a lot of organizing to put on. The good thing is it gets students and teachers working together to achieve the same goal of supporting their schools and the programs they care about. It also gives students a chance to see their friends and collaborate on a meaningful project.

Talent shows remind parents and the entire community just how important programs like music, drama, and other activities are. These fundraisers generate excitement and a commitment to support a worthwhile cause. Live streaming talent shows also have the potential to reach more people than physical talent shows.

What about the Safety Aspect?

It is relatively safe as it’s mostly individual acts streaming live from the comfort of their home. For group acts like bands and drama groups it may be more of a challenge to keep a safe distance apart, and group members may not feel comfortable performing together.

Plan a Pledge Fundraiser

One way to get everyone involved including the students, their families, and your fellow teachers is through a pledge fundraiser. These types of fundraisers work well with walkathons, bike-athons, and other physical activities. In the past, they’ve been used for danceathons, so why not get creative and do one for a sing-a-thon or a rap-a-thon.   

 Pledge campaigns are usually connected to a school-wide event. The difference between a traditional fundraiser and a pledge fundraiser is that the funds are collected at the end of the campaign.

For example, a member of your music class does a rap-a-thon. The rules are that a student or a creative teacher makes a pledge to say a rap for 20 consecutive minutes. A donor agrees to donate $10 for every 10 minutes that the student raps for. If the student is successful – they will make $20 for the music department. 

Why are pledge campaigns effective?

Pledge campaigns are great choices for any size of non profit including schools.They are great at expanding your network of donors relatively quickly. Just like any many fundraisers., pledge campaigns involve a lot of work, strategizing, and planning. To build a truly effective campaign, Snowballfundraising.com recommends that you’ll need:

  • A tight deadline: When you have a definite end point it keeps energy up and excitement throughout the campaign. One great idea is to add a graphic of a thermometer on your donor page or email communications, showing how much you need to reach your target.
  •  Short Gift Matching periods: Discuss with your main donors or local businesses sponsoring your campaign, if you can arrange a special matching gift.That way for every pledge you recieve within a certain amount of time, they’ll double it.

What about the safety aspect?

For students involved in singathons or rap-a-thons, it may be best if they recorded their raps or songs individually. They could easily do it from home, which will give them something to do during the summer months.

Scratchcard Fundraiser

 Running a scratchcard fundraiser is an easy and effective way to reach your fundraising goals quickly. You need to find volunteer students who will approach their family, friends and neighbors to ask them to scratch two circles off their fundraising card. Under each -scratchable circle is a small amount from 50 cents to $3.00.

Why is a Scratchcard Fundraiser Effective?

Once the donor scratches off an amount, they make their donation. It’s easy, there is no hassle and it’s shown to be very effective.

Scratchcards are commonly used for:

  • Music programs like school bands, school choirs, or orchestras.
  • After school programs and student clubs
  • Sports teams
  • Field trips

Once each scratchcard is complete, the volunteer raises $100. They are relatively cheap. Each scratchcard order costs $20.  ABC fundraising gives each school a discount of 10% for each shipment. The real plus is – on average, scratch card fundraisers can make up to 90% profit! 

What about the safety aspect?

During Corona there may not be a lot of people that will open their doors to people wanting to raise money. Social distancing may be an obstacle, making scratch card fundraising difficult to do. A possible solution is during a live event like a school band concert, would be to handout scratchcards, giving the audience another option how they’ld like to donate.  

Promote your school using Facemasks

If you are looking for a unique but effective way to fundraise, why not promote your school through selling facemasks. In a corona-world where everyone looks like they just walked out of a surgery, they may be looking for something a little different. 

ABC fundraisers, the brains behind customizable facemasks will provide you with your very own webstore to sell and promote your masks. They’re a great idea to add your school logo. Everyone that buys a mask will promote your campaign for you. 

Why are Facemask fundraising campaigns effective?

It’s a great way to spread the word that your school needs to raise money for sports, music, and extracurricular activities. It won’t take long to get whole families wearing your masks! 

Customizable masks work similar to selling other school merchandise like mugs, t-shirts, sports gear. These campaigns are effective in getting people behind your school. It builds up a community spirit encouraging families, students and the community to get behind their school.

The downside is that if you have a full time job, it may be difficult for you to sell masks and deal with orders.

What about the safety aspect?

Most orders will be online, so there’s no problem with following the corona guidelines.

Crowdfunding using a Fundraising Platform

Crowdfunding platforms are popular both nationally and globally. In just 24-hours nonprofits and schools do not only meet, but very often exceed their fundraising goals.

How do they work?

The non profit organization or school first needs to set a fundraising goal, then set a date they would like to put on the event. In the three weeks leading up to the event, the school or non profit identifies at least 3 donors who agree to double the donation of all small gifts / donations within a set time frame. 

Why are Crowdfunding Platforms Effective?

  • Makes it easy to donate: crowdfunding platforms make it easy for donors to give to the cause by offering to donate via text or by clicking on a link on the school’s or non profit’s donation webpage. 
  • Highly engaging for donors: these platforms have dashboards among its other great features, so the school and its donors can see how much more is needed to achieve their set target.
  • Inspires a feeling of making an impact: as soon as someone makes a donation, they are instantly sent a text message, whatsapp message, or email thanking them for their participation. This makes donors feel that they are appreciated and feel like they are part of a worthwhile and impactful cause.
  • Generates urgency, excitement, and a sense of friendly competition: because the campaign is run over a short period of time – 24 – hours – this creates an urgency to give generously and inspires a feeling of friendly competition between donors. A shorter timeline also generates more participation and an excitement of not wanting to miss this event.
  • Creates a sense of community and unity:  crowdfunding generates a sense of community of huddling around and supporting a cause that matters to the local community.
  • Extensive reach: because it’s an online campaign, it means that the campaign can reach more people, but it may involve a lot of promotion. Online platforms are able to send automated email which means it is much less work and takes less time.

What about the safety aspect?

There are also no concerns with adhering to corona guidelines, as everything is online. People do not need to leave their home to donate.

Bottom Line

Sports, music, and recreational activities are as crucial as ever and school fundraising is more important than it ever has been. Fundraising through plan- a- pledge, selling school, merchandise, and scratch cards are great ways to stay safe and still save these important programs, our recommendation is crowdfunding platforms which generate more participation and can raise the funds for not just one, but all these programs and stay safe and within a shorter time frame.

For more information on The Covid-19 Guidelines please see the following links