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How to fundraise without leaving the house

Fantastic ideas to raise funds and awareness for charity from home

Lady sitting in an at home office

The coronavirus outbreak has transformed our lives in a dizzyingly short amount of time. Practicing social distancing and staying at home as much as possible are necessary steps we all must take to prevent the spread of the virus, but such measures are likely to disrupt the campaigns of many fundraisers. The good news is that technology is bringing people together in ways that would have been unimaginable a few years ago, and now you can hold all sorts of fundraising events from your home. Here are some top stay-at-home ideas to get you inspired.

Any questions?

With all the forced closures, people are desperate for some evening entertainment – and fans of pub quizzes have no pubs to get their fix in. Luckily it’s pretty easy to get online and host a quiz from your home, with entrants donating to your chosen cause. For smaller groups you can use Facebook Live or a video conferencing site such as Zoom to gather together in your virtual public house (use the mute function if everyone is talking over each other). You can either go old-school with answers scribbled on paper and people trusted to mark their own sheets, or you can collect the answers live by setting up an individual Google Doc for each contestant to fill in during the quiz. Whatever you decide, definitely do a test-run with some mates to ensure it’ll be alright on the night - and for inspiration, check out this virtual quiz which saw around 100 people holding forks and singing in unison while trying to win a packet of toilet roll.

Life lessons

Are you fluent in a foreign language? Can you knit a scarf? Are you gifted in the kitchen? Many of us possess skills that others would love to have, and now is the perfect time to share them. With physical classes off-limits, many individuals and organisations have been taking to video streaming or conferencing sites such as YouTube or Zoom to share their valuable skills, whether it’s teaching ballet, baking, yoga or guitar. To get as many viewers as possible and to keep things straightforward, it makes sense to make the lessons free; just make it very clear that you’re doing this to raise funds, and make the donations link visible at all times.

Good sport

There’s nothing new about performing feats of athleticism to raise money, but these aren’t normal times when you’re allowed to leave your home whenever you want. You can use websites such as Virtual Athlete or Strava to raise funds while running or cycling your local streets, although the best place for you to be right now is inside your home, a place probably not accustomed to hosting sports events. But it is possible – you could commit to doing loads of press-ups, sit-ups and squats to raise money for charity, or you could go for a long-distance run. Yes, really. A man in France ran a marathon on his seven-metre balcony during the lockdown, while a man in China ran a 31-mile ultramarathon in his Wuhan living room.

Console yourself

In recent years watching others play video games has become a hugely popular pastime, and now most other spectator sports have been temporarily suspended its profile is set to rise further. With football shelved for the foreseeable future, 128 British clubs have found the next best thing, a FIFA 20 tournament which will raise money for mental health charity Mind and the World Health Organisation. Gaming for good is not a new phenomenon – charities such as Shelter and Macmillan Cancer Support have raised funds through their respective Level Up and Game Heroes campaigns, and there are plenty of opportunities through live-streaming gaming platforms such as Twitch to achieve something truly meaningful through your games console.

Keep a video diary

Keeping your supporters up-to-date with your fundraising progress through short video updates on social media is something many people would have done even before the outbreak of the virus. But now it’s doubly important to ensure that you have a presence online because, save for the people you live with, this is the only way you can have face-to-face interactions with the rest of the world. In ordinary times video is a particularly effective way of communicating with supporters; in these extraordinary times it’s even more powerful - a way to connect to people at a time we’re all feeling a greater need for human connection. You don’t need high production values - just use your phone camera and speak from the heart.

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