These are strange and unsettling times. Thanks to the Corona Virus, some schools are closed and others are operating with strict social distancing. All fundraising events have been cancelled plus sporting events, international music tours, fetes even assemblies and P&C meetings. Even Bunnings have cancelled their ubiquitous sausage sizzle temporarily.
Life as we know it has changed at schools and in our local communities for up to six months, maybe even longer.
But for all of us, bills still need to be paid. Funds are still needed. What about the school who fundraises to keep a scholarship program going, or who needs to finish raising money for their new assembly area? How can we fundraise during the corona virus pandemic?
I have compiled a list of COVID-safe fundraising options that could allow you to find money in the time of COVID-19, while not putting volunteers or students at any risk. These are all suitable for fundraising during the corona virus crisis.
Anyone who regularly volunteers at schools or clubs is already the type of person who thinks of their community before themselves, and is prepared to roll their sleeves up and help. This is exactly the type of person the world needs right now. My thoughts are with you all.
COVID-safe Fundraisers that can be conducted entirely online
Online Auction – there are many online auction platforms available which allow you to hold an auction over any period of time you choose [see below]. Some will even provide top end prizes, or you can source your own [see below]. If you are a school which has had to cancel a fete or community market, ask stall holders to create prize packs (allow them to cover costs, you keep profit). Check out my article on awesome ‘free’ items to sell at auction.
Create a Recipe Book – a great option for schools, playgroups, community groups, charities and daycares, recipes can be submitted online and the project coordinator can work from home using the online templates to make a keepsake book. Use online ticket selling sites to sell your book. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/publishing-your-own-school-recipe-book/
Play for Purpose – online raffle platform specifically for sporting clubs and charities. Sell tickets to one of the regular raffles and receive half the funds. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/play-for-purpose-the-fundraising-raffle-for-sporting-clubs-and-charities/
Literacy Fundraisers – use the software provided by Schoolyard Stories to compile a storybook of children’s best stories and pictures, and can be co-ordinated from home. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/literacy-fundraisers/
Clayton’s Cake Stall – the cake stall you have when you’re not (allowed) to have a cake stall. Seriously, check out my article – you ma never run another real cake stall again. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/what-is-a-claytons-cake-stall/
Scholastic Book Club – all orders are done online once a term, and can be communicated via emails and social media links.
School Active Sports -For parents trying to keep kids active at home School Active Sports offers a clever passive fundraiser for clubs and schools, and all products can be ordered online. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/top-5-passive-fundraisers-for-sports-clubs-and-schools/
Affiliate Marketing – this is a long term fundraising option, certainly not something that will earn you quick money, but still something to consider for future fundraising. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/school-fundraising-with-affiliate-marketing/
Fundraisers that respect social distancing
Expressions tea towels – children can complete their pictures in class or at home. Expressions have just released a detailed guide to conducting a fundraiser from home. Also suitable for smaller community groups who may have had to cancel a fundraising event and need an appropriate replacement. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/artwork-fundraising-with-expressions/
Read-a-thon – if your school is open or closed, reading books will always be a great way to raise funds. A DIY read-a-thon can be conducted during school hours (though I would suggest stretching out on the school oval rather than all cramming into the library) or at home. Combine with a free dress day or ‘dress as your favourite book character’ and use one of the online fundraising platforms [see below] to collect sponsorship. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/how-to-run-a-read-a-thon-2/
School Fun Run – while events are currently not an option, you can still utilise the fundraising technology and incentives to create individual challenges for kids. Each child could set their own goal – perhaps it’s running laps around the local park, doing steps, or skipping rope. Kids could also set goals for books to read or silly goals like running around the block in crazy costumes or holding a hula hoop. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/school-fun-run-online/
Bieberthon – if your school is still open but you’ve had to cancel a major event, this is quick to organise and could potentially be very profitable. Also lots of fun for everyone at a time when kids can be quite scared. If Bieber isn’t to your taste, Baby Shark would work a treat. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/pay-stop-bieber/
Fundraising Mugs – children can create their masterpiece in class or at home. Mugs come individually sealed and wrapped. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/fundraising-mugs/
Aussie Penny War – for schools that are open but may have had to cancel other fundraising events. Volunteers in charge of counting money should take extra precautions (ie gloves). https://fundraisingmums.com.au/how-to-run-a-penny-war-in-australia/
Frozen Cookie Dough – orders for the popular frozen cookie dough can be taken online, although you will need to organise a distribution method that respects social distancing, whether that is staggered collection times in a large open space or a team of volunteers willing to deliver orders to door-steps. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/billy-g-frozen-cookie-dough-product-review/
Treasure Hunt – there are a number of different ways you could run a fundraising treasure hunt that takes social distancing into account, and it’s a really fun way to get people outdoors. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/how-to-run-a-treasure-hunt/
Dress My Bear – a perfect option for graduating classes who might have had to cancel their event, students can design an image to be reproduced onto the t-shirt of cute teddy bears at school or at home. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/customised-teddy-bears/
Tombola – this might just be a fun way of cheering up kids at a time when things are very scary. Tombola is a great way for parents to get rid of all the extra little toys and trinkets they have lying around and is basically a raffle for kids. Kids don’t need to crowd around the stall, they can just be handed their raffle ticket and go up one at a time to collect their prize. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/75-greatest-ever-ideas-for-tombola/
Zoom Kites – Zoom offers an online ordering system and contactless delivery so you can still fundraise using their bright and colourful kites. And since going outside for some exercise is one of the few things we can still do, kites make a great option. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/fundraising-with-zoom-kites/
Online Fundraising Platforms
Everyday Hero – online fundraising platform which schools can access, allowing students to each have their own individual fundraising page. Suitable for fun runs, read-a-thons, math-a-thons etc. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/everyday-hero-a-guide-for-schools/
Galabid Online Auction – provider of online fundraising software that allows you to hold an auction and sell raffle tickets without holding an actual live event. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/galabid-the-team-that-helps-aussie-fundraisers-think-bigger/
Fundraise Yourself – online crowd funding for schools with an ICSEA score under 1,000 gives tax breaks to donors. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/fundraise-yourself-with-schools-plus/
Facebook Fundraising – online crowd funding platform that can be used by individuals and non-profits. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/facebook-fundraising-a-guide-for-schools-and-individuals/
Online and Silent Auction Apps – an article that looks at the range of free and fee-paying apps and online fundraising platforms available in Australia. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/online-and-silent-auction-apps-what-you-need-to-know/
Tools to Assist during Corona Pandemic
Try Booking – online ticketing platform which you could use to sell products (such as tea towels or books) to avoid the need for cash handling and queuing. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/trybooking-tools-for-organisers/
Online Ticketing Agencies – an article that looks at the range of online ticketing systems in Australia. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/everything-you-need-to-know-about-online-ticketing-services/
Trello – if you can’t hold meetings anymore but still have projects to plan for the future, consider using Trello, a free board-based project management tool. It’s easy to use and has lots of functions. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/how-to-use-trello-free-tools-for-organisers/
Where to find Sponsorship and Donations – if you have decided to hold an online auction and are seeking prizes, this is a great article to help you think of new and different places. Keep in mind that small businesses and local artists may be struggling at this time, so perhaps rather than asking for a straight donation, perhaps you might be able to pay a wholesale price or do some marketing for them in return. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/where-to-find-sponsorship-and-donations/
Other relevant articles
Meal Scheduling Tools – if you know a family who is sick and in isolation, these free meal planning tools are a great way of getting your community together to help make and deliver meals. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/freemeal-scheduling-tools/
How to make an escape room for kids – stuck at home and the kids are complaining they are bored? Design a DIY escape room and lock them up for a while. https://fundraisingmums.com.au/make-escape-room-kids/
Group Together – online crowd funding suitable for smaller groups, you can use the money to pay for a gift voucher or hamper and the software allows you to create a card with photos and messages from contributors (great as a gift for sick families). https://fundraisingmums.com.au/how-to-use-group-together-free-tools-for-organisers/