NATIONAL NEWS - South Africans returned to work on 1 June as the government relaxed the national lockdown from Level 4 to 3, although things may never – and probably shouldn’t – go back to the way they were before the crisis, according to online fundraising platform GivenGain.
Marius Mare, president of the charity-supporting platform that originated in South Africa, said there was much to learn from new online fundraising methods that emerged during Covid-19. As public events were shut down, charities and supporters have had to find new ways to raise money without breaking lockdown rules, he said.
“But even when marathons are reinstated and door-knocking campaigns can begin again, fundraisers should keep using the new virtual ways of raising money alongside them.”
As the first cases of Covid-19 began to appear in South Africa, charities warned the impact on their work could be catastrophic. But people immediately sprang into action.
“Activity on the GivenGain platform has climbed by more than 60% year-on-year since 1 April. Donations are also hitting record highs – April was our best month [yet] in South Africa,” Mare said.
But the most interesting change has been in the innovative ways fundraisers and charities have been winning donations day-to-day, despite restrictions.
“Online fundraisers are running entire fundraising campaigns virtually – and sharing it globally,” said Mare.
He noted social media, livestreaming apps and video conferencing platforms like Zoom have given fundraisers a way to reach out to a global network of donors and share inspiration with each other, but they also provide a platform for virtual fundraising events.
For example, look no further than South African video game streamer Grant Hinds. He spent his birthday in May raising money for homelessness charity New Hope SA by livestreaming a marathon gaming session on Twitch. To give it extra meaning, he announced this to his followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and asked them to donate through his page on GivenGain.
By using all the online tools available to him, Grant raised more than R40,000 without leaving his house. Fundraisers don’t have to be gaming superstars to fundraise successfully online, either.
After the Two Oceans Marathon was cancelled, Amelia Lourens decided to help out the Herberg Children’s Home from home by running the same 56km distance around her own garden instead. Because her project gained traction on social media, she was able to smash her initial fundraising target almost five times over.