Lauren Swain, Wales Development Manager for Localgiving, highlights some of the fundraising activities that organisations in Wales are proactively undertaking at this difficult time.
The support of donors to online fundraising campaigns during the coronavirus epidemic has been unprecedented and it is making such a huge difference to frontline services.
What is Localgiving?
The Localgiving Foundation’s mission is to strengthen the local voluntary sector by supporting local charities and community groups to use technology to expand their reach and impact. We run an online fundraising platform, localgiving.org, and provide free training to not-for-profit organisations to enable them to improve their digital skills.
Online fundraising refers to all donations made via the internet, typically by individuals. We are the leading independent non-profit online fundraising platform and the only platform that specialises in supporting small, grassroots organisations. Through our platform we have supported over 6,000 local charities and community groups to raise over £25m. We have distributed over £5m in additional funding through grants and match funding.
We run projects across the UK that provide tailored support, including free one-to-one and group training in mastering online fundraising, along with ongoing mentoring. These projects also provide groups with ring-fenced match funding to support their online fundraising efforts. We have been delivering a dedicated programme across Wales to support local charities and community groups for four years, supporting over 350 organisations across all 22 counties. 93% of these members have raised more income as a result of our support. We are currently working closely with local causes to coordinate their response to Coronavirus.
How are community groups and grassroots charities fundraising at this time in Wales?
We have already seen a 300% increase in donations to grassroots organisations using our platform. We have seen this support come through in three different ways:
- Safeguarding future work
Firstly, there have been donations to organisations to help them survive during the shutdown and to raise money to come back stronger when services are able to resume. One example is With Music in Mind, who provide singing and social groups for older people to reduce loneliness and increase wellbeing. They are fundraising to avoid closure and to continue their work as soon as possible.
- One-off donations
Secondly, there have been floods of one-off donations to organisations that the public is well aware are essential at this current time. This has been most prevalent amongst Foodbanks. Anglesey Foodbank have raised over £2,000 in the last couple of weeks and Cardiff Foodbank have raised over £20,000! These are services that help those facing the reality of being unable to feed themselves or their families. This is particularly vital for those facing additional financial hardship through loss of employment, benefit delay, illness or reduced income at this time.
Thirdly, a number of organisations have launched crowdfunding campaigns to ensure that projects supporting vulnerable people are able to continue, launch or adapt. Localgiving is already working with over 30 organisations to deliver crowdfunding campaigns in response to Coronavirus. One third of these organisations are in Wales. Their work is locally focused, delivering services to those in need at a grassroots level. The current list of organisations that we are supporting can be found here: localgiving.org/campaign/covid-19.
Examples of the organisations that we are working with in Wales:
- Age Connects Neath Port Talbot – raising funds to operate a telephone befriending service and to distribute shopping or prescriptions to vulnerable older people.
- Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales – raising funds for a telephone counselling service for isolated kidney patients in Wales and distributing a hardship fund for kidney patients who have lost their jobs, are not able to work or cannot access benefits to fund necessities.
- Chinese in Wales Association – raising funds for vital PPE equipment for frontline workers at local GPs, care homes and hospitals, such as face masks and medical gloves.
Why an online donation can make a difference quickly
Online fundraising is unrestricted income that can go directly to where the need is greatest. Localgiving quickly deposits funds directly into each organisation’s bank account. The majority of organisations are already delivering services across their local communities and this funding will be put to use straight away to enable them to support more people in need. Research shows that donors to crowdfunding campaigns are more likely to end up volunteering time in comparison to a usual donor.
Please consider how you can support these vital community groups and local charities during these testing times!
Localgiving is always happy to help with online fundraising and we will shortly be releasing tips around raising income at this time. Please get in touch if you would like to talk through any needs or ideas by calling 0300 111 2340 or emailing email@example.com