January 20, 2020

Doing Fundraising Campaigns The Right Way

Fundraising is a fine art. With so many organisations vying for people’s attention and support, it’s important to find innovative ways to engage your audience and encourage them to donate to your cause. This might mean utilising new technology, devising a viral-worthy social media campaign, or hitting the streets with a rabble-rousing strategy. Either way, simply jingling a bucket with a few coppers outside a tube station just doesn’t cut the mustard anymore – and not only because fewer people are carrying cash these days. As experts of modernising how charities fundraise, we know a thing or two about what defines innovative fundraising from the rest of the crop. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are five examples of successful fundraising campaigns that have caught our eye.


You might’ve noticed more gents sporting facial hair in the run-up to Christmas over the past few years. Some pull it off, others don’t. Regardless, a furry upper lip isn’t just a passing fad but the result of an effective fundraising campaign run by Movember which has raised over £600 million over the past 17 years. The fundraising concept is simple – encourage guys (and girls) to grow out their tash for the month of November and collect donations for the pleasure. All money goes towards tackling male-health issues such as prostate cancer.

Why we like it – It’s fun and different. Growing a moustache isn’t a huge sacrifice for most people, and it gets a lot of attention. Even more so when fundraisers share their progress on social media over the course of the month.

Cancer Research UK – Smart Benches

Second on our list of great fundraising campaigns is Cancer Research UK’s Smart Benches. One of the biggest charities in the UK, Cancer Research UK is no stranger to innovative fundraising techniques; 2017 was no different when the charity caused a stir by introducing a number of smart benches around the capital. Apart from having a funky design, these benches enticed people to sit on them with the inclusion of free wifi, charging points, and a screen that showed real-time data on air quality in the immediate area (a contributing factor to some forms of cancer). But how did they raise money? They included a contactless payment pad where people could donate a standard amount of £2 a pop. A very smart bench.

Why we like it – The tech used in the benches was impressive and not unlike our own contactless donation devices – apart from offering useful services to passers-by, it engaged them with relevant information and most importantly offered them an easy way to donate.

Blue Cross – Canine Fundraisers

Fundraising on the street can be tough. To bring in the most donations, you’ll want your fundraisers to be energetic, sociable, and irrepressible. Enter Smudge the Golden Retriever. Since 2016, the pet charity Blue Cross has used the pulling power of our furry friends to bring in the dosh. And it seems to have worked – annual income from charitable activities has increased by over £300,000 between 2016 and 2018. Specially-trained dogs are taken to the streets in high-tech vests that contain contactless payment technology – when a passerby stops to pet one of the adorable pups, they’re encouraged to tap to donate.

Why we like it – Bringing pets into the equation is a surefire way to increase engagement at street level – people can’t resist to stop and coddle. When combined with tech that eliminates the need to collect cash physically, this is a potent fundraising technique and one as contactless donation pioneers we wholeheartedly support.

Wings For Life – World Run

Setting physical challenges is a tried and tested way of fundraising. While there will always be space for charity marathons and boat races, more unconventional sports events can attract more attention. Wings For Life, a charity that funds research into spinal cord injury, has shaken up the classic charity run with a new format. Instead of aiming to run a certain distance, participants have to get as far as possible within 30 minutes – a chaser car sets off after half an hour and as soon as it passes you, your race is up. This inevitably ups the pace of the run and makes for good viewing – the token man in rhino suit has to get a wiggle on.

Why we like it – Sports and physical activities are a great way to get people involved and engaged with fundraising. Putting a twist on traditional activities makes it more fun and attracts a bigger audience. Bigger audience = more funds raised.

GreenPeace – Save Rang-tan

Some fundraising campaigns don’t necessarily need to rely on physical exertion to bring in donations. GreenPeace’sSave Rang-tan’ campaign is a great example of this – capitalising on the power of emotive story-telling. Winning the award for Best Fundraising Campaign 2019 at the Institute of Fundraising, its centrepiece was a short animation that tells the tale of an orangutan that finds itself in a child’s bedroom after being displaced due to deforestation. Accompanied by a nursery rhyme, the piece draws attention to the issue of palm oil production without being overtly aggressive.

Why we like it – Story-telling is one of the best ways of communicating a message. If a story can provoke emotion, it’s more likely to stir action and generate donations. Don’t believe us? Have a read of our How To Develop A Killer Fundraising Strategy to see why story-telling is so important to charities.

Finding the best way to promote your cause and drive donations can be a tricky business. In a world where attention is fought over tooth and nail, charities have to be inventive in how they fundraise. With these examples of successful fundraising campaigns, you’ll have some ideas to get your creative juices flowing and the donations rolling in.

However you choose to fundraise, a better use of technology help you hit the ground running. At GoodBox, our tap-to-donate contactless payment systems help to increase donations by removing the need to collect cash. With our GBx Mini or GBx Core, there’s no more fruitless digging into pockets to fish out a few pennies – donors can simply tap their card or smartphone to the pad and their donation is taken care of.

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