5 online fundraising strategies non-profits are using right now

by Simba 3 min read

How do you raise money when you can’t meet, host events or involve donors in your work? COVID-19 has forced charities to get creative with their fundraising. Non-profits with a strong online presence and great marketing teams have thrived, coming up with innovative fundraising ideas to engage people.
If you’re struggling to boost your organisation’s social media or simply looking for some inspiration - here are 5 great ways charities have successfully raised funds online.

Live-streamed events

Since large gatherings are out of the question, consider hosting an event online. There are many ways to do this from webinars, to dance parties and even virtual runs (yes!). Virtual events give participants the chance to challenge and entertain themselves, while raising money for a good cause.
Example: When their annual fundraising event had to be cancelled, The Gateway School decided to take it online, hosting an 80s dance party on YouTube Live and inviting guests to attend from their living rooms. The party successfully raised over $73,000 for the public school


Crowdfunding raises money by requesting small donations from many people. Not only does it expand your donor base, it also engages younger participants who may not be able to give large amounts. Starting a page is easy, with many established platforms like GoFundMe, GlobalGiving and Ketto. Spendow’s Catalyst page also allows people to donate to your cause while they shop!
Example: Sheep Care, an organisation working with marginalised communities in Kenya, raised $5,000 from more than 500 donors in one month! By building an online community, spreading the word through WhatsApp and a small ask of just 10 Kenyan shillings ($0.1), Sheepcare was able to make a huge impact with small donations.

Social media takeovers

Is there an organisation that supports your cause? Try reaching out and see if they’d be willing to ‘donate’ their account to you for a day - or even a few hours. This can help you tap into new networks, raise awareness - and funds.
Example: Reason Digital posted content about charities they supported as part of their #ReasonstoGive campaign on GivingTuesday. They also shared stories written by beneficiaries to give the campaign a personal feel.

Google Ad Grants

Type ‘donate to charity’ on Google and look at the first result. Chances are, the organisation at the top of the list is great at Google Ads - not necessarily the best or most popular charity. Google offers non-profits a $10,000 grant to drive website traffic and raise awareness. If used well, this can increase website hits, add to your mailing list subscriptions and result in more donations.
If you’re new to the platform and need some help, check out the Google Ad Grants Online Marketing Challenge, which connects non-profits to student teams studying Google Ads at University. These teams help you create and manage campaigns on Google Ads and can achieve great results.

Amazon Smile donations

When people shop using AmazonSmile 0.5% of their purchases are donated to your organisation! All you have to do is sign up on AmazonSmile and make sure your supporters use your link while shopping. It doesn’t cost any extra and those small donations can really add up - Amazon donated more than $183 million dollars to charities through AmazonSmile.
You can also use Spendow donations which offers similar services with the added benefit of increased percentages given to charities. Spendow also allows donors who want to do more to give directly or start their own fundraising pages to raise more money for your cause. Spendow also has partnerships with leading brands and retailers such as Nike, UnderArmour, MrPorter, Booking.com, Audible, Tommy Hilfiger, Asos to name a few. Curious about whether donating while you shop can help? Find out if AmazonSmile is right for your non-profit here.