While the overall charity sector income rose in 2014, not all the charities saw their income growing. According to NCVO statistics, bigger charities with an income over £10m have grown, while small charities saw a reduction in their income. As a fact, charities add more value (GVA) to the economy than agriculture or arts. Therefore, it is crucial to find ways to help small charities and organisations grow.

There are many quick ways a small charity can get the ball rolling and kick-start their fundraising. Often, these charities depend mostly on people and their donations so the focus is to attract and involve as many supporters as possible. We’ve created a list of some ideas that small charities can find useful.

Bike relay

Why not turn a regular bike relay into team-oriented competition? Set up several teams and as each contestant completes a certain distance, they pass the coloured ribbon or vest to another team member, who sets off and does the same. It is really important to advertise and promote the event beforehand, so make sure to create posters and distribute flyers around the town. Don’t forget to share your event on social media – we suggest using a special hashtag on twitter to promote it. This is also a good way to track who is interested and going to take part in the event. The donations can be collected by setting a fee to participate, or by selling tickets to vote for the winning team. Also, you can simply place a few donation boxes for people to see easily. Lastly, always take photos to record what you did throughout the event and post it on your social platforms as well.

Online fundraising

We all know how difficult it is to ask people for a donation. Luckily, crowdfunding and online fundraising platforms are receiving more attention nowadays, and it is also an easier way for charities to get extra funds. Did you know that 77% of UK internet users made a purchase online in 2015? It is no doubt that UK e-commerce is growing fast and small charities can definitely benefit from this trend. At GoRaise, (an online fundraising platform) a percentage of the purchases made is donated to a charity or a good cause. It is easy to set up a cause page and share it across all social channels. What’s more, the platform is free to use and there is no extra cost involved when making a purchase and you will find all your favourite retailers there.

British bake-off

Don’t ever underestimate the power of a cupcake. Bake sales and cupcake fairs are very popular events to raise money. It is especially loved by small charities on a tight budget because they don’t require much funds and are easy to organize. You can choose your local community hall to set up the event and encourage people to enter their bakes in various categories, e.g. Best Decorated Cake, Best Tasting Cake, etc. People would have to pay a small entrance fee for a chance to taste the cakes and give their votes. Again, don’t forget to share and promote the event on social media (yes, this is really important!): create your online fundraising page to spread the awareness, tweet the latest details and photos of your bake sale. This will get people’s attention and can even attract press to write about the event.

Second-hand fair

While a regular book fair can seem boring and dull, we suggest organizing a second-hand fair, where people can bring and sell whatever they want. It can be anything from unworn and unused clothes, toys, books, to hardware equipment and ancient coins. Also, it is a good way to bring your local community together and raise funds at the same time! Remember, your goal is to plan ways to raise as much as possible during the event, so look for the most appropriate and rewarding ideas. As an example, you can place a donation box at the venue, organize a raffle  or prepare drinks and snacks stand. If you have some time until your event, you can search for corporate sponsors to help with expenses. It’s important to be prepared and efficient – even though it takes some time to organize and set it all up, it can bring a massive wave of supporters and even turn into an annual event.

Innovative fundraising

As mentioned before, people spend a huge amount of time online, that’s why charities should re-think their online fundraising strategies. If your charity website or a Facebook page is in need of creative ideas to raise funds, here are some of them. You can sell specialised T-shirts with your charity’s logo or a slogan. Why not involve others and ask them to vote for the best logo design? That way you’ll promote your charity and raise the awareness. Another idea is to organize a viral video challenge where you ask users to do a fun challenge that represents your charity. Ask for participants to donate, spread the word and who knows, maybe the video will receive a worldwide recognition, just as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge did?

These are just some of the ideas that small charities can use to get the donations going. It is important to always experiment and test different fundraising ideas to find the one that works best. Do you have any interesting or never-heard-before fundraising ideas? Let us know in the comments!