Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Why giving and making a difference should be at the top of your 2021 New Year resolutions

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Why giving and making a difference should be at the top of your 2021 New Year resolutions

After a very challenging year for many, GivenGain – the global fundraising platform with SA roots – says charitable giving should be a top priority in everyone’s new year plans and resolutions.

While traditional new year resolutions usually focus on self-improvement and lifestyle changes, 2021 presents a unique wake-up call, to direct our personal drive and power to change towards worthy causes that have been busier and more stressed than ever for funds.

“After one of the most difficult years, especially for the more vulnerable members of our communities, it has never been more important to bring everyone together through the power of caring, volunteering and especially crowdfunding,” says Jannie Smith, regional manager for sub-Saharan Africa & global head of support at GivenGain.

“Since the start of the pandemic, scores of dedicated fundraisers and charities on GivenGain have proved how successful online fundraising can be – even with limited public events and face-to-face interaction,” Smith continues.

A unique crowdfunding service
GivenGain enables individual fundraisers to engage with their extended personal and professional networks – sharing their inspirational stories anywhere in the world to get support from family, friends, colleagues and associates, and attract new supporters. As a result, they can make a much bigger impact for their cause.

As well as catering for individual fundraisers, charities and corporates can also leverage GivenGain’s participant fundraising service to rally staff to fundraise on their behalf. But in the absence of public events, what remains for fundraisers to do to attract donations?

One of the fastest-growing ways for charities to enable peer-to-peer fundraising during social distancing or otherwise is live streaming. Globally established non-profits such as Amnesty International and Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) have both listed live streaming as a virtual alternative to traditional fundraising events such as running or cycling.

Embracing virtual audiences
2020 has seen more new and experienced fundraisers than ever promoting their chosen charity on sites like Twitch and YouTube – hosting live-streamed events like gaming tournaments and musical performances while asking for donations.

Not only does this make donating easier, safer, more convenient and less weather-dependent, the interactive element also encourages viewers to donate more. GivenGain’s live streaming widget can display donations on-screen in real time, allowing the streamer to thank donors instantly. This immediate recognition is a powerful form of motivation for many donors and creates a dynamic and fun experience at the same time.

Well-known gamer and live streamer Grant Hinds recently raised an impressive R40 000 during a 12-hour gaming marathon for charity. He describes how the live streaming tool helped to engage his audience and build momentum throughout the fundraising event.

“The real-time fundraising progress bar and live donation notifications gave the audience visual stimuli as they donated. It’s really cool and super easy to use – more like a telethon in many ways.”

Support for first-time fundraisers
And while Grant is widely known for his fundraising exploits, newcomers can just as easily use GivenGain’s fun, easy tools to engage and inspire even smaller networks.

Alexia Polis and Aaron Msipha are two examples of individuals who are crushing fundraising without years of experience or thousands of followers. Instead of receiving gifts for her birthday, Alexia asked friends and family to donate to the Flama Foundation, a Peruvian charity providing support to young women.

Aaron Msipha also decided to use his birthday as the focus for his recent fundraiser for which he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, raising money to provide sanitary pads for girls in some of the poorest African communities. He believes the tailored support he received from GivenGain on maximising his fundraising had a significant impact on being able to raise more than R91 000 for the Imbumba Foundation.

“GivenGain had really helpful advice in their starter pack, fundraising e-mails and blog about how to promote your projects,” says Aaron. “I think what is most important is the regular system updates – people constantly have to be reminded of what you’re doing.”

For those who may be considering hosting their first fundraiser or virtual event, GivenGain offers ease of use and support available from a dedicated team.

To set up your own fundraising project for the new year and make a difference in 2021, visit GivenGain (https://www.givengain.com/join/), or visit the GivenGain blog (https://blog.givengain.com/) for detailed information on virtual events and live streaming.

GivenGain

Founded in 2001, GivenGain is a non-profit foundation with offices in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and South Africa. We started with a simple idea: to enable global philanthropy by providing a platform that simplifies global giving and fundraising. Since 2001, the platform has assisted donors and fundraisers in 194 countries to assist charities in 70 countries. The platform enables public events like running and cycling races and their participants to fundraise together for charities of their choice. GivenGain is part of the Humanstate Group, an international private technology services group that combines state-of-the-art Web-based applications with on-demand payment processing. Working from offices in the UK, Switzerland, Canada, the US and South Africa, we are inspired and united by the drive to create great user experiences and delightful digital products. We like complex challenges, we like to do new things, and we like people who are excited by their work. We’re a small team with big responsibilities – the Humanstate Group employs around 150 professionals in 5 countries and processes more than one billion Pounds Sterling annually.