With one in four people on the planet facing some form of severe restriction on their movements, the coronavirus pandemic reduces the options for fundraising so we felt it would be a good time to share some virtual fundraising ideas.

What kind of fundraising can you take part in during lockdown? 

1. Donate your commute

If you are saving money on your daily commute to work – and even better, if you are a season ticket holder and have secured your refund from your rail or bus company – why not donate some of that to a charity? If you don’t fancy a single gift (although that would be most welcome at any charity under current circumstances) then think about donating monthly all the time you can’t enjoy your usual commute.

We know times are tough and not everyone can afford to – but if you’re currently working from home why not consider donating the price of one day’s bus/ train/ tube to a local cause still working out in the community?

To donate £5 to Fegans, just text CHILDHOOD5 to 70085.

2. Donate whatever you’re not spending money on

What else are you not spending money on whilst restricted to the house? Coffees at a coffee shop, child care (!), petrol, treats at the till, or haircuts?

Grow your hair out and donate what you would’ve spent on haircuts to your favourite charity?

Can’t go to the pub tonight? Having a quiet beer at home and watching Netflix? Saving money because it’s cheaper? Please consider donating a part of that to Fegans to keep us supporting families.

Of course many people are not in this position and are in a precarious financial position. There are still plenty of other ways you can make a difference to your favourite charity.

3. Donate your birthday

If you can’t go out to celebrate or your family or friends can’t come over to join you on your day, why not invite them to make a donation in your name to Fegans?

Don’t forget that Facebook birthday fundraisers are a very popular tool: Facebook gives individuals the tools to run a birthday fundraising campaign online amongst your friends and contacts. And it doesn’t take a penny: all the money is donated to the charity.

4. Home challenges

If you’re at home with children, set them a challenge and sponsor them for it. It could be cooking, cleaning, or making something creative. It could be built up in coins, if you’ve still got any, or with a calendar where you tick off each day that they complete their challenge. Or why not ask them to draw a traditional giving thermometer to show the total they’ve raised so far?

5. Virtual pub quiz

You won’t be surprised to know that remote quizzes and pub quizzes have really taken off, here are some tips:

Why not arrange a quiz with friends and family and make it a fundraiser too.  Charge an ‘entry’ fee; half goes to the winner and half goes to charity.

6. Find items to donate

While you get to know your own four walls better than you ever have, why not look again at anything of value or utility that you realise you could do without and put it aside to donate to charity shops when they reopen? Or if you want to declutter now you could leave them outside your house and make a note for people to ‘take for free’ to spread a bit of social distanced cheer amongst your local community.

7. Amazon Smile shopping list

Plenty of charities use Amazon to present a shopping list of all kinds of items that they need, either on a regular basis or as a one-off. Find what you’d like to buy and donate to them (they’ll be delivered to the charity), but make sure you access Amazon via its Amazon Smile giving version (“same products, same prices, same service”). The charity will then earn a small donation on what you spend at no cost to yourself.

8. Out of office emails

 What does your out-of-office email say? You may have updated it to mention that you’re working remotely or maybe that you’ve been furloughed. But have you included a giving opportunity in it? Consider adding a link to your chosen charity’s donate page to encourage others to make a difference.

9. Philanthropy education at home

If you are home-schooling children now, are there ways you can include lessons about giving, volunteering and philanthropy? With a sense of fun or creativity?

It will be positive and reassuring for them and you to learn about the unending record of ordinary but remarkable people who make a difference in public health crises and disasters, as well as in everyday ‘normal life’.

If you were thinking of donating to a charity or charities, maybe you could make that a maths question considering what difference a price of a trip to McDonalds could make if donated to a charity instead?

10. Donate just one minute of your time

If you wish to focus on COVID-19 try the COVID Symptom Tracker app.

Self-report daily.

Help slow the outbreak.

Identify those at risk sooner.

Download the COVID Symptom tracker app. Designed by doctors and scientists at @KingsCollegeLonand @GSTTnhs Biomedical Research Centre  in partnership with @join_zoe.

11. Donate masks and other PPE

Many individuals and companies are being asked to donate personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare professionals. You could even make your own face masks or if you are a good sewer, make scrubs for health workers out of old duvet covers.

12 . Run, skip, jump, walk where you can

Sometimes you don’t have to switch to a virtual version of your planned fundraising: if you are really committed you can make do with what you’ve got access to – even if that does mean running back and forth on your balcony!

Imaginative solutions are all around!  Keep calm and keep fundraising!