In this article, we explore the impact of COVID-19 on grassroots fundraising, how fundraising suppliers have turned-on-a-dime to provide distance-friendly fundraising, and what the short-term future of fundraising looks like in Australia. We also present a list of COVID-friendly fundraisers for you to consider.
The world turned upside down
Coronavirus has turned just about everything on its’ head around the world. School and club fundraising in Australia has been no exception.
The volunteers, who were one minute planning their next fundraiser, were the next thrown into their own world of chaos, sorting out the needs of their individual families – preparing for isolation and home-schooling. Fundraising stopped abruptly and events were cancelled.
Countless schools in Australia now need to store stock ordered for their Mother’s Day Stalls that never happened. Fetes have been cancelled. Trivia nights postponed.
Don’t forget to check out our previous article: Supporting Community in the Time of Covid-19
Community Building <3
It’s not surprising that those who volunteer to fundraise in schools and clubs were amongst the first to start up and pitch in to help with wider community support in these strange and unsettling times.
When the spinning slowed down, committees began to turn their mind on how to support their communities. Amazingly creative acts of kindness and community replaced fundraising drives and events. Everything from Zoom trivia nights to staff-appreciation drive-pasts to community action to support the vulnerable among us.
I have seen volunteers deliver letters throughout their neighbourhoods offering support to anybody who felt vulnerable. I have seen Facebook groups pop up to provide practical help to frontline workers. I have seen people delivering food parcels to stranded, broke international students. The best of people.
In the meantime…
There is a small industry in Australia that services school and club fundraising. I have worked with this sector for nearly 15 years and know most of the operators very well. I say, with my hand on my heart, that these people are overwhelmingly in it for the right reasons.
When the world came to a standstill, so did their businesses. Jobkeeper was a gift from above for everyone – a genuine business-saver – but I also saw the most amazing thing happen.
Suppliers, who had offered tried-and-true fundraisers the same way for years and years, suddenly pivoted to change up their business models. Fundraisers that previously required face-to-face involvement could now be offered remotely. We saw a reinvention take place. A modernisation, an evolution.
It is my pleasure to present this list of fundraisers that can be considered in these troubled times.
One quick note – don’t forget to go gentle with your community when you are asking for support. There are people who would love to be able to help but just can’t right now.
Until such time as things return to ‘normal’, here are some fundraisers that are able to be run from a distance.
Billy G’s Cookie Dough
Their cyber-safe online fundraising platform is the cornerstone of their program. It empowers your members to sell the greatest number of tubs possible with a safe, positive online experience.
It can be run 100% online, no door knocking and cash handling is required which removes all health risks – and it’s delicious! Make a profit of $3.50 per tub sold with free seller incentive prizes.
Their top three organisations have sold over 1,600 tubs each and Oakwood Primary School set a new fundraising record surpassing a previous record set back in 2010, selling 2,201 tubs.
Expressions the Tea Towel Fundraiser
Your children’s artwork on tea towels, bags, and aprons for a treasured keepsake. It’s easy, contactless and it brings the community together, like a yearbook on a tea towel.
Everything you need to get started is in your free coordinator’s kit. They can create a group design or print full-colour individual artworks on tea towels, tote bags, and aprons.
They make it simple by providing everything you need, then you get to do the fun part of getting the kids (and adults) to draw something special. When you’re done, upload or post all the drawings to them. Get creative with your drawings, some schools are asking students to draw a picture of themselves doing something in isolation as a way of remembering the unique year that 2020 has been.
Wine Experience is a boutique wine store and online wine site. They source only the best wines for their store utilising Master of Wine Andrew Corrigan ensuring only the best cleanskins are chosen.
What they offer:
- No setup costs
- A fantastic selection of cleanskin wines from Australia’s top regions and wineries
- Custom labelling options
- Wine freighted directly to your customers Australia Wide
- Mixed cases
- No minimum order requirements
- An online-only option – great for separating the message of alcohol from kids!
Don’t miss out on your school disco!
Get onto the Zoom Dance Party – Pre-sell the Flashing Headwear then arrange a time and date for everyone to virtually ‘get together’.
Maybe put a snack pack of the usual treats together for even more profits. Or create class teams that wear the same fun flashing headpiece for a video singing competition.
Which year level will win??
Plus, for when life truly gets back to normal, we have a new venue in collaboration with Party higher (below) in Moorabbin, Vic, for excursions – ‘Silent Glow World’.
Silent Disco – by Party Higher is the new craze, with the latest technology, sweeping across schools around Australia and all Covid Safe.
At a Silent Disco – everyone is provided their own pair of wireless headphones, which light up and have safe adjustable volume. With a selection of three music channels for older kids or our professional instructor running interactive games and activities on a channel, students are fully engaged.
Social distancing if needed, not a problem – Our wireless headphones can allow everyone to be spaced out over 500m for indoor or outdoor events.
Plus, for when life truly gets back to normal, we have a new venue in collaboration with Everything Glows (above) in Moorabbin, Vic, for excursions – ‘Silent Glow World’.
Gingerbread Folk are renowned for their premium quality gingerbread house kits.
- Events can be set up with social distancing considerations for table settings OR
- House kits can be sent home with families as a sales drive.
Published Authors Fundraising Cookbooks
Published Authors helps schools and other groups professionally publish their own premium quality cookbooks. Their new approach is simple and eliminates most of your work usually needed to create a cookbook!
- Families submit their recipes direct to them via their simple website template
- Once you check the recipes, they do everything to collate, format, design and print your stunning cookbooks. Just select from their large range of sizes, styles and free gourmet food photos and they do the rest!
- They prepare your cookbook printing proof. You approve, they print and then deliver. That’s all it takes!
The award-winning “Fundraise with Bows” program is available through www.SchoolPonytails.com.au
Covid-friendly fundraising: Shop their huge range of ready-to-ship colours and styles online, securely using AfterPay, PayPal, Cards, or Bank Deposit. Orders are sent direct to your door by Australia Post.
It’s as simple as adding your unique fundraising code to the cart, and receiving beautiful, co-ordinated bows and carnival products direct to your home OR school. At the end of term, they send 20% back to your school or club. It’s passive fundraising at it’s best!
To run their fundraiser with Social distancing in place, its as easy as one, two, three.
- Kids complete artwork in class with their Teacher or Art Teacher
- Parent receive order forms, and submit their orders.
- Post the artwork with orders to them, and they will receive the completed keepsakes in 2-3 weeks after we have received the artwork.
Their Online Ordering Options can eliminate cash handling, and can allow the parents to view and order the artwork online.
The Plant-A-Difference Fundraiser is another COVID safe and friendly fundraiser that can be run solely online. No door knocking is required which removes all health risks.
Lead the way to a greener Australia and help plant native trees in communities throughout the country. With every $15 raised you will contribute one native tree (or shrub) to Australia’s only biodiversity hotspot, the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor. Its sustainability fundraising at its best!
They have engineered our engraved brick paver fundraiser to be run entirely without the need for person-to-person contact!
You have three options:
- Traditional order forms – sent and returned via email with payment details.
- Get your community to complete the forms and place them in a drop-box.
- **NEW** Let them set up your fundraiser online – you share the order-form link and let your supporters order and pay completely online!!
Pictureproducts, a staple in Australian fundraising since 1977, have adapted and you can now run the classic pictureplate fundraiser completely online!
- Organisers can promote the fundraiser entirely online
- Parents can collect drawing paper from the school or print their own
- Parents can pay online, then scan and upload their own drawings to them using their website.
The Drink Bottle Fundraiser
A great way to help raise money for your organisation while buying fully personalised products. $5 profit per bottle!
Their bottles are 100% BPA-free Stainless Steel and are available in 2 sizes (500mL and 740mL) and 5 great colours. The names and images are laser-engraved onto the bottle so they won’t scratch or peel off.
They have no contact enquiries, ordering and deliveries.
Mr Showbags has been delighting children throughout the country for more than fifteen years with their Showbags. It is easy to see why our products are one of the nations favourites.
No need to wait until fetes and events are back – you can run a Showbag drive – get in touch with them to get some tips!
The idea of Krispy Kreme FUN-draising is to give your group the chance to raise some extra cash by selling the world’s most popular doughnuts
Through their partnership with Eventbrite, their fundraising customers can set up an online store to sell digitally online.
School Fun Run
With School Fun Run funds can be collected 100% online which means no cash handling and/or physical interaction with the public what-so-ever. Families create a profile page on their website and share their fundraising link on Social Media, text message and email. Donors make credit card pledges and funds come in online.
ZERO PUBLIC AT YOUR SCHOOL: If needed, School Fun Run can be tailored (at any time during the lead up to an event) to keep the public out of school grounds entirely, or even be held in class groups within their normal PE classes.
Design a Brick
Their quality range of long-lasting engraved brick and paver products are designed to support your fundraising needs, and also provide a permanent symbol of gratitude to all who partake in contributing to local fundraising initiatives.
They have no direct contact with the public and their production environment well exceeds social distancing requirements.
Schoolyard Stories publishes books created by students and families. Their online publishing tool allows multiple users to work remotely. Printed in Australia, their books are of the finest quality and you can speak to a real support person 7 days a week. From compilation storybooks to creative cookbooks and memorable yearbooks, the possibilities are endless, the results inspirational!
ecostore Fundraising Soaps can be facilitated whilst social distancing by taking orders via the phone, email or social media.
Organisations can arrange cashless transactions, and have a contact-free collection point where purchases can collect their soap. Customers are able to spend their money purchasing an essential item, while supporting their organisation.
Tea Towel Keepsakes
You create, they arrange and reproduce children’s images, drawings and/or handprints to Tea Towels, Bags and Aprons.
Everything can be done from home – children can draw from home and coordinator collates via email.
Recycle with Mondo for a better world – School Fundraising and Education Program.
Online educational and promotional resources are available, and they can collect clothing via clothing drop boxes that do not require human to human contact.
Eclectika candles are individually hand-poured in the Hawkesbury region of NSW, Australia. They keep things simple by using only 100% natural soy wax, as well as cotton lead-free wicks.
Orders can be gathered through online through family and friends -no selling door to door – they will individually pack all orders separately.
4MyEarth can make your lunch and snack time waste-free with their practical & durable fabric wraps & pockets. 30% return on all products sold. Choose from a range of funky prints or custom fabrics.
They can provide samples for display in a central location which can be viewed by participants in the fundraiser. They have forms that can be emailed back to the administrator. A contactless fundraiser.
Whatever the occasion, they offer a wide selection of unique gifts that you can personalise to truly create a special, one of a kind present for close friends or loved ones. Make someone’s day, bring a smile and create a lasting memory.
Their program is truly contactless and all run via their online store.
School Colour Explosion™ Run
The School Colour Explosion™ Run can also be run 100% online, no door knocking is required and dependent on event restrictions in Term 3 or 4, you could run the event as a whole school or in individual class groups of 30 students.
They supply everything from non-toxic colour powder to event materials, not to mention the highest cash profit in the industry.
Sinchies Reusable Pouches
By using Sinchies reusable pouches, you’re preventing another pre-filled yoghurt squeezy and sandwich bags from going to landfill.
Orders can be easily distributed to families. They are for home use and lunchbox use. Products are great for plastic-free July.
Tesselaar Bulbs Fundraising
Spring flowering bulbs are a wonderful activity for communities and families to do together and the rewards will last a lifetime. Spring Bulb Fundraising is available from January to May each year.
All orders can be done online and are delivered via Australia Post.
Soapbiz – by Multitask
Something completely different for your fundraising drive! Beautifully, naturally scented soaps that are kind to your skin. Handmade by the Soapbiz crew from Multitask and their work towards the training and ongoing employment of people with disabilities.