Community Fundraising: How Captain Tom has captured our hearts and raised millions

April 15, 2020 Louise Sparks
In a world where the unexpected is happening every day, one truly magical thing has happened over the past week to surprise, excite and bring people together in this difficult time.
99-year-old army veteran, Captain Tom Moore, has smashed an original fundraising target to raise more than £5million on his JustGiving page.
Captain Tom set out to raise just £1,000 in sponsorship by completing 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday – but the public have been so overwhelmed by his story and dedication that the donations have come pouring in and still haven’t stopped.
The money raised will go to NHS Charities Together, supporting NHS staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients.
This is an inspiring story of community fundraising, and perfectly demonstrates the power of how it can raise funds for your organisation.
Captain Tom is an endearing figure, who had an idea and captivated public attention raising millions in the process. He is walking for an obviously particularly poignant and relevant cause right now – and it is no surprise why people are compelled to support him and this charity.
And there’s no reason why community supporters won’t get behind your organisation with an equally wonderful fundraiser. In fact, some of them might already be doing something you could endorse…
Since this period of ‘lockdown’ began, we’ve seen more people than ever before embrace online communication – from Joe ‘The Body Coach’ Wicks becoming the nation’s PE teacher with his daily livestreamed workouts, to popstars such as Gary Barlow and Coldplay hosting performances from their living rooms, to live comedy shows online. On a smaller scale, we have seen families keeping in touch via apps such as Houseparty or FaceTime, yoga teachers running their weekly classes on Zoom, and local toddler groups holding music classes for kids on Facebook Live.
So why not make the most of these new skills and encourage supporters – who are already using this technology – to add a further dimension and fundraise for you? We have some tips on how to move offline fundraising to online here:
Making Community Fundraising work for you:
1. Take a look at what your supporters are already doing
There are no bigger experts on your organisation’s target audience than you and your team. Have a look into what this demographic are up to at the moment. Are they spending lockdown baking more cakes? Are they running virtual fitness classes? With a little encouragement and stewardship, they could be using these activities to your benefit.
2. Tell your story
Captain Tom’s fundraiser has touched hearts and the charity he is raising money for means a lot to people right now. There’s no reason why your mission shouldn’t be as important too – aside from the amazing work the NHS are doing at the moment, other non-profits just like yours are essential to keep the world turning. Tell your story and let people understand what you’re doing and how they can help.
We’ve got lots more tips like this in our new eBook, ‘Virtual Fundraising 101’ – you can download it for free here now.
And to Captain Tom Moore – we’d like to say a huge congratulations from everyone at Blackbaud and JustGiving for your amazing achievement! Here’s to a wonderful 100th birthday celebration at the end of the month!
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