How to use events to crowdfund for charity

November 30, 2018
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The recent 947 Cycle Challenge showed that crowdfunding at events can be a goldmine for charity.

Using GivenGain, a global crowdfunding platform for charity, 947 cyclists raised a massive 1.4 million ZAR for 65 charities!

Crowdfunding is big 

According to research firm Massolution, global crowdfunding increased to $16.2 billion in 2017. This is 167% more than the previous year, and could top $34 billion in 2018. Of this total, 18.9% goes to social causes.

But for all its popularity, peer-to-peer fundraising can be challenging. First off, how do you start?

Crowdfunding at events – a how-to

To set up a fundraising project is easy and many different platforms offer it. On GivenGain, you can go from zero to fundraising for a charity in 3 steps taking 90 seconds:

  • Go to and search for the event you will be participating in (e.g. Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge 2019 or Sanlam Cape Town Marathon 2019).
  • On the event page, click on Start fundraising to begin.
  • First you'll be prompted to sign up using Facebook, Google, or your e-mail address.
  • Next you'll be asked to select a charity to start fundraising for.
  • Then you'll be prompted to create your project.
  • And finally you'll be ready to tell your friends and family (and even your colleagues) that you are fundraising! This part is challenging, but also the most rewarding part of fundraising -  asking for donations.

Success factors

So what happens after that? Firstly, forget the phrase “build it and they’ll come”. Fundraising takes commitment, proper use of networks, clear communication and determination.

Crucially, share your project widely and regularly (within reason). Ask people face to face, use e-mail, social media and messaging apps – they’re not only for keeping in touch!

The most successful fundraisers all tell a good story about the need they’re supporting and why it's so important to help their particular charity.

Click here for more detailed online fundraising tips and advice.

What successful fundraisers have done

So how do successful amateur fundraisers get funds to their favorite charity?

Keep it fun

“It’s been fun engaging with the other riders and fundraisers and hugely encouraging to see the effort and teamwork (between individuals who were initially mostly strangers to each other) that’s gone into making this a successful campaign.” Anthea Gardner, fundraiser for the 947 Cycle Challenge 2018

Consider the donor

“Put yourself in the donor’s shoes. I always write a personal e-mail to each donor, however small their donation, soon after they make it (in addition to the automated thank-you from GivenGain). I keep them updated with progress on my fundraising and give them some idea of what their donation will be used for. Lastly, I promise that I won’t ask them for another donation for 12 months.” Alan Kirschner, top fundraiser for the 947 Cycle Challenge 2018

Think big, team up

“The biggest highlight was when we secured [South African cricketing icon] JP Duminy for the fundraising event. I was incredibly honoured, and his support and engagement was invaluable. For me, it also demonstrated the importance of having buy-in from the charity. Although I set the team up over three months before the event, we raised most of the funds in the last month. I found a lot of motivation in seeing different members of the team succeeding. This has been the most exciting and enjoyable thing I have ever done.” Gareth Obery, top fundraiser for Sanlam Cape Town Marathon 2018

Everybody loves a hero

Those who get crowdfunding right stand to make a big difference for charity, as the 947 Cycle Challenge in South Africa showed.

And aside from that, there’s considerable reward for fundraisers, who become instant heroes among their family, friends, social followers, colleagues and communities.

So are you pumped to rack up some big numbers for an awesome charity? Go to GivenGain, search for a marathon, cycling or other event near you, and go change the world!