Much like the events industry, the charities sector has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A loss of crucial income has meant that some have been unable to carry out their important work, while others might even be facing closure. In November 2020, 14% of charities predicted they would no longer be operating in 2021.
The good news is that event creators can help. Events to raise money for a charity can not only boost awareness of vital organisations, but help to inspire donations for them, too, persuading attendees to part with their cash to support a good cause. Here are some charity event ideas to help get you making a difference, along with some types of organisations you might choose to help in 2021.
COVID-19 support groups
COVID-19 support groups are essential lifelines for those suffering from “long COVID” or who are struggling in the aftermath of losing a loved one. These charities desperately need funds, volunteers, and awareness to help people in need.
Consider socially distanced events that you could organise, such as an outdoor fitness challenge or painting classes. Or perhaps you could hold a fun run or orienteering afternoon to get the whole family involved. Classic formats like bake sales or open mic nights also make for great fundraisers, with all proceeds going to a COVID-19 organisation.
You may have heard of the term “lockdown puppies.” Shortly after the first lockdown in 2020, the number of dog owners in the UK skyrocketed, with people looking for company and entertainment at home. Unfortunately, lack of preparation and socialisation has meant that some puppies have developed behavioural problems, requiring time, effort, and training. Rescue centres have now begun to experience a surge in dogs needing a new home, which means they need more money and resources.
You can help support animal charities when they need it most by hosting a Crufts-style pet show, which can be transferred online by participants sending photos and videos of their pet to be judged in advance. Or why not hold an auction of must-have items for pet-lovers, from leads and harnesses to cosy coats and jackets?
Mental health organisations
The pandemic and its resulting lockdowns have had a huge impact on the mental health of the nation. With many forced to shield or stay indoors, cut off from social activities, hobbies, and family and friends, it’s likely that more people than ever before need help with their mental wellbeing.
Help raise funds for your local mental health charity by teaming up to host a virtual crafternoon, sending out kits to all participants in advance. You could also hold a mood-boosting outdoor dance party or festival, with regional bands taking part. Ensure social distancing measures are in place by setting out floor markers to remind everyone to stay two metres apart and by hiring staff to monitor queuing systems.
The pandemic has left many without income, and with no way to put food on the table. Food banks are an invaluable resource helping individuals and families across the UK when they need it most.
You can get involved with raising much-needed funds for food banks and associated charities by organising events like virtual cook-alongs using budget-friendly ingredients, helping those affected create varied and delicious meals. You could also host a socially distanced tea afternoon, featuring raffles and competitions, with all proceeds going towards local food banks.
Unable to go to school, children of all ages have been hit hard by the pandemic. Many don’t have the suitable environment or technology needed to learn effectively from home, meaning they risk falling behind once they return to school. A number of charities provide tutors and teaching staff to offer additional support to pupils struggling to keep up with schoolwork due to the impact of the pandemic.
You can support these charities by creating fun, child-friendly activities that all the family can get involved in, like virtual sports days or outdoor yoga classes. Why not look for a “laughter yoga” teacher to help put everyone in a good mood? You can host your event in a local school’s hall or outdoor grounds.
Arts and culture charities help to create safe, positive, and rehabilitating spaces for vulnerable people in society, also offering individuals the chance to meet others and learn valuable skills. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely limited the activities these charities are able to provide, and has also seen funding drop significantly.
Do your bit to help by hosting a virtual arts night, with materials for painting, pottery, or drawing all sent out in advance. You could also host an auction of works by well-known or local artists to raise money. It’s important to remember that COVID-19 has affected the finances of many, so make sure that your event is as accessible as possible by offering tiered or “donate what you can” ticket options.
It’s time to do our bit
To help charities doing amazing work to get back on their feet, fundraising is more important now than ever before. The empathetic event ideas showcased above can not only raise crucial awareness of vital causes, but also convince attendees to give what they can.
Wondering how to organise a charity event seamlessly and efficiently? Plan your next fundraising event with Eventbrite.