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Fundraising in Lockdown

DECLUTTERING, sponsored challenges, crowdfunding and online quizzes have been used by Kent’s voluntary sector to raise funds during lockdown.
With fundraising events cancelled and charity shops and cafes closed, organisations relying on them to fund their services have had to look elsewhere.
And many funders have focused on COVID-19 frontline services – with usual grants suspended.
Kent Online recently published an article about family support charity HomeStart Canterbury and Coastal sadly closing its doors and Sittingbourne-based children’s charity Demelza Hospice Care for Children launching an emergency appeal to plug a funding shortfall.


Funder the Tudor Trust said: “Charities are working in new and creative ways to respond to the needs of their communities. But they are also tired and worried over the increase in demand and an uncertain future” #NeverMoreNeeded


We’ve highlighted some of the ways Kent charities have been raising money during the pandemic and included tips from national organisations that support the voluntary sector.

#DeclutterandDonate seems popular, with groups including Imago Community setting up a virtual charity shop and Kenward Trust, Fegans Charity and others encouraging people to donate unwanted books, CDs, DVDs and games through trade-in site Ziffit where 100% of the trade value goes to the cause of your choice.


Mid Kent Branch Motor Neurone Disease Association and Maidstone Mencap are just two of the groups encouraging people to do ‘social distancing shopping’ through Easyfundraising, the UK’s biggest charity fundraising shopping site with more than 4,000 stores in its network, including John Lewis and Argos.


Some groups have ventured into merchandising with children’s healthcare charity Tree of Hope promoting its cookbook with ‘recipes from some of West Kent’s best-loved chefs’ #homecooking and East Kent social enterprise Café Revival, which needs to raise £6,000 to reopen, launching a branded T Shirt in addition to holding online quizzes and more.


G E T T H E R E V I V A L L O O K 🎧We are so pleased to announce the launch of our brand new fundraising t shirts, available to order through http://www.tri-state.co.uk and our Etsy shop, details to follow. A huge thanks to @micklecreative for donating the space and equipment for us to create them 💜We hope you like them, please do tag us in pictures of you wearing them! Stay safe everyone, we hope to see you all very soon 🎵 #eastkentmind #mentalhealthawareness #kent #whitstable #supportsmallbusiness #fundraiser

Posted by Cafe Revival at the Horsebridge on Sunday, 17 May 2020


Earlier this month, Giving Tuesday launched #GivingTuesdayNow to support charities in addition to the annually scheduled global day of giving and unity that will still take place on December 1, 2020.
And this unprecedented time, people are still having fun while fundraising – with challenges such as the  #twopointsixchallenge including everything from:
26 minutes bouncing on a trampoline for We Are Beams


to 2.6 minutes smiling from Oasis Domestic Abuse Service CEO Deborah Cartwright for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek



The East Kent charity have launched a fundraising appeal on justgiving called #RaiseForOasis and embraced fun and creativity during lockdown with a “Zoom Boogie shake down” session with Radio One DJ Gemma Cairney and prints on sale including “Rainbow” below and a new print by Tracy Emin. Since the #COVID19 they have seen a 120% increase in referrals.



Emergency Appeals have been launched by many groups including Ellenor and Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Services


And if fundraising to plug funding shortfalls due to Coronavirus wasn’t enough, the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Services minibus was recently stolen – so they have a separate fund to raise money to replace that too.
West Kent Mind’s Emergency Fund Appeal has passed £10,000, including donations from a virtual run.


Their JustGiving site says: “West Kent Mind are facing the most momentous challenge in our history. Many local people desperately need to access mental health support and, more than ever, we want to continue to provide our services and help as many people as possible.”



Some local authorities have stepped into help the voluntary sector. Tunbridge Wells Borough Council championed three local causes in the town supporting vulnerable residents during COVID-19.
Called Lend a Hand for Tunbridge Wells #lendahand and hosted on fundraising platform SpaceHive, it raised an incredible £11,000 to split between Nourish Foodbank, Mental Health Resource and Age UK Tunbridge Wells. Sevenoaks District Council have followed suit with a Communities Together Fund for organisations seeing an increase in demand during the pandemic.



Tunbridge Wells Lotto is also being promoted to support good causes in the town – recipients include domestic violence charity DAVSS, Pickering Cancer Drop-In Centre, Rusthall Community Cinema and Sherwood Shed.
Groups such as Rotaries and Lions Clubs have been helping voluntary sector organisations –  Tonbridge Rotary have donated £4,900 to local charities since lockdown.
Nationally, The Charities Aid Foundation say there’s never been a better time to talk about philanthropy and have a COVID-19 Hub of resources. Their webinars include Money Saving Expert entrepreneur Martin Lewis, who launched a now-closed Coronavirus Fund with Imago Community one of its Kent recipients.


And Charity Tax Group is raising awareness of the possibilities of Gift Aid for charities – highlighting £0.5bn gift aid is unclaimed each year and that Gift Aid can be claimed on donations from up to two years ago.
Charity Tax Group are also flagging up Local Authority Discretionary Grants and are advising charities to check to see how much each Local Authority has left to allocate and applying if eligible.

Proposal to allow certain charities to claim under the Small Business Grant Fund – now accepted!

Movement for Good are awarding 500 charities £1,000. Anyone can nominate a charity to win a £1,000 award. And it’s quick and easy to do. Deadline 24 May.
For more virtual fundraising ideas visit our virtual fundraising page.