Seven Nonprofits Raising Money for Coronavirus Causes

young person sewing masks during coronavirus
|12 min read Nonprofit Fundraising

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, nonprofit organizations across the US are working harder than ever to support affected communities. But when it comes to fundraising, some nonprofits are more successful in generating donations than others. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the creative ways in which nonprofits are using GoFundMe Charity to mobilize donors and save lives in the fight against the coronavirus.

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Get inspired by these innovative nonprofits responding to the coronavirus

Each of these nonprofits raising money for coronavirus causes are leveraging online fundraising in a unique way. Browse through the following list to gain inspiration on how to amplify your own charity’s impact.

1. Taste of Tribeca: Taste of Tribeca Community Fund 

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many nonprofits have had no choice but to cancel their biggest fundraising events of the year. But event cancellations didn’t stop organizations like Taste of Tribeca in New York City from finding other ways to serve their communities. 

Under normal circumstances, Taste of Tribeca runs an annual, outdoor food festival that showcases dishes from the neighborhood’s best restaurants, all while raising money for two public elementary schools. But in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Taste of Tribeca canceled their event and instead launched a GoFundMe Charity campaign to support struggling restaurants and feed frontline healthcare workers.

For every $1200 that’s donated to the Taste of Tribeca Community Fund, the organization buys enough meals from one of their partner restaurants to feed an entire shift of ER staff—about 100 hospital workers—at a New York City hospital.

To date, Taste of Tribeca has raised an impressive $53,000, which has helped keep dozens of local restaurants afloat and hundreds of healthcare workers fueled through this crisis. To serve even more people on the frontlines, the organization recently expanded its efforts to support local police and fire departments.

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How Taste of Tribeca found success

After canceling its in-person event, Taste of Tribeca quickly pivoted its fundraising goals to address its community’s most pressing needs. Here are a few other highlights that led to the organization’s fundraising success:

  • Taste of Tribeca’s fundraiser description is clear and concise, allowing its supporters to see exactly how their contributions are making a difference.
  • The organization’s use of social share buttons on its campaign page makes it easy for its supporters to spread the word about its campaign and inspire others to join its mission.
  • Taste of Tribeca posted multiple updates on its campaign page, keeping its supporters engaged and a part of its exciting journey. 

Takeaways

  • Consider the most immediate needs in your community. How can your nonprofit pivot to address those needs while still carrying out its core mission?
  • Make it easy for people to support your cause. Keep them engaged on your fundraising journey and encourage them to share, share, share. 

2. American Cancer Society: #LaptopLipSync Challenge 

While the coronavirus pandemic has brought many aspects of life to a screeching halt, it has only fueled the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer. As the pandemic ramps up, COVID-19 poses an increased threat to cancer patients who already have suppressed immune systems. Now, more than ever, patients and families across the US are in need of critical support—and, above all, hope.

In an effort to spread optimism and raise money for patients in need, the American Cancer Society has launched an innovative fundraiser: the #LaptopLipSync Challenge. The #LaptopLipSync Challenge encourages people across the globe to record and share videos of themselves lip syncing to their favorite songs on social media. When the time comes to post their videos, participants are encouraged to use the hashtag #LaptopLipSync, tag and challenge 3-5 friends to post videos of their own, and urge viewers to make a donation to the American Cancer Society’s GoFundMe Charity fundraiser.

Thanks to this brilliant fundraising strategy, the American Cancer Society has already raised nearly $10,000 for people battling cancer during this difficult time.

How the American Cancer Society found success

The American Cancer Society’s #LaptopLipSync challenge inspired people to come together and rally around the nonprofit’s mission in a creative way. Here are a few more reasons why the organization was able to build a successful movement:

  • The American Cancer Society’s #LaptopLipSync Challenge provided an outlet for people to have fun, virtually connect, and spread hope and joy through trying times.
  • The nonprofit created a catchy, unique hashtag, making it easy for supporters to amplify its initiative on social media.
  • The American Cancer Society chose an eye-catching graphic for its campaign photo, which helps engage visitors.

Takeaways

  • Many people are searching for ways to entertain themselves while they’re sheltering in place. What can your nonprofit do to engage and encourage them to help others in need while also having fun?

3. Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation: Healing Through Laughter

In a time when so many negative stories dominate the news cycle, one nonprofit is leveraging the power of laughter to spread positivity and raise money for an important cause. During the coronavirus pandemic, the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation (Rush Arts) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania teamed up with Def Comedy Jam to host a live, virtual fundraising event and comedy show. 

All virtual event attendees were encouraged to donate to Rush Arts’ COVID-19 Relief Fund, benefiting partner organizations that provide direct relief to affected communities in the New York Metropolitan area. By the end of the night, the event helped Rush Arts raise over $60,000 for vulnerable and underserved populations across New York City. While the event is already in the books, Rush Arts is still accepting donations to its GoFundMe Charity campaign so that it can continue to provide essential support to those who need it most.

How Rush Arts found success

Rush Arts partnered with Def Comedy Jam to run an unforgettable virtual fundraiser that rallied their supporters around an important cause. These are a few reasons their fundraising event was so successful:

  • Rush Arts and Def Comedy Jam’s partnership helped Rush Arts expand its mission to a new audience, growing its donor base.
  • Rush Arts fully customized its fundraiser page to match Def Comedy Jam’s brand style, which helped engage its supporters and keep its brand front and center.
  • The two organizations teamed up to bring people together and provide them with an opportunity to escape all of the negativity, have fun, and give back to their community.

Takeaways

  • Teaming up with another organization can help expand your nonprofit’s impact and expose it to new audiences.
  • Hosting a virtual fundraising event is a great way to mobilize donors who are eager to help others in need—and it’s just one of many digital fundraising strategies your nonprofit can try.

4. Stand Together Foundation: #HelpTheHelpers

In these unprecedented times, people are eager to help those in need, but many don’t know where to start. That’s where the Stand Together Foundation truly excels. Through its #HelpTheHelpers fundraiser, the Stand Together Foundation offers an avenue for donors to support local nonprofits that are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. All #HelpTheHelpers proceeds benefit the foundation’s partner organizations, a cohort of over 165 community-based nonprofits that provide direct, immediate relief to the nation’s most vulnerable populations.

How Stand Together Foundation found success

In less than one week, the foundation raised—and then matched—over $2.5 million for its partner organizations, enabling them to maximize their impact. Here are a few other ways in which the nonprofit rallied others to join them in making a difference:

  • The Stand Together Foundation quickly identified a barrier to donation and acted fast to remedy the issue. By partnering with some of the country’s most prolific nonprofits raising money for coronavirus causes, the organization took the guesswork out of donating to an impactful cause, providing an easy way for donors to give back to their communities. 
  • The Stand Together Foundation helped their partner organizations expand their impact on the frontlines of the pandemic by matching its campaign’s donations.
  • Through GoFundMe Charity’s peer-to-peer fundraising feature, the organization enabled dozens of people to start #HelpTheHelpers campaigns of their own, exponentially increasing their donor base.

Takeaways

  • You might find strength in numbers. By partnering with other organizations, you could potentially double or triple your impact.
  • Brainstorm with your staff to pinpoint what problems exist in the nonprofit arena or within your own organization at the moment. Are there immediate solutions you can offer?

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5. Enriching Lives Through Music: Emergency funds for ELM families

The economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic have affected everyone in one way or another. But for low-income and working-class families, the fallout has been especially devastating. To support this vulnerable population, some smaller nonprofits like Enriching Lives Through Music (ELM) are focusing their efforts on providing direct financial relief to their immediate community members. 

ELM provides music education and performance opportunities to youth living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas of San Rafael, California. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization created an emergency relief fund for ELM families to cover essential expenses like groceries, rent, and medications, which has since raised a staggering $29,000.

How Enriching Lives Through Music found success

ELM identified a need in their community, and they worked quickly to address it. Here are a few reasons why its fundraising efforts were so fruitful:

  • In its campaign description, ELM tells a heartbreaking story about one of its community members who is struggling to provide for her family in the wake of the pandemic. By telling an authentic story and putting a face to the crisis, ELM is able to build an emotional connection with potential donors. 
  • ELM’s featured video on its campaign page encouraged visitors to engage with ELM’s brand right off the bat.
  • The nonprofit’s use of social share buttons on its campaign page makes it easy for its supporters to spread the word about its campaign and inspire others to join its mission.

Takeaways

  • Storytelling can be your nonprofit’s most powerful fundraising tool. What inspiring stories can you share about your nonprofit and its mission?

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6. Wakefield Food Pantry: Wakefield Cards for the Community

Now, more than ever, local food pantries are lifelines for communities in need. In response to the coronavirus crisis, the Wakefield Food Pantry in Wakefield, Massachusetts is supporting individuals, families, and local businesses through its clever GoFundMe Charity campaign: Wakefield Cards for the Community.

For every $15 that’s donated to its fundraiser, the Wakefield Food Pantry purchases a gift card to a local restaurant that offers takeout meals and distributes it to an individual or family in need. In just under two weeks, the Wakefield Food Pantry crushed its $15,000 goal, which has enabled the nonprofit to help dozens of people and businesses stay afloat during these uncertain times.

How Wakefield Food Pantry found success

The Wakefield Food Pantry tackled two major issues that were affecting its community with one ingenious idea. These are a few more ways in which the nonprofit maximized its fundraising efforts:

  • The Wakefield Food Pantry’s campaign title is catchy and intriguing, capturing visitors’ attention and motivating them to learn more about the organization’s initiative.
  • The nonprofit’s fundraiser description is succinct and transparent, allowing its supporters to see exactly how donations will be put to use in their community.

Takeaways

  • Think outside of the box. How can your nonprofit fundraise to address multiple challenges in your community?
  • Explore creative ways to draw in your nonprofit’s audience, like choosing a captivating campaign title, or featuring an eye-catching cover photo or video. 

7. Amherst Regional Public Schools Parent Guardian Organization: Wifi for All Students 

In response to state-mandated school closures, many schools across the country have transitioned to online teaching and learning. However, while technology has proven to be an invaluable educational tool in this time of crisis, not all students have equitable access to it. 

To address this issue in its own community, the Amherst Regional Public Schools Parent Guardian Organization (ARPS PGO) of Amherst, Massachusetts created a GoFundMe Charity campaign to provide wifi and laptops to every student in the district. In just four days, ARPS PGO hit their $25,000 goal—but the organization hasn’t stopped there. Now, the nonprofit is on a mission to further close the digital divide by providing students with wifi and educational tools through the upcoming 2020-21 school year. 

How ARPS GO found success

ARPS GO worked quickly to provide disadvantaged students with the digital tools they needed to flourish. Here are a few reasons why the organization’s fundraising efforts were so successful:

  • ARPS GO provided its supporters with multiple updates on its campaign page, keeping them engaged throughout its entire fundraising journey.
  • The organization’s fundraiser description is short and easy to skim, enabling readers to quickly absorb the fundraiser’s most important details.
  • The organization’s use of social share buttons on its campaign page offers a convenient way for its supporters to spread the word and inspire others to join its mission.

Takeaways

  • Bring your supporters along on your fundraising journey by keeping them in the know. What good news, challenges, and setbacks can you share with your nonprofit’s community to keep them engaged?

Start a fundraiser for your nonprofit today

Whether you’re looking to keep fundraising for the cause you care about, or trying to adapt an in-person fundraising event to a virtual one, GoFundMe Charity has you covered. With fully customizable fundraising campaign pages and a donate button that can be embedded on any website, we have what it takes to maximize your nonprofit’s impact. Our platform is available to your charity without a contract, subscription fee, or platform fee – so what’s stopping you from getting started? Fundraise for your nonprofit today.

 

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