Digital fundraising

Five weird ways we’ll give to charities in the future

Fundraising is a fickle beast. New trends emerge every day and technology is leading the charge in inspiring greater ways of raising money for charities.

By Matt Haworth · May 2, 2014

With so much change though, it can be difficult to keep up. So this week we’re taking a look at some of the future trends that are going to determine the future of charity giving. Here are the five weird ways we’ll give to charities in the future.

Hijacking memes

One thing that’s changing the way we give to charity is internet crazes that seem to come out of nowhere. Things like No Make-up Selfies for cancer awareness, for example. People love to share stuff online that makes them look good, that makes them laugh or even just makes them mad, and people are finding ways to hijack that principle to raise big funds for charity. So for No Make-up Selfies, people to began to doubt that taking selfies with no make up was doing very much for cancer charities. So in their selfies, they started to put pictures of themselves holding their phones showing the fact that they had made a text donation. And that’s when it started to raise serious funds.

But it didn’t stop there, soon people began to lampoon the very idea that taking a picture of yourself and posing a picture on social media can do something to help charity, and that spawned a heap of new crazes. From things like sellotape selfies, selfies of people wearing tons of make up and sock on a cock, which surely raised a few eyebrows in charity circles. Nobody knows what the next trend will be or when it will happen, all that we do know is that it’s going to happen and it’s probably going to be soon. Even dogs are getting in on the action with some dog charities taking selfies of dogs or even photoshopping dogs into other peoples selfies to try and persuade people to rehome abandoned pets.

Unchallenging challenges

We’re all getting used to getting tapped up on our Facebook feeds for sponsorship money by our friends doing extreme charity challenges, yet what’s out there for those of us who aren’t mountaineers or triathletes? Take the PlumpyNut campaign from charity Merlin. They challenged their supporters to eat nothing but nutritional nut paste for 24 hours, the same stuff that they send to famine relief areas, and tap up their friends for sponsorship money in the process. And some people managed to raise hundreds of pounds for charity. That’s great news for people like me. I’m not going to be able to do a triathlon any time soon but I’m pretty sure I can eat a few nuts.

Guilt free gambling

I think we can all agree that giving to charity is a pretty good thing to do, but do you know what else is a good thing to do? Crushing things with tanks.Thanks to websites like Omaze you can enter a big lottery to win a money can’t buy, once in a lifetime experience that usually revolves around one of your favourite celebrities. You can enter as many times as you like and all the money from entries goes to go good causes, usually those supported by the celebrity themselves. Some of the experiences on offer really are once in a lifetime stuff. For example, on Prizio you can win a chance to swim with olympic champion Michael Phelps. What could be better than that, you’re thinking? Well, I’ll tell you what, if they threw in dolphins as well!

two red dice

Mobile microdonations

It can be frustrating enough trying to buy things on the internet that you really want, like concert tickets or a new computer game or a book. But when you’re giving money to charity and you have to spend five minutes punching your credit card details in, only to be confronted by that stupid screen from your bank that asks you for the eleventh and a halfth letter of a password that you can’t remember anyway, it can be a little bit testing to the motivation.

But soon it’s going to get a lot easier to give your money away, and it’s going to get easier in the shape of your mobile phone. Take android phones, which are coming built in with near field communication (NFC), that means they know your card information and you can make payments just by swiping them over a card reader, or apple’s answer, which is touch ID which means that you can pay for things in apps using your fingerprint. And soon I reckon you’re going to be able to give to charity using the same way and that’s going to make it just as easy to give to charity using your phone as it is to put change into a charity collection tin.

Genetic giving

The hardest part of giving to charity is sometimes deciding which charity to choose, there’s absolutely loads out there. But soon you wont have to make a decision, because a test tube full of your own spit will make that decision for you. It sounds like a plotline from a horror b-movie, but actually its fast becoming reality thanks to at home DNA testing. Simply pay $99, spit in a test tube, and within a few weeks you get a report of which diseases you might be likely to be affected by later in life. I think that’s totally going to change the ways we give money to charity. Instead of waited to be affected by something, or for someone we know to be affected by a disease, we might decide to give earlier in life if we know we’re at risk. That’s great news for charities that support people with diseases, pretty bad news if you’re a dog though.