For many organisations, coronavirus is creating a lot of uncertainty and upheaval. The changes we are facing will impact your business and employees in many ways. For most of you, the fundraising events you had planned to support Mind may have been cancelled or postponed, and many of your staff might now be working from home.
We know that our supporters still want to be connected to Mind and are eager to find ways to keep fundraising. We are incredibly grateful for your enthusiasm during this time of uncertainty. We know that coronavirus has significantly impacted the nation's mental health, with many people being affected by anxiety and long periods of isolation. We want to be there to make sure everyone gets the support they need. But we need your help to ensure we can reach everyone who needs us.
We've put together a selection of our top virtual fundraising tips, which you can do at home. They are all based on the five ways to wellbeing.
Thank you so much for choosing to fundraise for Mind! We're delighted that you're part of our team of amazing supporters.
With many of us in isolation, it is crucial to stay connected with family, friends or colleagues.
Use Skype, FaceTime or Google Hangouts to hold a virtual pub quiz. Set up a Just Giving page and ask your guests to donate to take part.
We love this DIY "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" quiz – download the template and fill it out with a range of questions! You could also check out the Kahoot platform to create and host a quiz with remote players.
Make office-based fundraising virtual and post pictures and videos of your baked goods. You won't get to eat everyone's delicious creation, but you can still swap recipes and vote for a winner. Charge a small donation to Mind as you would usually but use a Just Giving page instead of a collection box.
Regular physical activity doesn't have to be outside for you to feel the benefits to your wellbeing.
Take part in a step challenge using a step counting app such as Strava (which allows you to create a virtual club and leaderboard). Ask for a donation fee to enter and award extra points for the most creative way to get to 10,000 steps in your house, garden, or balcony! Upping your steps is also a great way to stay fit and active while working from home.
Tip: Could your company match donations or donate for every milestone reached?
If you've always wanted to do a marathon, or if your local fundraising run got cancelled, why not challenge yourself to a marathon distance over several weeks! Here are tips from Runners World on how you can run your own marathon.
If you'd instead donate than participate in sport, you can hold a sweepstake on virtual sports or an online gaming tournament.
Make a night of it by hosting a virtual dance party. You can all dress in mismatched clothes or even dress in 80's themed workout gear. Why not offer a prize to the worst dressed? Donate the money that you would otherwise have spent on a night out to Mind.
Even at this difficult time, you can still take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you.
Ask your company and suppliers to donate prizes or future experience gifts to an online raffle. You could use a website such as 32 auctions. If your team is taking the opportunity to do some home decluttering, you could do this on a departmental level and see what great finds people are willing to part with.
Choose your favourite plant and encourage your colleagues to sow seeds at the same time as you. Ask everyone to contribute to a pot of money, and over time you can watch your seeds change from seedlings into grown plants. The gardener of the plant that flowers first wins half the sweepstake donation, with the other half donated to Mind.
Learning something new has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing.
Share a virtual supper club as a team. Choose a key ingredient from your store cupboards, try out a new recipe and cook together (and enjoy eating!)
Tip: Each week, Instagram account @uksupperclubs will present a selection of themes, and you can vote for a type of food or concept of the week for everyone to cook together. Use #virtualsupperclub to join in and share your pictures.
Take your book club online or set up an online book club. Donate the money that you would have spent on drinks and snacks to Mind.
You could also host an online tutorial during lunchtime or an after-work social event. Any budding chefs, speakers of different languages, or close-up magicians can share their skills and ask for a donation in exchange. Good platforms for this are Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Hangouts.
Research into actions that promote happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over six weeks is associated with increased wellbeing.
Many of us find that we are working from home or cancelling activities outside of the house; this may mean saving money on travel or other expenses. If you can, you may want to consider donating those savings to Mind.
We'd love to hear what innovative fundraising you're doing or which ideas you're using! Please reach out to your account manager or to [email protected].
If you've got concerns about any fundraising or project activity you have planned, speak to your account manager or contact at Mind.
Looking after your mental health and the mental health of employees is vital right now. Please share our 'Coronavirus and your wellbeing' page or our page for line managers supporting yourself and your team.
Thank you so much for your support.