Mass participation sport events are back in our beautiful country, and participants from around the world are looking to make their host event more meaningful by fundraising online for their favourite charities.
Some of South Africa’s favourite races are returning over the next few weeks, including the Cape Town Cycle Tour on 10 October, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on 16 October, and 947 Ride Joburg on 21 November.
If you’re taking part, now is the time to start taking five minutes out of your daily preparation to set up an online fundraiser, reach out to supporters for donations, and keep them posted about your progress on both fronts!
Fundraisers to the rescue
‘Fund-racing for good’ is sorely needed at this time, with virtually all charities struggling through the financial effects of 18 months of lockdown.
Now more than ever, participants are in a position to make a real difference through the incredible ease and proven success of online fundraising.
Jannie Smith, regional manager of GivenGain in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, says the average fund-racer on this charity fundraising platform now raises 20 times more in donations than a donor, giving every fundraising event entrant a chance to make a real difference.
In fact, it’s already paying off for charities: a group of 13 fundraising cyclists and their donor networks have already raised over R100 000 for the Cape of Good Hope SPCA ahead of the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2021, enabling them to keep their doors open and continue rescuing at-risk animals.
He says anyone who can use a PC or mobile phone can set up a project and start receiving donations for their favourite charity on GivenGain in less than a minute, and it’s 100% free.
It’s a thing now
“Fundraising for charity has become a key part of today’s race events,” Smith says. “Aside from the obvious benefits for charities, it’s also great for event organisers’ social impact and standing in the local community and global sporting world.”
He notes that adding fundraising to a race spreads brand awareness and attracts more participants, especially among millennials and Gen Zers, who are more likely to prioritise events that share their values. Events also generate local goodwill when they work with causes that are connected to the surrounding community.
Beyond local events for local causes, there are international mega-events like the Boston Marathon that generate millions of dollars for charity each year. And their learnings can benefit regional events too. “World events have always attracted participants from around the world, but now they are also going out to remote participants by embracing virtual races,” Smith adds. “It’s not just a COVID-19 thing: even though the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is holding an in-person race this year, participants can also join the 5km and 10km events virtually from wherever they are in the world.”
A place for fundraisers
The revolution in event fundraising is made possible by charity crowdfunding platforms like GivenGain, which was founded by Johannes and Jaco van Eeden, two South African brothers, 20 years ago this year.
GivenGain provides fundraising services to the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon and the Absa Cape Epic, as well as international majors including the Boston Marathon.
Since 2018, GivenGain has enabled thousands of event participants in South Africa to fundraise over R15 million for more than 250 charities. Online fundraising has given ordinary South Africans the power to make an enormous difference – people like Tania Fouche, who has already raised over R15 000 from her personal and professional networks in benefit of the National Sea Rescue Institute, as part of her Cape Town Cycle Tour 2021 participation.
“People have the desire to do good, and online fundraising gives them the opportunity,” says Smith. “Using the Internet and social media, fundraisers can tap into a global audience of generous potential donors. Moreover, all that fundraising power is incredibly accessible.”
Participants have over 4 000 charities to choose from on the GivenGain platform, and the support team is also ready to onboard your favourite charity when you get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. So, what are you waiting for? Join a great South African event, start a fundraising project on GivenGain and support the charity you love most.