When you think of cricket fundraising, what springs to mind? A weekly lottery; buying a plank of a new pavilion perhaps or a coffee morning?
From the mainstream to the wacky, being creative, having someone or a group of volunteers inspiring others and driving the project from concept to completion is hugely significant; it can make or break any initiative.
It might sound obvious to begin with crystal clear organisation but cricket clubs can sometimes get political and decision making can be fractured or too centralised.
Whoever’s in charge of fundraising has to be fizzing with ideas or at least have the motivation and time to implement the ‘lightbulb’ moments of others. (Cultural reference of Despicable Me…)
The England and Wales Cricket Board’s own Guide to Fundraising is a resource worth tapping into for inspiration and practical considerations.
So, by all means, have your snail racing extravaganza; fantasy cricket league or your BBQ. They all work; raise funds and often integrate a cricket club into the local community.
But this isn’t an article about generic fundraising. The most successful fundraisers are often those that do it all; a broad portfolio to lapse into financial-speak.
It’s a look at the power of people and how you can make money for your cricket team, club or organisation by leveraging buying power.
Speak English, man, you might be muttering. Ok, sit back and welcome to the brave world of affiliate marketing.
Not so long ago, I finally decided to join the small band of people at my local cricket club who were doggedly using EasyFundraising.
It’s a company that allows charities, schools, clubs and community groups to raise money just by shopping online.
As a digital business ourselves at Cricket Yorkshire, that got our spider senses tingling. Ok, so we don’t have spider senses but you get the jist.
The point is that a lot of us shop online each and every day. According to the Office for National Statistics, by October 2013, the online sector accounted for around 10% of all retail sales in Britain with an average weekly spend of just over £650m.
If only you could harness all that collective purchasing for the greater good…well, now you can.
How does this work and why the money-for-nothing offers?
Think of yourself as plankton. Or krill, if that works better. easyfundraising.org.uk are like a blue whale powering along through the digital ocean hoovering up all the krill. Alternatively, I guess all those retailers are the krill being shepherded to you, the whacking great whale.
Right, enough of the dubious aquatic analogies.
In stark terms, every online retailer out there wants your business and they’ll be willing to pay easyfundraising.org,uk to channel and filter those online customers on their behalf and pay you, if you buy with them.
How to get up and running?
1. Visit easyfundraising.org.uk and register an account (no cost for that incidentally). Apart from being required nowadays for anything you do online, it’ll give you your donations history, favourite retailers and ones you’ve visited.
2. Next, search for a retailer or a product you want to buy. Now, this method of online fundraising doesn’t work if there are only three retail partners involved; none of which you would ever normally buy from. But the good news is that there are over 2,700 retailers to choose from like Amazon.
* A note at this stage: you have to do this initially through easyfundraising.org.uk so they can track your purchase and give you a small percentage back. There are other neat bits of tech to bypass this afterwards like the ‘Find and Remind’ toolbar but more of that later.
3. So, next click the ‘Go Shopping and Raise Funds’ button and then you’re on Amazon as you normally would be. So, you treat yourself because it’s February and hey, you deserve it, right? All the while these purchases are earning your club funds.
What’s the downside?
This won’t net your cricket club a fortune overnight, especially if only one person is doing it. It’s a slow-burner and will need an advocate or two at your club to show others and get them enthused and doing it regularly. This will work to its true potential if alot of people get into the routine of doing as much of their online shopping as possible through easyfundraising.org.uk.
It’s important to stress at this point, I don’t want you to go on a mad spending spree that entirely uncharacteristic and which you can’t afford. The beauty of this is that you raise money doing what you normally do anyway. You don’t have to change your habits; just go a slightly different route.
The percentages involved tend to be between 1-3% (with Amazon, it’s a 1.5% donation) but that’s 1.5% to your cricket club every time you shop at Amazon. Now, multiply that by all the other purchases you do online. Next, multiply that by every person associated with that club who shops online (whether player, official, support, family) and you begin to see how momentum can build.
Ok, so not every retailer will be featured but many of the biggest brands are. If you want to do your weekly shop at Tesco, buy car insurance, pick up a new smartphone, go on holiday, snap up a broadband package or purchase some essentials for DIY, you can do all that and plenty more.
To repeat, the amounts earn are matters of pence each transaction assuming you’re not shelling out ten grand a week on groceries. It’s a percentage of however much you spend but it’s money for doing nothing.
If you don’t shop online much and there’s just one or two of you halfheartedly considering this, don’t bother.
Reassurance and smart technology – Find & Remind
Surely everyone will be able to see that I spend £452 a week on gummie bears and I’ll never live it down in the clubhouse? All purchases are private so no-one else will be able to see what you’ve bought. Ever.
Plus, the Find & Remind toolbar is an ingenious way to maximise the earning power. All you do is download it (joining the 82,000 who have done so already); it’s free to install and use and has no adverts whatsoever.
Then you are free to browse the web as usual without having to visit easyfundraising.org.uk directly.
What this smart toolbar does is two-fold:
Appears in search results, telling you what percentage of commission who can expect to earn through. So, say you search Apple in Google, Yahoo! or Bing, a blue easyfundraising banner appears next to the search results telling you, in this example, that you can raise 1.5% donation with Apple.
If you then click on Apple, a yellow banner saying ‘claim up to 1.5% donation from Apple in just two clicks? You click the green ‘Activate Donation’ button just the once and what that does is log your shopping and you’ll get an email with the amount you earnt your cricket club in the next day or two.
Give it a go and spread the word…
This shouldn’t be your sole fundraising avenue (try a number of approaches) but if enough people get involved, it can be a significant extra earner. There’s no reason whatsoever not to try it….and tell us how you get on!
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