Top 5 Inspirational Fundraising Campaigns

Inspirational Fundraising

Top 5 Inspirational Fundraising Campaigns

If you're in need of a strong dose of inspiration to kick-start your campaign, these 5 should do the trick.

If you're in need of a strong dose of inspiration to kick-start your campaign, these 5 should do the trick.

Every keen fundraiser has aspirations of making a difference. But changing the world is no mean feat, when thousands of other likeminded do-gooders are striving to get their voice heard too. With creative and compelling campaigns aplenty – how can you compete? Here are some of the best inspirational fundraising campaigns to date.


Likes don't save lives

It's easy to hit the like button for a cause on social media, but if that's the extent of your charitable doing, what difference will it make? This is what UNICEF Sweden asked its Facebook fans. In a hard-hitting online ad, the charity asked those who supported the charity on social media what action had they taken beyond liking the page. And as it turned out, very little.

Worryingly, in a survey of the Swedish public UNICEF found that "one in seven believed that liking an organisation on Facebook was equal to donating money," reports The Guardian.

Whilst 'likes' can help to raise awareness, it will always be donations that save lives. The statement at the heart of this campaign reads "Like us on Facebook, and we will vaccinate zero children against polio." Not many dare rebuke the power of social media, but in this case, UNICEF's stance against 'slacktivism' had a positive effect, raising enough money to vaccinate 637,324 children against polio.


Ice bucket challenge

Sometimes it feels like major charities steal all the limelight, leaving lesser-known causes to fight it out for public donations. However, back in 2014 the #ALSicebucketchallenge gained the progressive neurodegenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (or ALS) worldwide attention.

Again it's uncertain how this campaign originated, but the challenge of pouring 1, 2 even 3 buckets of ice over a person's head to raise cash for ALS really captured our imaginations.

Here we were sitting in our backyards, frozen to the bone, nominating more people to act, discuss and donate in the spirit of the #ALSicebucketchallenge. Even A-list celebs were jumping on board, including David Beckham, Lady Gaga and the likes.

Actress and avid disability rights campaigner, Shannon Murray sums up the beauty of the campaign by saying "Do you think Anna Wintour, Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham were talking about ALS a few months ago? No, I very much doubt it," emphasising what an incredible impact the #ALSicebucketchallenge had.



In an age of great beards, it’s easy to see why Movember always attracts so much interest. The concept is simple: grow a delightful moustache for the month of November in order to raise money and awareness for men's health issues, such as depression and prostate cancer.

Movemeber works because it's universal. Seeing men of all ages and hair-growing-capability ditch the razor in favour of a terrific tache brings all kinds of hilarity, and donations with it. There's minimum effort required; just the willingness to put up with a few giggles at your new whiskers. Not only that, it's a highly shareable campaign that sparks healthy competition – you call that a moustache?

Since 2003, Movemeber has raised a phenomenal £346 million, with no intention of stopping. Who knew funny facial hair was the secret to amazing fundraising?


How to look your best the morning after

In a harrowing bid to raise awareness of domestic abuse issues, UK charity, Refuge teamed up with beautician and YouTube star Lauren Luke to highlight how easily domestic violence is covered up. Disguised as just another beauty tutorial, Lauren sits in front of the camera battered and bruised, and proceeds to advise her subscribers on the best ways to cover up injuries. The short clip ends with the heart-breaking stat that '65% of women who suffer domestic violence keep it hidden.'

Whilst the video is a tough watch, it gets the point across and to the right demographic. With almost 600 thousand subscribers to her YouTube channel, of which the majority are women; Refuge used their initiative and spoke to an active vlogging community that would listen. Viewers of this channel are highly likely to spread the word and encourage those who are suffering in silence to speak out.

Like Refuge, think carefully about your target audience and best avenues for communicating your campaign.  



We just had to mention the #nomakeupselfie. It saw women (and men!) far and wide, reaching for their makeup wipes and baring all in the name of cancer. Better still, the campaign wasn't just an excuse for selfie-lovers to get snap-happy – money was raised too, an incredible £8 million in fact!

Better still, it wasn't a campaign instigated by Cancer Research UK themselves, but by social media users; those who'd been inspired by the bravery of cancer sufferers and wanted to show their support by posting selfies, make-up free. The concept was simple but effective, shareable yet empowering, and importantly, accessible to all.

Whilst the success of the #nomakeupselfie is hard to emulate, take inspiration. To generate interest and spread the word, #nomakeupselfie adopted a 3-stage process: take a photo, upload, text to donate. No busy forms to fill in, no JustGiving pages to scroll through, no credit card details passed; no fuss. Sometimes, simple works.

Choosing our top 5 inspirational fundraising campaigns wasn’t easy – we'd love to hear which stories stand out to you!