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Providing top level service to our clients is at the heart of everything we do. So when the world shifted to online events and charities turned to virtual fundraising to keep donations coming in, we knew we had to adapt the way we worked in order to keep offering the best possible service.

Check out our video below as Ben Skinner goes behind the scenes at Bluestep’s warehouse to show you how things have changed.

Virtual Fundraising Takes Off

Despite being unable to go ahead with real-life events, charities were quick to think of alternative approaches. Enter virtual fundraising events! From baking online, to virtual quizzes, to online gaming fundraisers, we saw a huge increase in the demand for virtual fundraising events.

Whilst this was an exciting time, we understood that it would pose some challenges to those responsible for organising the events. With most people working from home, storing vast quantities of merchandise and getting it into the hands of supporters, was a real pain point for most of our clients.

Free storage and pick, pack and dispatch

We began offering free storage in our warehouse, so that the busy bees arranging the events wouldn’t have to worry about where to keep their t-shirts and doggy bandanas! It would all be safely tucked away ready to be shipped to their supporters at a moment’s notice.

Our pick, pack and dispatch service was also extremely valuable, as we offered the ability to distribute products anywhere in the world, at the click of a button. So whenever a new supporter signed up for an event, the Bluestep bunch got to work behind the scenes, to pick out their merchandise, pack it up safely and dispatch it to that very supporter in an instant.

As well as diversifying our range of merchandise to suit virtual fundraising events, we have provided support with the practicalities and logistics of storing and delivering it, allowing charities to carry on doing what they do best; raising money for all their incredible causes.

If you need any support with your virtual fundraising event then drop us a line or give us a call. We’d love to help!

 

It’s not an understatement to say that last year the world was forced to adapt in ways we could never have imagined. Due to social distancing guidelines, we have all had to take our IRL activities online. (Another Zoom quiz, anyone?!)

Sadly, for charities, the cancellation of thousands of mass participation events resulted in a loss of billions in fundraising income. However, whilst it has been undeniably tough for many charities, we are nonetheless staggeringly impressed with how fast-reacting and innovative they have been with their virtual fundraising ideas.

Here’s our round-up of some of the best charity challenge ideas we’ve seen in the last 12 months:

Running a virtual marathon

As the official Virgin Money London Marathon couldn’t go ahead as normal this year (other than for elite athletes), organisers encouraged charities to ask their supporters to tackle the 26.2-mile mountain within 24 hours wherever they could and then submit their results.

More than 37,000 runners completed the race, raising over £16 million for charities.

Whilst the idea of sponsored running for charity isn’t new, we are impressed that such a world-renowned event still managed to find a way to go ahead, despite such unprecedented setbacks.

 Get gaming

The mental health charity, Mind, tapped into the gaming phenomenon by establishing “the biggest fundraising gaming mission of all time”. As part of the event, ‘Switch Off, Game On’, the charity asked supporters to host and promote a sponsored stream or gaming event.

The campaign gets a thumbs up from us because not only did Mind take advantage of an emerging fundraising trend, but the concept was closely aligned to the charity’s purpose; connecting people.

P.S. We may also be influenced because Bluestep were involved in the fundraising event’s creative process. Find out more about that here.

Put on a show

With people unable to go out and celebs unable to film in a studio, Comic Relief and BBC Children in Need joined forces for the first time to present The Big Night In, an evening of virtual entertainment.

The telethon included performances from Miranda Hart, Sam Smith, a lockdown Vicar of Dibley sermon, a virtual EastEnders pub quiz and many more, all taking place remotely via video links.  The event raised a whopping £74 million, proving that technology really can be our best friend.

Easy does it #TwoPointSixChallenge

Were you even listening in 2020 if you didn’t hear of the 2.6 challenge?! Such a simple concept and yet it stirred up a storm on the internet.

The only basis for the challenge was 26 or 2.6, meaning participants could do anything from running 2.6 miles, bench pressing 26kg, or taking part in a 26-minute workout, as long as they were raising money for charity.

The simplicity of the fundraising challenge clearly appealed because the campaign attracted plenty of celebrities including Jonny Wilkinson and Dame Kelly Holmes and has so far raised over £11 million for lots of different charities.

It’s virtual quiz time

While many of us now have sudden hair washing commitments when friends suggest a virtual quiz, there was a time when virtual quizzing really got us going.

Laura Jones, founder of Eventures, raised over £133,000 for NHS Charities Together by hosting a series of themed online quizzes.

She started out with a virtual F.R.I.E.N.D.S quiz at the very beginning of lockdown, which sparked over 130,000 people to join in from across the world! She followed this up with a successful Disney-themed virtual quiz.

The moral of the story? If in doubt, get quizzical!

Virtual walkies!

We’ve all considered how the pandemic has affected human lives, but have we considered the effects it’s had on our beloved doggies? Due to social distancing, it’s likely that a lot of four-legged friends have also missed out on regular playtime with their pals.

The World Big Dog Walk Challenge is a series of dog walks held across the UK, uniting owners and their furry friends, with money going towards different dog charities. Seeing as it couldn’t go ahead in person in 2020, the organisers made it virtual and encouraged people and pooches to clock up their pledged miles in their own time, aiming to hit a total of 40,075km; that’s the circumference of the Earth!

 Online auction or raffle

While you don’t need a private virtual recording with Sting or a virtual cooking lesson with Heston Blumenthal up your sleeve, it certainly helps. This is what premier auction house, Sotheby’s, found when they raised money with a very prestigious online auction set up to raise money for the International Rescue Committee’s Covid-19 efforts.

If you don’t happen to have Sting on speed dial, we see no reason why other virtual auctions and raffles can’t make a real difference. Whether it’s a pledge to do the housework, or to bake a cake every month, charities can ask their supporters to contribute in all sorts of ways.

We all need a hero

Captain Tom Moore aimed to walk 100 laps of his garden ahead of his 100th birthday to raise money for NHS Charities Together. Footage of Captain Tom, resplendent in his military medals, tackling his mammoth task clearly pulled at the heart strings of the nation as he raised over £30 million and became our 2020 hero.

We salute Captain Tom as we remember that, with good intentions and a bit of determination, anything is possible.

 

Good luck if you are considering a virtual fundraising event and if you need any support with design or merchandise, please get in touch.

The sun was shining, the players were buzzing and the cider was flowing. What else could it be but the London Charity Softball League finals day?!

Bluestep were thrilled to sponsor this year’s games, which kicked off in May and resulted in a nail-biting final.

Each year, 80 charities take part in the softball games, which are played in Hyde Park, London, to compete for the prestigious Harris Hill Cup. Mind were the overall charity winners of the 2019 Cup, with The Foodfighters (Fair Share UK and ACF UK) winning the Bluestep Shield and Business in the Community winning the Harris Hill Plate. Well done guys!

It’s been a summer of trash talk, Twitter .gifs and Love Island giveaways and, most of all, laughs. Bluestep’s Charity Account Manager, Kendra Daly says “Each year we sponsor this awesome event and each year it’s all about having some fun with our fab charity clients.

It’s so nice be able to facilitate the event as we can be part of all the banter and camaraderie which is so important for everyone working in the charity sector.”

Bluestep sponsored the food and various competitions throughout the season as well as filming finals day so that the video can be used as a memento for all participants and hopefully it’ll build the buzz for teams next year! #PlayBall!