How to engage donors with quirky digital charity trails
Author: Harry Pearce
Unique fundraising ideas that work for any charity
The “collectables trail” template is one of the most popular features on the Good Thyngs platform. Collectables are an easy, fun, and creative way to engage supporters beyond a donation page.
What is a digital collectable fundraising trail?
Digital collectable trails work like loyalty stamp cards. But rather than wait for the last stamp before redeeming it for a freebie, digital trails provide instant rewards.
A charity hides unique QR codes around a particular location like a city centre or park. Supporters then follow the trail looking for the QR codes.
When they find a code, they scan it with their phone to unlock a digital stamp. You can customise each stamp with your charity branding and link them to memorable and shareable experiences like selfies and games.
They are a great opportunity for you to direct supporters to your website, social media profiles, or newsletter sign-up form. Some of our charity partners have used their trail to drive footfall to physical destinations like retail outlets and social enterprise cafés.
Charity examples of digital collectable trails
Q “Arrr!” codes that increased shop footfall
The St Peter’s Hospice digital trail entertained supporters with Peter the Pirate’s favourite jokes. Each charity shop had a unique QR code that linked to different smartphone experiences. The data allowed the Hospice to see which locations got the best interactions.
“I was genuinely impressed with the Good Thyngs platform though and what it allowed us to do. Every idea was met with enthusiasm, and the team helped us bring my vision to fruition.
I am particularly proud of the informational GIFs which feed viewers short interesting facts about the history of the Hospice or Bristol. They look really good and provide personal insight into who we are as a charity.” – Esther Hall, Community Fundraiser at St Peter’s Hospice.
An Easter trail with an egg-citing twist
Rennie Grove Hospice Care entertained supporters at home during lockdown last year, but this can be done in any circumstance. The charity created posters with 6 individual QR codes and sent them via email in a fundraising pack.
The QR code posters could be downloaded and printed for anyone to take part and get creative.
“We wanted to raise people’s spirits and ensure children still had fun this Easter. Once we learned how to create the collectable trail and use the QR codes it was so easy. We are really excited to grow on this concept and have plans for other trails throughout the year.”
– Gemma Ralph, Senior Community Fundraiser at Rennie Grove Hospice
A Museum to explore with fun digital surprises
The RAF Museum welcomed supporters back into their Cosford Museum and created a digital trail to make up for the lost time. Christmas stamps could be collected throughout the Museum and each one linked to more charity experiences. For example, quick access to the Christmas shop, a 3-step donation process, and a spitfire selfie.
“The virtual Christmas Trail was the ideal way to offer a Covid-safe activity for the whole family over the Christmas period. It was quick to set up by using the Good Thyngs stamp collection template and easy to track how many visitors took part in the activity. Overall, a great way to engage with our visitors during a challenging time.”
– Ulrike Stuebner, Public Events Manager
A QR code hunt for Monsters – how spooktacular!
(The last pun – we promise.)
Dorothy House gave their digital trail a Halloween twist by hiding little monsters around Bath, Chippenham, and Trowbridge. With every monster found presented a joke, fun fact, and selfie experience.
Christmas is the most wonderful time to “get elfie” – so that we can eat more!
(Hey – that’s their pun, not ours! We keep our promises.)
The Hospice also encouraged supporters to “Get Elfie” during Christmas, despite being in lockdown.
After donating and obtaining a virtual map during sign-up, participants raced around Bath on a 10K adventure to collect characters and earn points. Donors who raised more than £200 received a ‘Get Elfie Hoodie’.
“We were delighted with the help we received from Good Thyngs, the use of QR codes as interaction points enabled us to deliver a safe and very well received activity that would otherwise have had to be cancelled…
We will be exploring how to continue to use this technology into the future for other activities and I encourage others to do the same.”
– Don Kennedy, Dorothy House Head of Corporate, Community and Events
Collectable fundraising ideas for charities in 2022
Although they are a great idea for seasonal celebrations, collectable trails can be deployed all year round to support your campaigns, increase brand awareness and engage supporters.
Seasonal campaigns: Holidays are the perfect time to bring everyone together for a themed event. Encourage donors to collect virtual Easter eggs or hunt for Santa’s little helpers around your city.
Marketing campaigns: Digital trails can support other marketing campaigns. Perhaps you want to increase footfall to your charity shops, for instance. You could design a treasure map using your shop locations. Add an extra incentive to visit with digital vouchers for your shops.
Event support: You can tie digital trails into other charity events such as exhibitions. Add an extra fun element by hiding collectables around the gallery, particularly near works you want to highlight.
Getting started with Good Thyngs collectable trails
Sign up for the Good Thyngs newsletter and watch the step-by-step guide to creating your custom trail.
Nurture supporters, increase brand awareness and engage communities with experiences that go far beyond donations with our Engage experiences. Get in touch to discuss your options further!