Novel crises often come with complications that warrant widespread responses from the general public. Part of that response can be fundraising. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, that means directing funds to research vaccines and treatments; securing short-supplied medical equipment for hospitals; and supporting essential workers, healthcare personnel, and impacted communities. 

Nonprofits and grassroots organizers across sectors are offering relief to the pandemic’s impact in different ways. Here’s how you can help them fundraise on social media. It’s not an exhaustive list, of course, but it does provide a place to start. Everything counts.


Add donation stickers to your story

Adding a section dedicated to COVID-19  aid makes it easy for users to fundraise for relief efforts.
Adding a section dedicated to COVID-19  aid makes it easy for users to fundraise for relief efforts.

In late March, Instagram added a section for COVID-19 relief funds to the donation sticker feature on stories. It also started offering the feature in more countries to expand the scope of its fundraising effort.

As of now, the COVID-19 donation section features the United Nations Foundation, CDC Foundation, and UNICEF USA. However, these donations will go toward the organizations at large, not toward coronavirus relief specifically. Users can also easily find and fundraise for other reputable organizations contributing to the effort. 

Start by taking a video or a photo of your story. Once that’s done, tap on the sticker icon, pick the donation sticker, and select a nonprofit from the COVID-19 section. If you prefer to donate elsewhere, you can also search for other organizations. 

Once you select a charity, you can change the color of the sticker by tapping the color wheel up top or change the fundraiser title by tapping on the sticker itself. Feel free to rotate, resize, or move the donation box as you would with any other sticker. Publish your story, and voila — the sticker will direct story viewers to an Instagram link where they can donate money to the specified charity.


Use the AR filter that supports the World Health Organizations’ Solidarity Response Fund

The augmented reality filter scans different currency notes and visualizes the impact of the donation.
The augmented reality filter scans different currency notes and visualizes the impact of the donation.

Snapchat recently began to roll out an augmented reality filter that brings awareness to the WHO’s Solidarity Response Fund. According to the WHO, the fund will support the organization and its partners in their efforts to analyze the spread of the virus, support patients, get supplies to frontline workers, and accelerate vaccine and treatment development.

To access the filter, tap the smiley face icon on the camera screen. Select the filter with the earth icon, and layout a dollar bill. The filter will scan up to 33 international currency notes and create an AR image that visualizes an area of need to which the donation will offer relief. (You don’t get to pick exactly to which area of need your donation goes, though.)  Those who are using the filter can then tap on “more” to donate. They can also encourage their friends to do the same by creating a story or sending a snap using the filter. 


Create and share fundraisers

Facebook announced that it will be matching up to $10 million in donations to both the WHO’s Solidarity Response Fund and the CDC Foundation‘s coronavirus response effort, which entails “deploying emergency staffing to public health agencies, funding medical supplies, increasing lab capacity, [and] providing support to vulnerable communities,” according to a CDC press release. To help fundraise for either of those, you can just share these donation pages far and wide.

You can also create your own fundraiser with Facebook, though. (You know those birthday fundraisers on Facebook? It’s kind of like that.) Start by tapping “fundraiser” under “explore” on the left sidebar. Once you’re at the fundraiser page, all you have to do is select a nonprofit, a donation goal, and a deadline.

If you’re not sure who you should create a fundraiser for, Charity Navigator,  which vets and evaluates nonprofits, has a handy list of organizations providing coronavirus relief. Got a specific nonprofit in mind? Run a quick search on Charity Navigator to make sure it’s reputable: High star ratings indicate financial health, as well as high levels of transparency and accountability.


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