Wall of art
In the current situation, many people are expressing themselves creatively while staying at home. Creativity can help you to manage emotions, and also be the basis for fun competitions. If you’d like to support our work through fundraising at this challenging time, you can do so in a social but safe way with a virtual contest.

Step-by-step instructions to hold a virtual contest.

1. Choose a theme for your contest

Some suggestions:

  • Rainbow drawings
    People are drawing lots of rainbows these days and posting them in windows, to show support for essential workers and also to help entertain children while they’re getting their daily exercise. Ask people to show off their best / most creative rainbows.
  • Pet photos
    From caption contests to an online dog or cat show, there are a range of themes for making pet photos into a contest.
  • Lego building (other building blocks available)
    Set a challenge to build something specific out of building blocks, or something very big or very small, or using a particular colour blocks – be creative!
  • Photos on a theme, for example colours of the spectrum
  • Cooking / baking photos
    Declare winners for best efforts and also best failures! Do an internet search on ‘nailed it baking’ photos to get some good ideas.
  • Almost any other creative outlet you can think of!

You can base results on ‘likes’ or you can choose to judge the contest yourself, or ask a panel of friends to judge. You don’t necessarily need to offer a prize – the pride of winning may be enough for most people.

2. Decide how you’ll host your contest

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and work-based social media sites (for example Yammer) are all good choices. We're outlining how to do it on Facebook, but you can modify as needed for other social media platforms.

3. Set up a Facebook event for your contest

  • It’s easy to create a Facebook event, and you can personalise it with your own photos and words. If you want it shared as widely as possible, be sure to create it as a Public event rather than Private.
  • Outline what your contest is and how it will be judged. Be sure to include any details about deadlines, criteria etc.
  • Use the group to tell people about your contest and invite them to take part.
  • Ask your friends and family to share the event so more people can enter your contest.
  • Once the event is live on Facebook, do keep an eye on it to respond to any questions and to remove any unwanted or inappropriate posts (on social media it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for any spam posts). 

4. Decide how you’ll collect donations

  • Will you ask people to donate to enter the contest? Or to donate to take part as a voter? Consider whether you want to ask for a suggested amount or if any donation will do.
  • It’s easy to set up a JustGiving page, and donations made to it come straight to the charity, making it a highly efficient way to collect donations and Gift Aid (where applicable).

Top tip: add your JustGiving page link to your Facebook event in a pinned post, to make it easy for people to find the link.

  • Alternatively, you can add a Donate button on Facebook, on any post within your Facebook event.
    • To add a Donate button to a Facebook post, look at the icons below your post. There is one that looks like a heart in a circle. If you hover over this, it says ‘Support Charity’. Click on this and type National Autistic Society. Then type what you want to say and hit Post.

5. Judge the contest!

  • As the deadline for your contest entries approaches, use posts within the Facebook event as well as on your own page or other social media to remind people that the deadline is coming up.
  • If judging by ‘likes’ on posts, make sure you remind people to ‘vote’ before the deadline when voting ends.
  • If you want to be able to award prizes, consider virtual prizes – you can find free-to-use images on the internet of trophies, for instance, or if you want to add a personal touch, you can draw something yourself and then photograph and post it.
  • Remember to thank everyone who takes part for donating to help autistic people. 

For more information please email community.fundraising@nas.org.uk

Have fun, and thank you for supporting the National Autistic Society!