Preparation, planning, and strategy are the building blocks of any nonprofit fundraising campaign. But your nonprofit doesn’t want to launch just any campaign. You want a strategy that is effective while exciting potential donors. Yesterday we gave you the building blocks, today we’ll discuss the secret sauce to a successful fundraising campaign. Part two of this series will dive into creative fundraising ideas for nonprofits, and how merging tried and true practices with a little creativity will yield better results for your organization.
Here are four fundraising ideas for your next campaign.
Ask Advocates to Pledge Their Birthday Via Peer-To-Peer Fundraising
Peer-to-peer fundraising leverages your community of current donors and supporters to fundraise for your cause. Your donors rally their friends and ask them to contribute to your nonprofit. Whether that means monetary contributions, time volunteered, or awareness raised, the big idea remains the same. You’re extending your network through your biggest advocates – your current donors.
For your next peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, you could ask current supporters to “pledge” their birthday. i.e. reach out to their network and ask their friends to support your organization in lieu of a gift or recognition.
First, they’ll need to set up a donation page which will go live on their birthday and stay up for 24 hours. They can then ask family and friends to make a donation to your cause through their personal fundraising page. Once their birthday is over, 100 percent of the funds raised will go towards your cause. Always follow up and show your advocates how their birthday campaign had a positive impact on your organization. For example, if they were helping to raise funds for victims of domestic violence, show them how their contribution helped to provide support staff or a new counselor.
This type of participant-led, peer-to-peer fundraising campaign allows your current supporters to remain engaged with your cause. And, it brings new people into your network. Maybe their friend didn’t know about your organization until they made a donation. But upon seeing the meaningful work your organization is doing, they become your next biggest advocate. In this way, peer-to-peer fundraising creates a constantly growing community of passionate and loyal supporters.
Crowdfunding: Show Progress to Your Goal
Crowdfunding is one of the best fundraising ideas for nonprofits. This type of campaign raises money by asking a large number of people for small donations. Similar to peer-to-peer fundraising, crowdfunding spreads awareness and excitement. However, the main difference between the two is that the latter involves the nonprofit making a direct ask for donations.
A creative way to put a spin on a traditional crowdfunding campaign is to connect an action with donation requests. For instance, your organization might be raising funds to help feed local families in underserved communities. When someone donates, instead of simply thanking them, ask donors to consider spending $6 per day on food for a week – what over 39 million Americans in poverty spend on food each day. By pairing donations with an act of cause-driven solidarity, you’re tangibly illustrating the urgency and need for your donors’ support. They’ll also have a better and more personal understanding of the people they’re helping through their contribution.
Spread Stories With Social Media
There are over 3.4 billion active users on social media. This makes social media one of the most opportunistic fundraising ideas for nonprofits. From Facebook and Twitter, to LinkedIn and Instagram, people use social media to tell, and listen to, stories. Depending on the goal of your campaign, how you tell your story will look different.
For instance, if your nonprofit is planning a bake sale in aid of a local homeless shelter, you could use Instagram to post photos of the baked goods and add a location to the post. The image generates interest and excitement, while the location provides information on where the bake sale will be. (You can even add a link in your Instagram bio that redirects users to a donation page.)
You can amplify your message by using this visual platform to share stories of the individuals relying on this shelter. With their permission, consider including some of their names in the caption. Or try getting a quote about what the shelter would mean to them and why the community needs it. You can accomplish all of this for free, from your office, and without much help from your busy staff.
Successful Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits: How Technology can Help
Use a Blended Approach
A successful fundraising campaign will find balance between traditional and modern approaches. Sending 500 event invites by direct mail is not the most efficient strategy. Instead, send event evites and follow up by thanking attendees via email. And for donors, send a handwritten card. Merging tried and true practices with technology is the key to great fundraising.
Steward Your Donors
Fundraising ideas for nonprofits extend beyond the campaign itself. Technology like case management software helps nonprofits maximize the success of their fundraising long after a campaign has ended. When someone contributes to your cause, it’s because they want to help make an impact. So, follow up with them via email a few months after your campaign ends. Attach a report that details how their donation contributed to the success of your program. And of course, make sure that report includes some data.
If they helped fund a new hospital wing for underserved children, include photos of the wing. A visual element is always a nice touch for donors. And so are stories to help illustrate the impact of their contribution. For instance, maybe your story is about a boy who was able to receive care in the new wing. Tell your donors about this patient’s journey and how they played a role in his recovery. Create a narrative around what he was able to overcome and how it impacted his life in a positive way. Don’t be afraid of details – it adds color to your data-driven stories. You can turn a one-time donation into a life-time funder – if you have the right technology to steward your donors.
Fundraising can be competitive in the social good sector. But, the more creative your nonprofit can be, the more likely you are to yield better results for your organization, constituents, and donors.