10 Tips To Create An Unforgettable And Profitable Fundraiser
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Creating an unforgettable fundraiser that engages your supporters while exceeding your donation goals is what all nonprofits and charities strive for. It means you’re making the most of your initial investment and increasing ROI while bolstering the relationship you have with your supporters. But how do you make this dream a reality?
In this guide, we’ve outlined 10 tips that will help your organization boost your cause’s exposure, generate more donors, and smash your fundraising goals. These tips include the following:
- Start with a plan and gather your team.
- Get to know your audience.
- Recruit great even sponsors.
- Make it simple to participate and donate.
- Offer hybrid and virtual options to include everyone.
- Generate hype on social media.
- Engage your supporters and have fun with gamification elements.
- Host an unforgettable event.
- Stay in touch with your donors.
- Show your donors how they are making an impact.
Get started to learn more about how your organization can smash your fundraising goals!
1. Start with a plan and gather your team.
Every fundraiser is different, but they all benefit from having a solid plan in place before your team gets started. Our first essential tip is to gather a great team of motivated people early on, who will ensure the success of your fundraising campaign. Your team will have the following jobs to do:
- Handle various planning tasks and all of the event logistics.
- Determine your fundraising goals and budget together: Fundraising events with targets raise more than those without.
- Brainstorm and create a roadmap to reach your goals (financial and non-financial).
- Work out where you can implement diverse multiple streams of income to boost your proceeds.
- Decide how and where you will recruit sponsors, obtain in-kind donations and what reward packages you may want to offer.
By recruiting a strong fundraising committee from the get-go, your fundraiser will benefit greatly. Just remember not to overstretch yourself when setting your fundraising goals and be realistic when planning your budget and overhead costs.
2. Get to know your audience.
If you want to get the best out of your fundraiser, it’s essential to understand your target audience’s needs, preferences, and ability to give. Take into consideration your audience’s demographics and engagement history to best promote the opportunity and to determine what activities will engage them.
A great place to start researching your target audience is by looking at the demographics. You will gain a valuable insight into your donors by looking at the following indicators:
- Life stage
- Geographical location
Research these points carefully and you'll be able to determine what direction you want to go with your campaign. By applying these demographic indicators when planning the course of your fundraiser, people attending your charity event will be appreciative of you taking their needs into consideration.
For example, you might highlight the wheelchair ramps and accessibility features at your event while promoting it to older audiences. This sensitivity may then demonstrate itself through generous donations, spreading the word about your cause, and growing your audience.
Once you have gathered demographics about your target audience, it’s vital to understand their needs and engagement history with your cause and organization. Factors to consider are:
- What are their motivations and ways of thinking? Likes and dislikes?
- Do supporters have a history of giving to your cause/organization (one-time, recurrent or major donors)?
- What is their prior involvement? Have they volunteered or benefited from your organization’s services?
- How did they first find out about the cause?
- How have you communicated with them in the past (emails, direct mail, social media)?
Learning about your target audience’s past involvement with your organization or cause will increase the success of your fundraiser by adding a personal and familiar touch to donor engagement.
Whether you are focusing on finding new supporters or concentrating your efforts on building strong relationships and retaining your recurring donors, it’s vital that you get to know your audience well. This will ensure you create a successful and profitable fundraiser that will meet their needs and have them coming back for more.
3. Recruit Great Event Sponsors
When planning a fundraiser, one of the best ways to help finance it, make a profit and expand your outreach is by finding charity event sponsors. Learn to add value to your fundraiser by creating a charity event that builds opportunities for your sponsors and encourages your audience to connect with their brand.
Create event sponsorship packages, which represent donation tiers for sponsors. Sponsorship tiers make your life easier when explaining the rewards and amount of exposure each sponsor is entitled to.
Finally, it’s crucial to remember that the relationship between nonprofits and sponsors should be mutual. While your charity receives funding to help create a successful event, the sponsors should be gaining great exposure and marketing opportunities. If you can grasp how to add value to both your charity event and the sponsor’s brand, your fundraising success will be limitless.
4. Make It Simple To Participate And Donate
People are more likely to give and participate in your fundraiser if it’s simple and convenient. Save your donors time and hassle by offering an easy-to-use, seamless platform that will make them focus on giving generously and having fun participating.
Some of the strategies you can use to make it easy to give to your organization include mobile giving, providing a clear event timeline, and creating contingency plans.
Text-To-Donate and mobile giving tools provide a great opportunity to increase donation levels. Text-to-Donate allows your donors to easily give to your organization or charity at any time from anywhere right from their mobile devices.
A Clear Event Timeline
Make life easier for your participants by creating a clear schedule and publishing a program timeline on your fundraising site. Post it on social media, your website, and any other communication platforms you are using.
Back-up plans are essential for any fundraising event, especially in the unpredictable times we live in. Make sure you have plan B, C and D - just in case you need them. Offer virtual and hybrid fundraising options so that your donors won’t miss out in the case of an in person event being canceled or for those that just don’t feel comfortable participating in person.
5. Offer Hybrid And Virtual Options To Include Everyone
Consider offering hybrid and virtual participation options to everyone involved. Living in such an uncertain time, it’s crucial to provide alternative models for your registrants to take part and not miss out on anything they’ve signed up for. Don’t forget, the more people that participate, the more likely you are to exceed your fundraising goals.
Inclusivity is key to getting the most out of your fundraiser. Consider that not everyone is mobile or has access to get to an in-person event. Finally, we are still not completely safe from COVID-19 and some supporters may find a live, in-person event daunting. By providing alternative ways to connect, everyone can take part from either their garden, sofa, or office.
Get a clearer idea of how to plan your virtual fundraising budget and revenue with here.
6. Generate Hype On Social Media
Used efficiently when fundraising, a social media campaign can set-off an explosion of energy that boosts awareness of your cause, increases donations, and gains you unlimited and recurrent supporters. Get online and start using some of the social media giants such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to generate hype for your fundraiser and make it an unforgettable event.
Here are a few ideas:
- Create engaging and compelling content, which sparks an emotional reaction from your donors and inspires action.
- Use Live stream tools to boost awareness for your cause and maximize your outreach among supporters. Most social media platforms have live streaming capabilities such as Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Instagram Live, LinkedIn Live.
- Start hashtag challenges to expand your audience, educate your supporters on the story behind your challenge and generate donations for your charity.
- Use stories on Facebook and Instagram to engage your supporters and provide an insight of the daily operations of your fundraising event.
- Create a sense of urgency - Why not challenge your friends to donate by a certain date? By doing this, you can create an incentive to donate sooner, rather than later.
7. Reward Your Donors And Have Fun With Gamification
Crowdfunding with rewards will motivate your supporters to give more to your nonprofit’s crowdfunding campaigns. If your organization is looking to encourage supporters to donate at a higher level by offering merchandise or other incentives at different donation amounts and increase your fundraiser’s profitability, this is a great way to go about it.
Another way to engage your supporters is to incorporate gamification tools and elements into your campaign. Show them the difference they make, use leaderboards to create friendly competition, or provide prizes to donors who complete certain tasks.
Here are some more gamification ideas that will bring your donors together to give to a good cause, create a healthy sense of competitiveness, and have fun all at the same time:
- Free fundraising thermometers are used to monitor the progress of funds raised for an online fundraising campaign
- Leaderboards build excitement and competitiveness among your P2P campaign participants.
- Online polls are a great tool for audience engagement. Find out what your donors are thinking by simply asking them.
- Quizzes are another fun gamification element to boost engagement for your fundraising campaign. You can create quizzes through polls or add the latest ‘quiz stickers’ offered by Instagram Stories, which ask a series of questions and give multiple-choice answers.
- It’s human nature to enjoy a little competition, so why not add some fun, interactive games to your campaign to boost donor engagement? Gamification features often increase the sense of urgency when giving, which is great when you want to go beyond your fundraising goals.
8. Host An Unforgettable Event
Creating an unforgettable fundraising event that will stay in the minds of your donors and supporters long after it’s completed is the ultimate goal of any nonprofit event. But how do you make your charity campaign memorable? Consider the following ideas to inspire your team.
- Host the event at an interesting or exclusive venue to grab your supporter’s interest.
- Create an event theme. Themes help get everyone in the mood with relevant costumes and attire, decorations, and food and drink.
- Create personalized merchandise, such as branded t-shirts to sell in your eCommerce store. By doing this your supporters will have something to take away with them and remind them of the event, long after it’s finished. This is also a great opportunity to boost event proceeds.
9. Stay in touch with your donors.
Without generous donors, even the most hyped fundraiser of the year will fail to generate proceeds for its cause. Bear this in mind when thanking your donors for their support throughout the campaign.
During the fundraiser, check in with your supporters with fundraising updates and progress posts, and don’t forget to collect all contact details so that you can personally thank them for their donations and participation. Recognition and validation is priceless in maintaining a fruitful relationship with your donors. Remember that if your followers have had a great fundraising experience once they are sure to return for your future events, so be certain to stay in touch.
10. Show your donors how they are making an impact.
People love to know the impact of their giving, so let them see exactly how their donation will help. Make it clear to your audience what you are raising money for, so they can see exactly how they are personally making an impact. When people can visualize where their money will go and how it will be used, they often feel more comfortable with giving.
All fundraising campaigns are different but one thing they all strive to be is unforgettable. Making your campaign easily accessible to everyone, convenient to donate, popular on social media and engaging will lead you towards creating a memorable and profitable charity event. Remember not to lose sight of your organization’s mission and values and do your best to build lasting relationships with your donors and team in order to host unforgettable fundraisers year after year.