As a not-for-profit, it’s essential to define what impact you want to have before you plan your fundraising campaign. Nailing down your definition of an attainable end-state will help you understand what success means to your organization.
Establishing target metrics like the number of funds raised, the number of new donors acquired, or the number of re-engaged donors will narrow your fundraising goals. Once you’ve decided on these metrics, consider which type of campaign will complement your mission. To get you started, here’s a list of profitable fundraising ideas:
- Peer-to-Peer Fundraiser
- Shoe Drive Fundraiser
- Product Fundraiser
- Matching Gifts Fundraiser
- Text-to-Give Fundraising Campaign
As you plan your fundraiser, it is also essential to envision your target audience. Use demographic data to determine their interests, preferred communication channels, and location. If you find that the majority of your supporters are remote, you’ll want to plan an innovative, engaging online campaign, for example.
Without further ado, let’s dive into our top fundraising picks!
Want to engage new audiences, but aren’t sure where to start? Recent statistics show that 39% of peer-to-peer fundraising participants are first-time donors. This fundraising type has grown in popularity in recent years and isn’t slowing down any time soon.
A peer-to-peer fundraiser requires supporters to host individual campaigns to collect donations on your not-for-profit’s behalf. Its large success rate is due, in part, to its ability to leverage supporter networks through personalized appeals. To host a peer-to-peer fundraiser, follow these steps:
- Choose a peer-to-peer fundraising platform: Select a platform with user-friendly features that has customizable campaign pages for your supporters to create.
- Gather fundraising materials: Put together a library of customizable email templates, social media posts, and fundraising letters to guide your supporters. Explain how to use each template and provide instructions on how to optimize each page.
- Promote your peer-to-peer fundraiser: Reach out to your existing networks, stakeholders, and donors to get the peer-to-peer fundraiser in motion. Lead them to your instructions on how to get started.
- Encourage social sharing: Let your supporters influence their inner circles with social media and watch as more and more people interact with your cause.
Peer-to-peer fundraisers are often paired with other events such as walk-a-thons, marathons, auctions, or sports tournaments. Simply, provide resources for your supporters to personalize their own campaign pages leading up to the event and recognize top contributors. Consider adding a recurring giving option as well to maximize your potential revenue following the event.
Shoe Drive Fundraiser
With a shoe drive fundraiser, your team can reduce waste while hitting your fundraising goals. It’s the perfect fundraising option that requires minimal effort but can produce substantial results. Instead of asking supporters for funds, ask them to give you their shoes. Then partner with a shoe drive fundraising company like Funds2Orgs to exchange those shoes for a check.
Here are the steps involved in hosting a shoe drive fundraiser:
- Set up a collection box at your headquarters. Keeping your shoe donations in a central location will encourage volunteers, staff, and other visitors to donate.
- Reach out to local businesses that collect shoes. By expanding your network in this way, you can increase funds with more collection opportunities.
- Post on your website and social media. Engage supporters by posting shoe collection amounts and inviting them to participate in your fundraiser. Link to a dedicated shoe recycling page on your website with clear instructions for participants to follow.
With minimal planning, shoe drive fundraisers allow your not-for-profit to experience fundraising growth in a simple and affordable way.
Product fundraisers are an opportunity to build brand awareness among your supporter community. Depending on your audience’s preferences and your not-for-profit’s resources, you can sell branded products for a set donation price.
Branded products include:
- Bucket hats
- Tote bags
- Water bottles or tumblers
- Car stickers
- Recycling bags
- Plants or flowers
- Food or beverages
When selecting which products to include, opt for quality over quantity. And, keep your design centered around your fundraising cause. Maintain branding consistency across your products to make sure they are recognizable. Take your time designing the products or partner with a graphic designer (like one on our team here at Phil!) to ensure all the merchandise represents your not-for-profit mission well.
Matching Gifts Fundraiser
Matching gifts are donations made by businesses to match an employee’s contribution. In essence, matching gifts can double your donation rates.
Many companies incorporate matching gifts as a part of their corporate philanthropy efforts. Even with a smaller supporter base, matching gifts can provide a large donation increase, without your not-for-profit needing to ask for additional funds.
Requesting a matching gift is now easier than ever with automated features like Double the Donation’s auto-submission feature. Auto-submission helps more donors complete the request submission process, which unlocks higher donor engagement and more corporate funding for your mission. Millions of matching gift revenue go unused each year, so don’t let donors miss out on the opportunity: encourage the option!
Text-to-Donate Fundraising Campaign
Text-to-donate campaigns simplify the donation experience by allowing supporters to give via text message. Supporters text a keyword to a dedicated phone number, and the donation amount is added to their phone bill.
Here’s how to get started with text-to-donate:
- Partner with a text messaging provider. The right messaging provider can help your organization access mass messaging, increase messaging speeds, and segment your recipients.
- Communicate your keyword and code. Keep your keyword brief and relevant to your campaign, so supporters can easily opt-in to donate. For instance, you might select the keyword “Cash4Cats” for an animal shelter rescue campaign.
- Promote your text-to-donate campaign. Create a dedicated page on your website, post instructions on your social media platforms, and reach supporters through direct mail efforts. The more people know how to donate, the more likely they will support your cause.
Monitor your target metrics throughout your text-to-donate campaign to analyze your progress. Open, click-through, and conversion rates can help your team understand how well your campaign is performing and make necessary adjustments.
Remember that many fundraising campaigns, like text-to-donate and matching gifts, can (and should) be run simultaneously. Always monitor your progress and thank supporters for their participation; doing so will help your not-for-profit achieve long-term fundraising success. Reach out to us today to chat about how we can help maximize your fundraising!