2019 is just around the corner, meaning donation season is just about to start. Here are 7 unique fundraising ideas to help you shape your fundraising strategy for 2019!
With December being the most important month for donations, and Giving Tuesday coming up quickly, your fundraising strategy needs to be at its peak performance.
Once your strategy has been set, you may feel like your work is done; however, you’ll definitely need ideas to keep your fundraising in the future up to the mark.
You may already have your financial strategies in place, but fresh ideas for fundraising are necessary to get your supporter base to engage with your non-profit.
Your fundraising strategy will need to set you apart from the mass amount of nonprofits seeking to get donations for their causes.
1. Freestyle Runs
Lately, freestyle runs as well as structured runs (5k/10k/marathons) have been gaining a lot of traction as fundraising events. People buy tickets to run for a cause – and this has helped many nonprofits spread awareness and help invite donations. This is a fun way of promoting an active lifestyle as well as spreading awareness in a locality about your nonprofit’s cause(s).
However, making it themed around a wacky idea can be a great way to set your run apart from the number of runs occurring around town: animal based runs, cartoon based runs, sci-fi costume runs – the list of ideas is endless!
Having an entry ticket to those runs whose proceeds go directly to the charity is a great way of getting people together for a cause. Runs can have people turning up in the thousands, so make sure you spend time in evaluating such an event!
You can even make this an annual event and use each year as an opportunity to gather data in order to better understand your donor and keep them happy.
2. Events with games of chance
One of the snazzier ways of capturing people’s attention is through a wide variety of fundraising events. These cost money, but eventually turn out to be much more profitable than the initial funds spent in hosting it. Here’s a unique way of capturing people’s attention at a gala night hosted to raise money for your nonprofit.
A variety of events can be hosted in those nights. As an example, consider an event where everybody who attends enters their name into a raffle. The seats are all covered, and when the prizes are announced, they need only look under the chair covers to find out what their prize is.
3. Messenger chatbot based marketing campaigns
Facebook Messenger recently became available as an advertisement destination. What sets it apart is the fact that messenger allows you to have chatbots, which can automate entire conversations with all your prospective donors. Hence, a Messenger marketing strategy is a must to set yourself apart from the horde of nonprofits and help your cause get the attention it needs.
Messenger marketing campaigns are somewhat different from social media campaigns. Since these interactions are directly into someone’s personal account, they lead to scope for relentless personalization. A well designed and thought out content strategy can reap dividends in the future!
4. Metal detection drives in your area
This might sound weird, but bear with us. Treasure hunts have long been known as a unique way of raising funds for your cause, but they can become messy to organize. Further, regular treasure hunts can become boring and feel cliché if they last too long.
How about organizing a metal detection drive instead? Simply get a few well known people who have metal detectors, get the appropriate permissions from the people whose land you’ll be using, and let people walk away with whatever you manage to detect inside the ground!
This can be a wonderful way of keeping people engaged for a long time – we recommend having at least 10 acres of land at a stretch to hunt for hidden treasure on. Of course, having quality metal detectors is a must!
5. Using first person voice in your email content
Your email marketing strategy is one of the most important ways of getting the funds in. A common mistake people make while framing their email content is to treat the prospective donor as a simple observer, and not appealing to them directly. A simple solution to this is to reframe the content for your future emails to be in the first person.
First person calls for action feel very personal, and your chances of the person reading the email empathizing with your cause become much higher. Many companies have done this as an easy way to improve customer turnaround – why not use this insight for your own nonprofit and get a boost in raising funds?
6. Tie up with companies with “volunteer time off”
Corporate social responsibility is a term which has gained popularity almost exponentially, and this is the best time for your nonprofit to partner up with companies which are related to or support your cause and stir up some donations right from them. A wonderful way in which you can raise awareness for your cause within the company is to invite their employees to volunteer for your nonprofit – whether it’s awareness drives or a simple charity fundraiser.
This works out well for both your nonprofit and the company by letting the employees effectively use the time off which many companies give for volunteering, as well as raising awareness. This is a method which can increase your donor base and stewardship among donors.
7. Spice up your direct mail strategy
Is your direct mailing strategy no different from what it was 10 years ago? Technology has changed leaps and bounds from the regular mail that used to find its way to our mailboxes. You can easily initiate calls for action through Quick Response (QR) codes embedded within the email, which can link to videos or payment portals as per your choice.
QR codes can be used for a variety of purposes. Further, you can add scannable elements to the direct mail content in order to initiate action (such as following your instagram page) or receiving a coupon for an affiliate if you embed certain codes.
Point being, your direct mail still is one of the most important ways of inviting responses, and leveraging technology to accentuate the impact can radically improve your turnaround.
This wraps up the most unique ways of fundraising which you can use in your 2019 fundraising strategy. Across all domains, whether online or offline, it pays to have a strategy which sets you apart from the crowd. Although selling your board members on some of these ideas can be difficult, it is not impossible.
So get to work and get creative with your nonprofit’s fundraising!
About the Author
Steve Page is the VP of Digital Strategy for Giant Partners, a full service digital marketing agency that accelerate leads and drive sales. Steve has been in the digital marketing industry for 10+ years and enjoys keeping up with the latest trends for the success of his clients. When he is not focused on marketing, he is enjoying the outdoors in one way or another.