We want to support causes we are passionate about and feel good in supporting. This is even more true when we are fundraising from friends and family. Think about it -- the people who are going to grow moustaches, dump ice on themselves, or hike mountains are probably pretty excited to support the cause. They can be heroes for your cause -- you just need to take the time to craft a great story your supporters your supporters can rally behind and tell others about.
Be sure to make your story very simple and tangible. charity: water always does a great job of this, especially with their September campaign where it’s very clear where the funds are going and what impact they will have. And because these fundraisers are going to tell your story to their networks, keeping it simple will give your cause a higher chance of success in spreading.
2) Give Them Some Focus
Because there’s so much people can do to support a goal, it's very helpful to provide some restrictions or guidelines. Growing a moustache, dumping ice on yourself, hiking a mountain -- these are all very concrete ideas that supporters can latch on to and decide if they want to do or not quickly.
Suggesting a goal ($500 to $1000 is generally a good starting point) and end date (typically 30 days or less) can also help make it easier for your supporters to say “yes” and get started. This is also why #GivingTuesday can be a good spark point for fundraising as it can be a clear start or end date for a peer fundraising campaign.
3) Give Them an Easy-to-Use Tool
Nowadays there are lots of tools out there that you can choose from to use or encourage your supporters to use. When picking one be sure to remember that your supporters are the heroes. Do you want your heroes using a crappy tool? Do you want to make it hard for your heroes to set up their page? No, of course not. So be sure to choose a good tool for your heroes first and you second.
Most tools are free to use, charge per transaction and are in the same general ballpark in terms of fees, so don’t haggle too much over cost. Instead, focus on the look and feel, ease of use, and social sharing options. Many of them offer special #GivingTuesday incentives, packages, and support too. For example, Indiegogo is offering a fee discount and some amplification credits and guides. At Chimp we are currently fee-free and Crowdrise had $35,000 in matching funds.
4) Give Them Extra Incentive
Notice how I said Crowdrise ‘had’ matching funds? That’s because they were all used up. Matching funds can not only be a great way to add some extra incentive to your fundraisers’ campaigns, but it can also be a good way to engage businesses in your cause. By matching donations to grassroots campaigns, they can get more exposure for their brands and the goodwill that comes with it.
Some non-financial incentives include things like t-shirts, water bottles, and swag people can earn at certain fundraising levels. You can also provide intangible benefits like access to an exclusive opportunity or event, or public recognition through your website, events, and newsletter. Your supporters won’t start fundraising because of your incentives (it’s because of your cause and story) but they might raise more money with some additional incentives.
5) Give Them Thanks
Remember that they are the heroes here -- have I said that already? ;) -- and have advocated on your behalf to their networks of friends, family and colleagues. Be sure to make them feel special and acknowledged for their effort.
Create a special video from your staff or the people you serve (and they helped impact). Add a personal touch with a card, call, or visit. Give them some shout outs on Facebook and Twitter. Do whatever you like but be sure you take the time to give them the thanks they deserve.
#GivingTuesday is a day to celebrate giving of people’s time, talent, and treasure. By making your supporters the hero of the story, asking them to fundraise for you, and giving them a story, focus, tool, incentive, and thanks, you can take your year-end fundraising to the next level.
Originally published Nov 14, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017