WHAT WILL YOUR ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE BE?
With the success of the ALS bucket challenge, many nonprofits are trying to find a way to piggyback onto the success of the fundraiser. And since nonprofits face many challenges trying to stay afloat, many may look to recreate the ALS challenge, often spending too much money on a campaign that won’t be as successful.
Community funding is an excellent choice if you only have a strong social media presence. Community funding relies on people to know your story and donate. This is the very basis of the ALS bucket challenge, which gained popularity as celebrities began participating, donating and tagging other celebrities to do the same.
A community funding program can be very effective because it uses other people to spread the message. Five people may tell five more people and pretty soon, you have a viral campaign. But not every fundraiser will be a social media success. People on the Internet are bombarded all day by videos, messages, ads and personal stories.
So to stand out from this social media deluge, be sure you have a clearly defined voice and story. If the public doesn’t know who you are or why you do what you do, it can be difficult to earn their money or their trust. That said, make sure your voice is appropriate for your nonprofit. Tugging on the heartstrings can be extremely effective, but only if bookended by a message of being able to solve a problem.
Keeping your idea simple can assist your nonprofit. Just as grocery stores rely on candy bars by the checkout for those impulse purchases, giving potential donors an easy system to follow can result in impulse donations. Have a single number to text for a donation or a prefilled envelope can push a donor from maybe to yes!
Additionally, be mindful of when you run your program. November is a terrible time for a fundraiser because of the holidays and competing Christmas donations. However, getting the word out in a tasteful way about donating before the end of the year can help your nonprofit corral donors who want to maximize their charitable donations.
Next, quantifying the donation will help donors feel their money isn’t simply disappearing. For example, you could review your spending and say that $2 is all that is needed to feed a child for a day. It helps donors understand where their money is going and might encourage them to give more.
Securing matching donations can encourage donors to contribute as well. Consider approaching local businesses and offer sponsorship for an event or program if they will match donations up to a certain amount. Many businesses contribute regularly to charitable giving and love having their name associated with a positive endeavor. Not only does this boost their image in the community, but it also helps you secure donations from large companies rather than relying solely on individual donors.
Finally, whether you use an event or viral campaign to raise money, be sure to thank your donors. This can be something as small like a thank you note or special gift cards, prizes or products specific to your nonprofit. These have the additional advantage of getting your name out into the community without any additional work on your part.
Fundraising for your nonprofit isn’t impossible. It requires work and careful thought. If you have a smaller nonprofit, maybe a massive social media campaign isn’t feasible. Think about what will best serve your needs and go raise some money!