In most cases, the peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns your nonprofit organizes are on your timeline and terms. Once you set the date and goal, your volunteers, donors, and even your personal fundraisers adhere to it. But a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t for everyone. If you have supporters eager to work hard for your cause throughout the year, consider DIY fundraising.
The Basics of DIY Fundraising
DIY fundraising is similar to a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign in that your nonprofit recruits volunteer fundraisers to raise money for your cause. These fundraisers, often called personal fundraisers, set up a website, write their own nonprofit story, and appeal to friends, family, coworkers, and more. Your role is to manage the big picture campaign tasks, such as the main website and donor data, while also providing support to your personal fundraisers.
But traditionally, this happens on a fixed timeline with strict guidelines. You provide suggested goals and set a start date. You help structure their web pages, give them suggested social media posts, and follow up with them at multiple times during the campaign.
With a DIY fundraising campaign, your personal fundraisers still perform the same tasks as they do in any peer campaign, but they do so on their own. You provide the tools and resources these fundraisers need to raise money whenever they want and, in some cases, however they choose.
Nonprofits and fundraisers experience multiple benefits when using DIY fundraising. For personal fundraisers, the biggest benefit and one of the biggest appeals is the freedom to fundraise with complete autonomy.
At the same time, your nonprofit benefits because DIY fundraising helps bring in a steady stream of income year round, mobilizes your supporter base, and requires less staff involvement in the long run.
A Note About Special Events
Before you start shaping the DIY program, keep in mind that many fundraisers choose to participate in DIY fundraising during special events, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.
A good example of this comes from charity:water’s “Pledge Your Birthday” campaign. As you can see, this organization gives personal fundraisers the option to ask for pledges instead of birthday presents.
If this sounds like a good idea to you, consider how you can incorporate a special day or days to encourage participation, then build the DIY program from there.
Planning and Implementation
Plan your DIY fundraiser as you do any other campaign. Create a thorough fundraising plan that includes a goal, marketing materials, campaign name, and theme.
Remember, all of the fundraising legwork is performed by volunteer fundraisers, so give them the tools they need to succeed, including a sample fundraising website and suggested goals. Providing this support up front may help in your recruiting efforts.
From there, follow these helpful tips to guide your planning:
- Instead of setting a campaign-specific goal, consider an annual one.
- Create support documents such as a personal fundraiser toolkit.
- Designate a staff point person.
Finally, keep a link to your DIY fundraising program available on your website, on social media platforms, and in your correspondence. To keep the momentum up at slow times of the year like summer, highlight fundraiser success stories and continue to promote this as a volunteer opportunity.
DIY fundraising is an effective way for your nonprofit to mobilize supporters on their own terms, helping you raise money and engage your base at the same time.