You believe in your nonprofit mission. All that’s left to do is begin fundraising. Fundraising is an art and a science. Like any great artist, your passion for your cause results in creativity and enthusiasm. However, the science behind your fundraising campaign requires a bit more research. So how do you plan your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign?
Establish a Timeline
First, set concrete dates for your goals. Fundraising involves many different people and organizations. Setting a specific timeframe for your campaign can unify many moving pieces. When choosing dates, make sure to provide a realistic timeframe. Too much of a time crunch can be overly stressful and keep opportunities from materializing. Excess slack in the schedule may diminish momentum and efficiency. You should start your campaign off on the right foot by identifying each goal thoroughly. Try to look into similar previous campaigns and seek out an expert’s advice so you can gauge the approximate amount of time each goal may take.
Once you create a timeline, share it with your campaign co-conspirators, and ask for review and feedback. With their advice, you can adjust the timeframe to a greater degree of accuracy. Involving their input also shows a degree of democracy and delegation. You benefit from the collective input of many minds versus tackling the entire campaign from your sole viewpoint. Try to encourage creative spitballing and thought leadership. Once your timeline is in place, you’re ready to kick-start the campaign into motion.
Communication is a central part of successful fundraising. You communicate with fellow fundraising staff and donors. For either groups, you want to focus on a key aspect of communication: intent. Fluff and filler sentiments are generally not appreciated. Individuals are overwhelmed with marketing madness every hour of the day. Show you value their time (and yours) by sharing quality information. Keeping the parties of your fundraiser interested is vital to your campaign. Be entertaining but concise.
Consider offering outlets for fundraiser communication, such as a newsletter or social media presence, to keep the ball moving forward. You should find ways to involve the unique talents and resources of your campaign staff and donors; ask designers to create infographics, invite guest speakers to webinars and tutorials, and show companies how to add "Make a Donation" to their websites. You can also reach out to freelancers and independent contracts for donations of their time and expertise. Spread the word in creative, efficient ways to keep your fundraising campaign lively and appealing.
Hosting Campaign Events
Your specific cause or mission is multifaceted. When hosting campaign events, dive into the emotional and intellectual aspects of your cause. People love gripping experiences. If your nonprofit focuses on health awareness, host an event at a hospital or research facility. Show the behind-the-scenes work that donations assist. Connecting your fellow fundraisers and donors to the core pulse of your cause can convert possible interest into an emotional investment.
You should also consider the demographics of your audience. What subsection of the population are you trying to reach? Is it millennials or Baby Boomers, or maybe doctors, patients, or business owners? Get a clear picture of your audience, and focus on hosting an event that’s attractive to that particular niche. A relaxed environment, like a reputable bar, may be ideal for young professionals. You want to encourage networking and be creative. For instance, consider an outdoor garden art walk with wine. Donated plants, art, and wine can all be sold at the event for donations.
Various interested donors and fundraising staff also get the chance to connect in person and build a community behind your cause. As interest grows and your audience expands, reevaluate your demographics. Tailor the events to your target audience but remain open-minded. You should host events that create a welcoming and accepting environment for all interested parties. Focus on what draws you together, not how people dress or social standing, but rather the real purpose of the fundraising campaign.
Your Core Purpose
In all your events and communication, remember the true purpose of your campaign. It’s easy to get caught up in the details or stress about the numbers. Stay focused on your goal. At the end of the day, highlight the successes of your fundraising campaign, and remind yourself you’re campaigning for an actual cause, not to impress your peers or gain attention in the rat race. If you aren’t passionate about the cause itself, you’re not the one for the job.
That said, everyone needs a break from time-to-time. If you find yourself losing enthusiasm for your campaign, take some time for yourself. Forget about the external world and zone inward. There, you’ll find the spark that started this fundraiser. Keep the campaign on track by remaining true to the goal and remembering the reason why you began in the first place.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is an increasingly successful option for raising money for nonprofits. You can also look into both private and government-funded grants, and recurring giving programs. In your communication with potential income streams, combine intellect with emotion. When you line up the numbers and the heart of the campaign, you come out with a winning strategy.