As a nonprofit professional, you understand how time-consuming and expensive it is to raise money for your organization. Fortunately, there are many types of fundraising techniques you can use to market your organization and cause, bring in funds, and build strong, long-term relationships with your closest supporters. One of these techniques is using a challenge gift drive.
The Concept Behind Challenge Gift Drives
A challenge gift drive merges what many nonprofits consider a “major gift” with a traditional fundraising campaign. When you run a challenge gift drive, a major donor, a group of donors, or even a business agrees to donate a certain amount of money if and when you meet a particular fundraising goal. Most often, this type of fundraising campaign is time-sensitive. Therefore, it’s an ideal campaign to run when your nonprofit is in need of a certain amount of money in a short amount of time. For example, if your nonprofit wants to fund a particular program or initiative that costs $10,000 and is scheduled to start running in a few months’ time, a challenge drive is likely your best option to get the necessary funding. Talk with a major donor or a local company about providing a matching gift of 50 cents or a dollar for every dollar raised. Then, use that challenge gift to leverage donations from your nonprofit’s supporter base.
Obtaining a Gift Match Sponsor
Arguably the most difficult part of this process is actually securing the gift match. But the good news is that your nonprofit probably already has a number of stakeholders committed to the success of your organization, so start with them. Reach out in-person, if possible to your board of directors, major donors, or businesses that sponsored past initiatives with a plan. Ask them for a specific amount and give them a clear reasoning behind it. Lay out your plan on how you plan on raising the additional funds and the impact the total amount of money will have on the people and communities your nonprofit serves.
Promoting Your Fundraising Campaign
Challenge gift drives work well with a number of fundraising mediums. In fact, you can run a challenge gift drive online with email, crowdfunding, or a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. You may also do it offline in a direct mail or even phone campaign. The main thing to keep in mind as you plan and promote the fundraiser is urgency. Whenever possible, let your donors know that their gift will only be matched for a limited amount of time. Here are a few ways to best express urgency in your communications:
- Use strong language and time-based subject lines in your fundraising emails, such as, “Only 48 hours left! Donate now”
- Upload a countdown timer on your website and online fundraising webpage
- Post campaign updates as you near the end of the campaign on social media
Look Into Corporate Gift Matches
Sometimes, it’s hard for a nonprofit to secure an actual challenge gift. However, this doesn’t mean your organization can’t reap the benefits of a gift match. Ask your donors to look into gift matches from their employers. Usually promoted as “Doubling Your Donation,” this is a practice many businesses throughout Canada use to promote corporate social responsibility while also supporting the causes their employees hold dear. Challenge gift drives are a great way to leverage a donor’s gift while also engaging major donors and local businesses. If you’re looking to raise money quickly and effectively, give this fundraising technique a try.