DIY Fundraising: The Latest Trend for Nonprofits

DIY fundraisers are quickly overtaking the giving landscape. Remember those hilarious moments from the Ice Bucket Challenge? That campaign helped revitalize do-it-yourself, peer-to-peer fundraisers in a way nobody could have predicted. In the years since, thousands of DIY campaigns and millions of people have raised record donations to realize visions of a better world, with leaders like FebFast raising $9 million in just the last two years.

Before we continue: you have to watch Matt Damon pouring some interesting ice-bucket water on his head.

Did you click? We sure did – and so did the people who generated $115 million for ALS research and patient and community services (Kudos to Damon who also brought awareness to a charity he helped cofound:

In an age where there are more nonprofits competing for the same donor pool, DIY fundraisers like these deliver much-needed funds to nonprofits striving to do more good.

Starting to get excited about your organization’s next DIY fundraiser? Keep reading for inspiration and tactics that will make your next fundraiser a success.

Inspire through Authenticity and Awareness

DIY fundraisers strive to lift underfunded and underserved communities. What makes them succeed, however, is their execution. These organizations focus on attracting donations and volunteer engagement by staying true to their cause.

That means building participation around the people you serve. #ShowerStrike, for instance, does a wonderful job bringing attention to the need for clean drinking water. For those without clean water, a shower is a luxury, so Shower Strikers raise money and awareness by enduring day after day without that privilege.

This focus on the community’s need teaches givers and participants about the cause and those who are struggling – without creating an image of helplessness.

That’s a welcome change for both the recipients of aid and donors looking for a compassionate, trustworthy organization to support. Here are a few ways you can earn that trust, as explained by Radi-Aid:

  • Raise awareness by elevating the issue, its cause and the people affected.
  • Encourage trust through transparency about your use of funds.
  • Don’t raise awareness by depending on images and narratives that stereotype or portray helplessness.
  • Look for events and ideas that spread understanding and compassion.
  • Focus messaging and promotion on your organization as well as community and individual stories.
  • Share how your organization addresses a cause and sustains positive impact.
  • Tell stories that balance the challenges and successes of those you support.

Through a recipe of fun and authenticity, dignified representations of the people you help, you can inspire giving and spread awareness like never before.

Making the Event into a Reality

When you’ve nailed down your event and promotion messages, your DIY campaign will need to do a lot with a little. Funds are precious, and overhead is not where donors want their money to go.

That doesn’t mean you’ve got to send volunteers out with sandwich boards, though. A smart strategy can turn an efficient online presence into a donation powerhouse.

With 84% of millennials giving to charity, simple steps like creating online giving and donation forms will help you turn these donors into lifelong supporters by meeting them on their preferred channel.

Engaging more donors can also be a simple as providing event participants with a donation button on their social media pages. For more engaged participants and volunteers, try providing branded page templates they can fill with their own fundraiser updates.

Authentic, efficient promotion and attention to the dignity of the communities you serve will give your organization the momentum to raise more donations and do more good.

Reaching More Donors

Not sure if your platform can help you reach today’s donors? Learn what to look for in fundraising software that empowers your mission-focused initiatives: Download our 4 Checklists Every Event Planner Needs. You’ll learn how to get organized for your next event with our bundle of the top four essential checklists!

Download The Checklist


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