Whether you’re new to crowdfunding or it’s old hat by now, we understand that choosing a strategy for your fundraising campaign can be intimidating – there are so many approaches you can take to reach your goal. And on #GivingTuesday, in which thousands of nonprofits are participating, there seems to be even more pressure to do something that stands out, and to set up a campaign that really makes a difference.
While we have and will be sharing lots of ideas on how to creatively execute your GivingTuesday campaign in the coming weeks, for the purposes of this post, we want to focus on three foundational strategies that are staples in nonprofit fundraising. And no matter which path you choose (or more than one, perhaps!), you’ll have plenty of opportunity to pile on the bells and whistles to make your campaign shine, so look at this as laying the groundwork; a starting place.
For years, organizations have used matches in fundraising campaigns. It’s a great way to incorporate partner or major donor support, an opportunity to compel more gifts, and it works well with marketing and storytelling. We love the idea of using a matching campaign for GivingTuesday, because the 24-hour timeline gives it that much more urgency – imagine completing your goal within the first few hours of the day because donors were able to quickly meet a matching gift!
A matching campaign can help donors to feel an even greater sense of impact, and it provides a sense of “togetherness” and unity, so think of it as a chance to highlight a community effort to make a difference, which, ultimately, is the whole point of GivingTuesday. Some ideas to consider when doing a match:
- Use a matching gift to highlight a surprise partner or “last minute” anonymous donor, adding an unexpected element to a campaign
- Make sure the match is realistic: don’t set the bar too high for your donors, especially if you’re new to crowdfunding and have a smaller community
- Think about how to extend the life of the match so that a larger number of potential donors can participate, and you don’t lose steam by 8am on December 1
- Tie the match to something tangible by using our impact metric. Will it truly be double the impact? If so, what does that mean?
CauseVox example: See how The Adventure Project raised over $23,000 in one day with a matching campaign.
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Another tried and true fundraising campaign strategy is the event-based approach. And it’s not just offline events like 5ks and community cleanups anymore; nonprofits have been setting up cool virtual events and activities, or combining offline and online events to support their crowdfunding. GivingTuesday has become an event in itself, so it only makes sense that it provides an excellent opportunity to craft your crowdfunding campaign around an event.
With the huge shift to online fundraising in the last several years, you may wonder if it’s worth the effort to do an event. But perhaps because of the focus on online, supporters of all ages are looking for ways to get more deeply involved in the causes they care about – more donors are looking for a full experience rather than a click to donate and you’re done. Keep in mind the following if you’re planning an event-based GivingTuesday campaign:
- Take advantage of the holiday season: this is when people are more likely to be looking for opportunities to give back with more than just their wallet. How can you make GivingTuesday a more immersive experience?
- Events do not have to require hundreds of volunteers and location permits and signs and all that other jazz. For offline events, small and focused might work (mini service projects, happy hours, etc). If you go virtual, think broad reach with a light lift.
- Events are one more thing people have to put on their calendars; you can’t rely on people just “finding out” at random. Develop a thorough marketing and communications strategy to support your event.
CauseVox example: One man livestreams playing a video game for 24 hours to raise money for the Autism Science Foundation.
Lastly, peer-to-peer or P2P fundraising is another great option to consider for your GivingTuesday campaign. Whether you choose to make it a one-day event, or incorporate it into your end-of-year/holiday giving plan, P2P fundraising has many benefits, one of the most important being that it helps to spread your cause and brand far and wide.
P2P is one of our biggest focuses at CauseVox, because we recognize the power of individual and team fundraising as a means to reach your goals, and to empower people to go the extra mile and become more deeply engaged with the issues they care about. If you’re just starting out and trying crowdfunding for the first time, P2P for GivingTuesday might be a big lift, but if you’re more experienced in this area, we encourage you to give it a shot! When using P2P, remember:
- Make it easy for your supporters to go to work for you: create assets and resources for them, set up webinars or conference calls for coaching team captains, and provide frequent updates throughout the campaign.
- Don’t make P2P fundraising intimidating for your community – create approachable goals and guide them on how to ask friends and family using a combination of your stories and their own.
- Be thoughtful about what campaign elements will be most effective for P2P fundraising: think sharing, think personal, think community.
CauseVox example: Project Renewal raised $77,000 to support homeless individuals in New York for GivingTuesday using P2P fundraising for the first time and a match.
You may decide to try out one of these approaches, or find that you can combine all three – it will depend on your capacity and goals. Keep an open mind and be open to experimenting, but also remember to be strategic and consider what will work best for your community; every nonprofit is different, so what may work for some will not work for all. Stay tuned for more #GivingTuesday resources each week, and be in touch if you have any questions from the CauseVox team.
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