It’s easy to stick with what you know, especially when it comes to fundraising. Traditional methods, such as special event fundraisers, grant writing, and email campaigns are all tried-and-true methods that are sure to bring money into your organization. But times are changing and, if you’re anything like the Asian American Arts Alliance, you’re ready to step up to the plate and try something new.
After noticing the phenomenal success the Asian American Arts Alliance experienced running their very first peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, we were eager to learn about both their trials and tribulations. We were thrilled to speak with Anjali Goyal, the Development Manager who played an integral role in shaping their #IAmMoreThan campaign.
She provided us with some great information about her organization, past fundraising experiences, and her hope for future fundraising campaigns. Here’s a quick look at all the Asian American Arts Alliance accomplished through their campaign efforts:
#IAmMoreThan Campaign Snapshot
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Total Raised: $23,000
# of Personal Fundraisers: 18
Total Fundraising Staff: 1
Length of Campaign: 1 month
The Future of Fundraising
The influence of the internet, and social media, in particular, has changed our lives. Today, we can connect with our family members, coworkers, and friends from elementary school with a quick name search. At this point, most of us are used to being connected 24/7/365.
Thankfully, it’s not just people we connect with. Many of us connect with the businesses, brands, and causes we support as well, which is then broadcasted across the internet to our networks. All this bodes well for nonprofits like the Asian American Arts Alliance.
Since the organization’s inception, they’ve relied on very traditional fundraising techniques to fund their efforts. According to Anjali, “Most of our fundraising comes through institutional grants (government, foundation), our annual benefit fundraising event, and some individual giving through email campaigns.”
But they always struggled with capturing individual donations because of the amount of time and energy required to cultivate those relationships. The cause’s narrow focus also felt like a hurdle to Anjali. “Because our core constituency can seem very specific (Asian American artists), it can be challenging to show our organization’s wider impact in the arts, culture, and community in general.”
Realizing that individual donations could potentially amplify their efforts and bring their campaign in front of a group of new potential donors, the Asian American Arts Alliance turned to peer-to-peer fundraising to power their #IAmMoreThan campaign.
The Asian American Arts Alliance Keys To Success
The #IAmMoreThan campaign centered around the idea that “Asian American voices are part of the American story and that all people are a multiplicity of identities and cannot be reduced to just one.” Anjali and her team sought to raise funds specifically to support core programs and services for Asian American artists.
Here are some of the keys to their campaign success.
Through her efforts, Anjali was able to mobilize 18 individuals to become personal fundraisers.
Those awesome people weren’t just loyal supporters of the cause, many were actually board members who have a vested interest in the success of the organization. Anjali told us, “The peer-to-peer format was an excellent way to engage our board members and get them to reach out to their networks efficiently and effectively.”
Recruiting a group of personal fundraisers takes effort, but the results are worthwhile because each person gets the organization’s message in front of new prospective donors.
But the board members and other personal fundraisers weren’t on their own—they had support from Anjali, particularly when it came to storytelling.
Before the campaign started, the staff at the Asian American Arts Alliance created a video and specific messaging for the campaign which, according to Anjali, “seemed to resonate for many of our donors on a personal level.”
Anjali used the video to focus on showing (rather than telling) the impact of the organization in the community.
In addition to rockstar storytelling, Anjali made it a point to focus on leveraging donor gifts through gift matching programs. “ A key group we were able to reach through our campaign were individuals who work at companies with corporate matching programs. In many cases, we were able to double donations through these matches.”
When there’s an incentive such as a gift match, that can be a great influence in encouraging a donation from a first-time donor!
A Bright Future
Even though it was their first “go” at peer-to-peer fundraising, the Asian American Arts Alliance was pleased with their results. “I think the campaign was as successful as we’d hoped for, especially for the first time,” Anjali told us.
Considering 94% of the campaign’s donors were brand new to the organization, the Asian American Arts Alliance is definitely on the right track in reaching a newer, broader audience of supporters through targeted marketing efforts and peer-to-peer fundraising.
We are thrilled that Anjali and the rest of the Asian American Arts Alliance experienced the benefits of community-driven fundraising firsthand and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for their next campaign.
To get started with your own peer-to-peer fundraiser, contact CauseVox for a free 1-on-1 demo.