8 Ideas to Jump-Start Fall Fundraising
5. Make giving an experience
One thing I've always wanted to see more of is the opportunity to make giving into more of an experience. For example, consider offering birthday-favor kits. Kids are more often choosing to raise money for a favorite cause for their birthdays rather than getting more stuff. Promote on your website "birthday favors" for kids who fundraise for your cause, with thank-you notes for each child attending the party and fun gifts or photos. My 7-year-old's most prized gift ever was a photo of a zoo leopard with a new ring to play with — paid for by her birthday party attendees.
6. Get inspired by wee ones
If you're having a creative fundraising block, ask your child (or a family friend's child) what your organization does. You will get a refreshing perspective that may inspire your next ask. There's no better way to get out of the metaphorical weeds than to ask advice from someone who is only a few feet high.
7. Celebrate your donors
Name a campaign after one of your most interesting volunteers or beneficiaries, and use her personal story as the fundraising pitch. For example, "Kate's campaign: Send 10 children to school in Rwanda" would feature the story of why Kate is a big supporter of your organization and her ties to a particular school far away.
8. Be brave and experiment
Here's some great advice from a new e-book called "How Grassroots Environmental Organizations Are (Or Are Not) Raising Money Online." As the Institute for Conservation Leadership puts it: "Many online strategies won't pay off for awhile, but try them anyway as time and money are available."
The final word goes to Mal Warwick, one of the godfathers of direct-mail fundraising, from his February 2010 newsletter: "Nonprofit organizations must be ready to risk some hard-earned revenue in exploring new approaches to fundraising and marketing that may not yield substantial cash returns until many years in the future." FS