How to Market Special Occasion Fundraising to Your Donors
Throughout the year, special occasions, such as holidays and birthdays, mark notable times for spending. To celebrate these festive days and spread joy, individuals make purchases both for themselves and for loved ones. This spending culminates around the year-end holidays, during which retail sales have been rapidly increasing, reaching $936.3 billion last year.
At any time of year, peer-to-peer fundraising is an effective way to raise funds for your mission and empower supporters to take the lead in driving positive change. Holidays, however, are especially opportune times for enlisting supporters to reach out to their personal networks on your nonprofit’s behalf.
When generosity is heightened and people are naturally contacting their loved ones, encourage your supporters to join in your fundraising efforts. Here are five best practices for promoting special occasion fundraising to your nonprofit’s donors:
1. Update Your Nonprofit’s Website
Before your next holiday fundraiser, create a page on your website dedicated to your special occasion fundraising campaign. Here, you can provide more details to recruit supporters to become peer fundraisers and encourage engagement with holiday-related visuals and videos. On this page, explain all of the ways you’ll support your volunteer fundraisers. Here are a few possible efforts you can try.
Provide a peer-to-peer fundraising toolkit. Be sure to include relevant instructions, such as how to create a Facebook fundraiser or set up a fundraising page, templates for donation appeals, virtual cards to send to friends, visuals and graphics to use, and contact information in case they have any questions.
Offer training for your fundraisers. These sessions can be in-person, livestreamed or recorded to provide more in-depth and personalized guidance to your peer fundraisers.
Encourage supporters to share their personal stories. The power of peer-to-peer fundraising lies in your supporters building connections between their networks and your nonprofit. By sharing what personally draws them to supporting your mission, they’ll reinforce their own commitment and inspire others as well.
Once you’ve assembled all of the necessary resources for special occasion fundraising, it’s time to find dedicated supporters to raise funds for your nonprofit. This is where your donor management software comes in handy.
2. Craft Personalized Emails
Be strategic about your special occasion communications to ensure that every message resonates as much as possible with its recipient.
To accomplish this, use the data in your donor profiles to segment donors based on relevant characteristics, such as giving history and other previous involvement with your nonprofit. Then, send emails to supporters who will most likely be interested in contributing to your holiday fundraiser or starting their own special occasion fundraiser on your behalf.
For instance, keep track of your supporters’ birthdays and reach out each year to wish them well. Alongside appreciating them for their support, ask if they’d like to start a birthday fundraiser to create lasting, positive change on their special day. Personalize the email by using their preferred names, and frame the fundraiser as a way to celebrate by championing a cause that’s close to their hearts.
3. Create Special Occasion Social Media Posts
The popularity of social media in today’s society is undeniable — people spend hours on their accounts accessing news, connecting with others, and interacting with nonprofits and businesses. Therefore, creating social media posts to promote your special occasion fundraising is a surefire way to reach your supporters, especially those belonging to younger generations.
Get creative with your holiday peer-to-peer fundraising to maximize engagement. Social media fundraising can generate significant revenue for your nonprofit, with more than $5 billion raised through Facebook and Instagram fundraising tools since they became available.
4. Communicate Impact
Naturally, holidays, such as birthdays and Christmas, hold sentimental value and evoke emotion in many people. When it comes to your special occasion fundraising, reach your donors’ hearts by communicating the tangible impact that contributions will have in the community.
An impact story or anecdote featuring someone who benefits from your organization’s work is a wonderful way to remind supporters why their involvement is so important. Frame your fundraising efforts as an impactful way to celebrate a holiday by driving positive change in someone else’s life.
5. Thank Your Donors Regularly
Making consistent efforts to appreciate your donors is crucial to building productive donor relationships that continue to strengthen year after year. Supporters who feel like they are essential contributors to your nonprofit’s mission will be more motivated to remain involved and even raise funds on your behalf for their birthdays.
To inspire more people to participate in your special occasion fundraising each year, spotlight past peer fundraisers on your social media accounts, in your email newsletter and on your dedicated website page. This way, they will both receive the recognition they deserve for their hard work and serve as social proof for others interested in supporting your mission.
By taking note of special occasions throughout the year, organizing fundraising campaigns around them, and marketing these opportunities to supporters, your nonprofit can heighten engagement and increase fundraising revenue.
Along with thanking your fundraising participants and donors, send out surveys for feedback to find out what’s resonating with supporters and what can be improved in the future. This ensures that your special occasion fundraising generates better results year after year.
The preceding blog was provided by an individual unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of NonProfit PRO.
Tim Badolato is the CEO of eCardWidget, an innovative platform for digital employee recognition, donor acknowledgement, business marketing and nonprofit marketing. He has a passion for using technology to drive positive outcomes for mission-driven businesses and nonprofits.