This past summer everybody was talking about the ASL Ice Bucket Challenge. I bet you saw a lot of videos and photos of your friends, athletes, celebrities and top managers of big corporations participating in this viral sensation across all social media channels. The challenge was dedicated to raising money and awareness to research a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis as well as helping those who suffer from the disease. As of September 3rd, the ALS Foundation had raised $107.4 million. However, it’s not the only one viral challenge, nonprofits have enjoyed a long list of creative fundraisers that brought a lot of attention before. Many of these campaigns were successful raising millions of dollars in a short period of time
Here are some other recognizable and Creative Non-Profit Fundraisers:
1) Movember ($22.5 million raised) – an innovative social fundraiser, which motivates men to grow moustache in November while raising money for programs to improve the lives of men affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.
2) St. Baldrick’s Foundation ($34 million raised) – head-shaving events that take place everywhere as a challenge to raise critical funds for childhood cancer research.
3) Polar Bear Plunge ($20 million raised) – jumping into freezing cold water in order to help raise funds for Special Olympics athletes.
4) Operation Sharecraft ($1 million raised) – a social experiment within the gaming community for Save the Children organization to raise money for starving children in East Africa.
After Reviewing These Challenges, Here Are The 5 Essential Lessons That Should Be Taken From These Creative Non-Profit Fundraisers:
1. Identify Your Cause And Message Simply.
People need to feel a little bit better about themselves, so many of us look for helping others in need. However, raising money for non-profit’s general expenses is not as important as supporting a specific cause with a goal.
The key to success of these campaigns is the clarity of the message, because simplicity matters. People usually don’t have time to read through a lenghtly article or newsletter to learn more about your causes, goals and challenges.
2. Create Fun And Emotional Connection
We always look for some entertainment!
Keep in mind that people love having fun, sharing emotions with their loved ones, being a part of something big and feeling a sense of unity. If you make fundraising for your non-profit fun and easy, you will get support and emotional connection.
3. Ensure The Right Timing
One of the essential factors helping build a momentum and keep supporters engaged is to set up a deadline or choose the right timing. Whether it is 24 hours to complete the Ice Bucket Challenge, or a month dedicated to grow a moustache, or a winter day to plunge into freezing water, or a video game tourney, people should be informed and prepared. The deadline creates a sense of urgency, motivating participants either to take an action or donate sooner. Starting a fundraising campaign for a cause requires time for proper planning, promotion and outreach.
If you want an idea to thrive, make sure to give your supporters a deadline to encourage engagement and initiative!
4. Use The Power Of The Crowd
Let your supporters have a chance to involve their network into your challenge, so that they can experience fun and joy, and be proud of helping spread the word of your cause. Get maximum visibility over Social Media, this will result in raising more money. You will be able to enjoy the benefits of increased awareness and exposure to your non-profit.
5. Empower Gift Matching
Non-profit organizations can reach out to well-known entities in their local communities to ask for sponsorship such as providing rewards for fundraising campaigns, matching donations to charitable projects and causes. Many companies already have corporate social responsibility programs in place to increase the awareness of the good work they are doing for their community. Many companies are very interested in making a matching donations for your nonprofit cause that could increase the impact on their community.
Now think about what you want to achieve and raise money for and then sometimes the simplest, most entertaining idea, combined with the right timing, can have a big impact!!
When I read about these lessons from a guest contributor to CrowdClan and an Onlin Marketing Expert for Fundrazr, I needed to pass it along. Sure anyone group can sell candles, or pies, or entertainment books. They are good and easy ways to fundraise, but are they FUN! Think about the above whenever you are planning your next FUN-draiser!