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Online Fundraising Campaign Thanks to The Fundraising Authority, DoJiggy is happy to sponsor a FREE class that covers all the "do's" and "don'ts" to help your nonprofit or community organization succeed with your online fundraiser. The class includes an in-depth guide to help you run a successful online fundraising campaign, as well as a podcast with great tips to help you promote your fundraiser online.

How to Run a Successful Online Fundraising Campaign

Topics Covered:

    • Listen to an in-depth podcast with guidelines to help you promote your fundraiser online

  • Find out more about the four "key principles" of raising money online
    1. Relationships Matter
    2. You have to "ASK" for donations and help spreading the word
    3. Use TRUST to your advantage
    4. Create a compelling message that is "spreadable" online
  • Learn the necessary steps to take to launch your online fundraising campaign:
    1. Design a message that's concise & emotionally compelling and have a concrete goal
    2. Create a campaign "hub" - the online location where you collect online donations, register participants/sponsors, and host all the info about your fundraiser (i.e. fundraising website)
    3. Put together fundraising evangelists - people who will spread the word about your campaign
    4. Launch your campaign & spread your message - continue to reach out to constituents & encourage participants to communicate
    5. Track results & progress of your campaign
    6. Wrap up the campaign & steward your online donors
  • See how using online fundraising software to manage your fundraiser can help your organization achieve greater results using fewer resources

Be sure to visit The Fundraising Authority to download a copy of the FREE class!

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Group Fundraising

Group fundraising is a great way for many groups to earn additional revenue to fund programs. Group fundraising works great for companies, schools, social associations, sports teams, and community organizations. While some individuals can also be quite successful collecting donations on their own, there are many benefits that group fundraising campaigns offer including:

  • Having a support system to encourage success of each individual member.
  • Instilling motivation through competition, incentive and awards.
  • Encouraging teamwork, collaboration and communication.
  • Access to a larger network of potential donors.
  • Having more fun by working together with a group rather than on your own!

Group Fundraising Roles

With a group, you have many minds, bodies and resources to help you think of creative ideas, plan and manage activities, and reach out to potential donors. Have a pre-fundraising meeting where group members discuss their strengths and experience. Then assign duties to different members. This will help you be more efficient in your planning efforts. Below are some ideas different areas of the fundraising planning process.

  • Logistics & Timelines: This group is responsible for managing all the little details (i.e. obtaining event permits, creating & managing timelines and check-lists).
  • Sponsorships: These individuals tap into local businesses and all the networks group members are connected with to solicit sponsorship and corporate donations.
  • Marketing & Public Relations: These people promote the event through media relations (i.e. press releases), social networking, and creating promotional materials.
  • Hospitality & Communications: The fundraising cheer squad! This group sends updates to participants, organizes pre- and post-event meals and activities, and coordinates entertainment.
  • Volunteers: This person or group handles volunteers including recruitment, creating volunteer schedules, assigning volunteers to specific tasks, and ongoing communication with volunteers.
  • Managing Donations & Pledges: Assign someone to implement a secure fundraising software system for collecting secure donations, managing event details, and tracking participant success.

Group Fundraising Ideas

Group fundraising is a great way to bring people together. It's a fun way for parents to teach children about the values of "giving back" and working together to accomplish goals. Group fundraising also provides community members with an opportunity to contribute to a meaningful cause that supports growth within their local community. Here are some examples of group fundraising activities:

Walk-a-thon fundraising events have become very popular fundraisers for groups. Not only do they have great potential to raise large amounts of money for your cause, but these types of events also support health and wellness, encourage teamwork, and provide an excellent opportunity to bring your community together to celebrate a great cause. Reach out to local businesses for sponsorships and corporate donations. Create a fun event that includes food, beverages, entertainment, prizes and more! Earn even more money during your walk-a-thon event by including a charity silent auction. Contact local restaurants, hotels, retail shops and request donations. You may also want to reach out to professional sports teams to obtain season tickets or autographed memorabilia. Set up an auction tent the day of the event for event attendees to bid on items. Feel free to think outside the box and create a variation of a walk-a-thon event such as a "bowl-a-thon" or a community "serve-a-thon". Visit our Walkathon Resource Center for all the tools you'll need to organize a successful walkathon event.

Many small groups are successful with community fundraising events such as a community picnic or bake sale. Have group members prepare food and sell items to raise funds for your cause. Tie the event in with food that's in season. For instance in the summer offer strawberry shortcake, jams and fresh vegetables. In Fall have pumpkin bread and apple pies, etc. While you're at it, why not collect all the recipes and offer a Cook Book for sale at a very reasonable price? People are always excited to learn about a new, tasty recipe that is easy to make. Reach out to a local band and ask them to donate their time by entertaining guests during the event. Lastly, don't forget to consider including a fundraising raffle as part of the event! Reach out to local businesses for prize donations and sell raffle tickets at the event for additional revenue.

There are many different kinds of fundraising initiatives that work well with groups so take some time to brainstorm with members of your organization to find out what type of fundraiser they'd enjoy participating in. If participants are invested in the activity and can have fun while raising money, chances are you'll have a successful fundraiser. Visit our creative fundraising events page for more ideas and tips for planning your fundraising campaign.

School Fundraising Resources

Boxed Lunch Fundraiser

An easy and fun way to raise money for your cause without managing the vast details of producing a large-scale event is by hosting a boxed lunch fundraiser. To organize a boxed lunch fundraiser, you basically raise money through selling pre-packaged lunches. This can be an extremely successful campaign, if planned right! After all, everyone needs to eat lunch, and often business professionals would prefer to have something dropped off at their desk, rather than taking the time to run out and buy something.

If you plan to sell pre-packaged lunches, be sure to target places where you can reach a large audience such as an office building that houses numerous companies. Distribute flyers in advance of your event or contact local businesses by phone to find out if their employees would like to participate by pre-ordering lunch in support of a worthy cause. Then "take orders" (just like at a restaurant). You collect money at the time orders are placed, and sign businesses up for a day and time-slot for delivery.

This is also a great idea for an internal corporate fundraiser. If you work for a large organization with numerous employees, this is an easy way to raise funds for cause marketing programs or to support a local non-profit. You can send an internal email to employees and ask them to participate simply by purchasing a lunch! They can even order their lunches online and pick them up during a set time in the cafeteria. You can also consider partnering with a catering company to offer hot lunches for your fundraiser. Create a page of your website that explains the cause of the event and lists the lunch menu. People can sign-up and purchase lunches online using fundraising software. Then all they have to do the day of the fundraiser is bring their receipt to pick up a wonderful lunch!

Preparing for the Boxed Lunch Fundraiser

Before you start making lunches, be sure to carefully plan, take orders and schedule deliveries. The last thing you want to do is have an excess of lunches that become waste. You also need to carefully schedule and manage deliveries so lunches don't arrive late. Make the lunch menu choice simple and allow people to make a few basic choices. For a standard boxed lunch that will be delivered, choose a menu that consists of Sandwich, Chips, Apple, Cookie and Drink. They can choose between turkey, ham or vegetarian sandwich. Price the lunch reasonably, between $5 - $10. Then partner with a local grocer to help make the lunches "at-cost". If they are making 50 lunches, their cost may only be $2 per lunch, and if you sell them for $7, you've made $250. You may even find a business to sponsor your fundraiser by donating lunches as a way for them to provide "free-sampling" to the local community. Allow them to include a coupon as part of the lunch package, which may bring future business to their establishment!

If you are a group planning a fundraiser for family and friends, it is also possible to make the lunches yourself! This would work well for a fundraiser through a church congregation or sports fundraising initiative. (as you'll want to be selling to people you know: parents, families, neighbors, etc.) And, don't limit yourself by the word "lunch". If you want to do a boxed breakfast following Sunday services, offer breakfast burritos, fruit, mini-donuts and coffee or juice. Or perhaps a sports team has a day-long tournament where they want to offer concessions all day. Rent a hot-dog cart and offer dogs, chips, soda and other packaged goods! If you are hosting your lunch fundraiser during an event with a lot of attendees, consider hosting a fundraising raffle. Request donations from local businesses and when people grab their wallets to purchase their lunch, see if they are willing to chip in a few extra bucks for a chance to win a few prizes.

Boxed Lunch Auction

If you've already organized a group fundraising event such as a community picnic or BBQ, a boxed lunch auction can also be integrated as a fun "add-on" to your event. Have members of your community volunteer to make the "best boxed lunch". They can choose to prepare gourmet chicken salad, fresh fruit salad, or a secret recipe for the best sandwich (maybe even a home-made smoothie). Then get the kids involved to help decorate the boxed lunches themselves. Maybe re-cycle old aluminum lunch boxes or re-usable shopping bags or create a fancy lunch box with cardboard and wrapping paper (or maybe an old toolbox or cooler you found in the shed!). Bring the community together and auction off the boxed lunches as a fun way to bring in additional money during your charity event. This type of event is a very eco-friendly fundraiser as there is virtually no waste! The lunches are consumed, and the boxed lunches can be recycled or re-used. Since this idea is so different, it might be a great way to get media coverage as well. Read about more fun charity auction ideas!

Fundraising Resources

Sample End of Year Fundraising Letter

Why Should Organizations Send a Year End Giving Letter?

The last month of the year is vital to most organizations' fundraising efforts for the year. Kicked off by #GivingTuesday and going through December 31, the year end giving season simply cannot be ignored. If your school, church or non-profit organization is like many others, you will receive 30-50% of your charitable income at the end of the year. Year-end gifts are made for several reasons including tax purposes (last change for a tax deduction, anyone?), as charitable Christmas or holiday gifts in tribute or in the name of a loved one, and because the need is made wonderfully apparent by organizations during this time. So, if you haven't done so already, now is the time to prepare your end of year fundraising letter (or Year-End Appeal).

5 Guidelines for Writing a Successful End of Year Fundraising Letter

  • Keep It Simple. Be explicit with explaining your charity or cause, needs and requests up-front, and reiterate in the closing of your year end giving letter. People often read only the opening and closing paragraph in letters, and decide whether or not to give based on that reading alone.
  • Be Positive! Don't request donations due to negative cash-flow at the end of the year. Donors are motivated to change the world through positive contributions and gifts to help your organization accomplish your goals, not as a financial rescue mission.
  • Make it Easy. Include a link to your online donations website, so people can easily make financial contributions. Also include a reply slip and self-addressed envelope for those who prefer to send in donations via mail.
  • Tell Your Story. People are motivated emotionally to give. Offer them a story of your impact or work, that they cannot resist. Make it warm and fuzzy!
  • Follow the Basics for Easy Reading. Be sure to utilize white space by using bullet points and no long paragraphs. Call out important information with bold fonts.

Be Sure to Know Your Audience

End of Year Fundraising appeals generally come in two forms - online via email or offline via a traditional direct mail campaign. Most organizations will want to send their end of year appeals via both channels, to effectively reach their audience. The main difference in the two year end giving letter types is length.

  • When sending an End of Year Fundraising appeal via email, be sure to keep it short. A good email length is perhaps 500 words or less, and this appeal directs your supporters and potential donors to your website for more information and an online donation opportunity.
  • For direct mail, the letters can be much longer and fuller, as long as the content is engaging. Assume that direct mail recipients are not going to your website and will make a decision to make a gift or not, based on the information your provide in the year-end appeal letter. The tone is often a bit more formal here as well, stating statistics and perhaps financial. Be sure to include a donation envelope as well as mention of online donation channels here, as many people will prefer to donate via a credit card.
  • As well, a year-end appeal should be sent via social media channels. Even if you do a direct mail year-end letter, there is no reason why a gentle email reminder cannot be sent as follow up, and why not post an announcement in your social media channels? Be sure to include a link to your organization's website and online donation page to make giving by credit card easy.

Prospects for receiving your year-end appeal should include: past and current donors and supporters, business sponsors, volunteers, staff, those effected by your organization, and any other individuals who have expressed interest in your organization. Basically, you need to create an appeal for anyone and everyone associated with the organization, but be sure to segment your letters. Send a slightly different year-end letter to different groups. For example, past donors should receive a different letter than prospects or volunteers, as you'll want to thank them (again) for their previous donations. It means a lot to remember they've contributed in the past and falls flat when new supporters are thanked before making an actual gift. Also, major donors need to be treated as such or they may turn into $50 donors.

What to Include in Your End of Year Fundraising Letter

  • Introduce yourself, your organization and the cause for which you are raising funds. Also mention how you intend to raise funds and where the proceeds will go.
  • Tell a story about what your organization has accomplished this year - something that will be remembered and make an impact. Often quotes from those effected help here.
  • You may want to offer supporters the option to fundraise for your organization, as part of your holiday or annual campaign. Peer-to-peer fundraising is a nice option to create an even greater impact and lessens the financial burden on your donors. Setting up a crowdfunding website makes it easy for your supporters to create a personal fundraising page and solicit donations on your organization or charity's behalf.
  • Don't forget to make a strong ask and provide easy ways for the donor to give. Creating suggested donation amounts with a tangible result or impact is a good idea to guide donors in the right direction.
  • Thank the addressee for the time spent reading your appeal letter and past support. Tell them how much you appreciate them and how you need their support now to continue with your mission.
  • Wrap up by wishing them a great holiday season and including your contact details in case they have questions or need additional information.

Don't forget the all important thank-you letter, which should be sent out to everyone who made a donation to your year end campaign. This is not an auto-generated receipt, but a heart-felt thank-you sharing totals raised and goals moving forward. This will only help you be more efficient in your future fundraising efforts and end-of-year donation requests next year.

Sample End of Year Fundraising Letter

We have provided these sample End of Year Fundraising letters for your review. Feel free to edit and use them for your non-profit organization or school, following the guidelines above.

DOWNLOAD: Sample End of Year Fundraising Letter 1 - This letter was designed for current supporters and showcases an Opera organization.

DOWNLOAD: Sample End of Year Fundraising Letter 2 - This letter was designed for new supporters and showcases a school with an active crowdfunding campaign.

Our Free Donations Websites Can Help!

Be prepared and get your donations and tracking systems in place now. Implement a free Donations website from DoJiggy to take one-time and recurring donations through the year. Our Donations platform is highly customizable and allows you to set suggested donation amounts and take tribute gifts - perfect for year-end giving appeals. Donations software will help you track details of your fundraising campaign, manage on-going donor contributions and donor history.

Try Our Free Donations Software for More Effective Year-End Appeals.

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