Fundraising with a birdathon is a unique and fun peer-to-peer fundraising event that can be used for many audiences, especially Audubon groups, bird rescues, wildlife organizations, and environmental businesses fundraising for a cause. Birdathon fundraisers bring together birders, conservationists, and people who cherish wildlife and offer participants an opportunity for an adventurous and educational experience.
Read on to learn how to organize a successful birdathon for your organization.
How To Organize a Birdathon
Bird-a-thons, like all fundraising events, require careful execution and planning to be successful. Organizers must determine the format and goals for the event, then recruit birders and sponsors to make it happen. There are many key elements in making a birdathon a success. Here we outline the basics to get your event off the ground.
Step 1: Assemble a Leadership Team for the Event
Successful fundraising events hinge on the recruitment and action of a strong leadership team. Ideally, your team should be comprised of individuals with diverse skills and talents that share a common interest in your organization’s success. Development personnel will head up the event, but Board Members and other volunteers are also key to running an event economically. Getting your team together and committed is the first step in your bird-a-thon planning.
Step 2: Determine Bird-a-thon Logistics and Financial Goals
To start, your leadership team will determine the date and location as well as the overall goals for your birding event. Supporters generally have the goal of finding and identifying the most unique species of birds in a birdathon. Don’t forget to determine financial goals at this stage and create a fundraising budget to help you get there.
To ensure the success of your event, be sure to give yourselves enough time to manage all of the logistics. You generally want to have at least 6 months to plan a peer-to-peer event, and many successful events start planning a year in advance.
Step 3: Implement Fundraising Software
Utilizing peer-to-peer crowdfunding software is a must for bird-a-thons. Our platform was designed specifically for these types of events where individual and team participants solicit and track donations and pledges. Each of your event participants creates and manages their personal fundraising page and invites friends and family (via email and Social Media) to support your organization through secure, online donations. Administrators configure a minimum donation goal for participants, as well as the types of donations and pledges accepted.
- Provide participants with personal fundraising pages to promote your fundraiser
- Fundraising thermometers and Leaderboards display top team and individual fundraisers
- Embedded Social Media sharing links encourage birders to share the event
Step 4: Recruit Bird-a-thon Participants
When it comes time to recruit participants and volunteers, nothing will be more important than your network and your leadership branch. These people are often well established in the community, and will not only participate but will ask associates, friends, and family members to participate as well.
Don’t forget your charity event sponsors. Companies value opportunities to engage their workforce in community activities. It is important to ask companies not only for sponsorship to help offset the event costs but also for their participation in the birdathon. Team registrations offer a fun and easy way for businesses to participate.
Step 5: Manage Donations and Pledges Online
DoJiggy P2P crowdfunding software is a complete registration and donation management system designed specifically for peer-to-peer events where individual and team participants solicit and track donations and pledges for a charitable cause. Streamline your donation collection and reporting with us. Many organizations report raising two to three times more money by taking their crowdfunding events online and extending the reach of the fundraiser.
More Bird-a-thon Ideas
Bird-a-thons can run over a 10-day or month-long time period filled with social gatherings and chances to mingle and network. This type of extended campaign also allows for expert-led bird talks and walks, taking donors and participants on walks in natural areas to cite beautiful bird species.
Schools can use this model for their school fundraising campaign, and ask teachers or volunteers with knowledge of bird species to guide the walks, making the fundraiser an educational experience for students. Becoming conscious of the science and beauty around us at an early age is priceless. Ask birders from local conservation groups or government wildlife agencies to lead the students. Many people are interested in birding and have much knowledge regarding bird species as they pay attention to these beautiful creatures every day.
Look to successful birdathons for ideas on how to make your event a success. Some Audubon Societies have held annual bird-a-thons for many years.