Thursday, July 11, 2013

5 Tips to Maximize Giving with a Fundraising Competition

Holding a fundraising competition with another nonprofit organization can increase support for both organizations. What is billed as a competition is actually a collaborative effort to raise funds, extend support networks, and increase awareness for a mutual cause. Here are five tips to pulling off an effective online fundraising competition.
  1. Team up with a complimentary organization focused on the same issue. This helps extend both organizations’ support networks in the long run as each organization’s existing supporters learn about the other.
  2. Collaborate on spreading the word and share marketing materials. Working together pools resources and encourages creativity. In a recently launched competition, animal welfare nonprofits in Wisconsin Cats Anonymous and Wish Upon a Paw, teamed up to create a video rallying their combined supporters to join the competition and support their chosen charity. The video is funny and expresses the competitive concept while illustrating the importance of coming together for an important cause.
  3. Culminate the competition in a joint event. This can be anything from a dog walk, to a Super Spay Day, to an awards dinner honoring cause advocates in the area. Invite supporters and the local press to participate.
  4.  Send out a joint press release. Two similar organizations working together to increase impact is more newsworthy than one organization doing what it does every day. Joint press releases are more likely to be noticed by local outlets and raise awareness for both organizations.
  5. Provide links to supporters via social media. Even more important than the cash total at the end of the competition is the increase in your engaged support base. Help existing supporters connect to the cause by engaging them in a Community for your nonprofit. Then, ask them to share the message and links to the Community and fundraising competition with their social networks via all social media outlets, email, and word of mouth. Provide daily updates so supporters are encouraged to give a little extra to help their team get ahead.
Fundraising competitions can be as complex or simple as the participating organizations want to make them. The goal is to raise money while building cause awareness and expanding both organizations’ supporter networks. Have fun with it and you won’t regret the effort.