One of the most effective strategies to generate revenues for your nonprofit organization is crowdfunding. It’s a great way to raise money quickly, but it’s also important to plan carefully before you launch your campaign. You’ll need a good team and clear messaging to succeed on any platform.
In this material, we will walk you through the steps you need to take in order to create a nonprofit fundraiser.
How to Create a Nonprofit Fundraising Event
If you want to set up a nonprofit fundraiser, start by creating a nonprofit fundraising strategy. Ask yourself:
- Who will organize your event?
- How much do you want to raise?
- What nonprofit software system will you use, if any?
- How much revenue will be generated from tickets and other sources?
You’ll also need to decide on a promotional strategy for your campaign, such as how many emails to send out and when.
These are the things you have to consider when you create a nonprofit fundraising campaign:
The first step in creating a nonprofit fundraising plan is to determine who will organize the event. Is it going to be by a nonprofit organization? A committee of volunteers? A professional fundraiser? Or some combination of the above?
In general, it’s best to keep this decision simple and streamlined. For example, if you already have the staff or board members available to take the responsibility for organizing the event, then you may want to consider having them do so. However, if there are no staff or board members available or willing (or both), then hiring an outside professional fundraiser could make sense.
A goal is your fundraising event endgame. It’s the metric that will determine whether or not you’ve been successful in your fundraiser. You want to set a fundraising goal that challenges you and is doable but also leaves room for some wiggle room in case things don’t go according to plan.
If you’ve done any research into charitable giving, then there’s a good chance you’ve heard of “giving back” percentages—the idea that donors prefer donating to causes that have already covered their costs. This makes sense; after all, if someone gives money toward something only for it to end up going into debt, they’re not going to feel too happy about their donation (and this goes double if they were expecting 100% effectiveness).
So how much should your nonprofit cover with donations? It depends on the type of event and what kind of expenses are involved in running it. Generally speaking though: keep it under 80%! If people see too much red on the page before they get past “How can I help?”, they’ll click out without giving another second thought.
Nonprofit software systems are available to help you organize your fundraising efforts, track donations and keep track of your budget. You can also use them to manage volunteers, assign tasks and keep track of goals.
Create a fundraiser page on your website that explains the cause and how people can help out with the campaign (this is usually called a donation page).
If you mainly want to focus on online donations, you can create a page on a peer-to-peer fundraising platform such as Crowdfunding.
Before you can begin to plan your event, it’s important to determine how much money you need. The first step is to determine the cost of the event itself.
The cost of food and beverages will vary widely depending on what type of event you’re hosting and where it’s taking place. In general, though, it should be somewhere between $1-$3 per person in attendance at your fundraiser. For example: If you have 200 people attending your fundraiser and expect them all to purchase snacks and drinks at a minimum price of $2 each (which includes sales tax), then your total revenue from food sales will be $400-$600 alone! This doesn’t even include other potential sources of revenue like ticket sales or raffles/auction items sold during the event or pre-sale tickets purchased ahead of time.
Similarly, if you choose to have an online event or to focus your fundraising efforts on a fundraiser webpage, the budget can be exponentially lower.
You’re going to need a plan, and that means deciding how you want your audience to find out about your fundraiser. We recommend using social media, email marketing, and your website as the main channels to spread the word. Then, add some additional strategies that are more targeted—for example:
- Blog posts that discuss specific fundraising topics in detail (like “The Ultimate Guide to Sponsoring Your Team for the Breast Cancer Society”).
- A newsletter with updates about new projects (such as “We Just Launched Our First Nonprofit Fundraiser Campaign!”).
- Press releases announcing new fundraisers.
The first step in creating your marketing budget for the fundraising campaign is to choose goals for the year. This can be as specific as raising $5,000 by the end of June or as broad as increasing awareness among donors and volunteers. Once you’ve determined what kind of goal you want to achieve, you need to assign some sort of budget to each channel.
We recommend starting with a small number for each channel at first, and then adjusting based on performance over time. You can also use this data to determine the most cost-effective channels and allocate more funds there in future years.
When you’re creating a nonprofit fundraiser, it’s important to identify your audience. This will help you decide what kind of content will resonate with them.
You should know who’s going to be reading this piece and what their interests are. The best way to do this is by talking with people from that community or doing some research online about the demographic or interest group you’re targeting (e.g., “people who like to read about technology”).
It can sometimes be hard for nonprofits to find their niche because they try too hard not to offend anyone in particular; however, there are ways around that! For example, if we were trying to reach millennials in our marketing efforts, then we could choose topics such as food security or climate change; these issues affect younger generations more than older ones due to their increased exposure through education/online articles.
As a nonprofit, a thing that can help you in your nonprofit fundraising strategy is to establish an online presence for your organization. This is especially important for smaller nonprofits that may not have the resources to create ads and buy ad space.
Here are some of the basics:
- Create a website. You can start with WordPress or Squarespace and then hire someone else to customize it for you if necessary or if it’s urgent. Whatever platform you use, make sure it’s mobile-friendly and easy to navigate!
- Create social media accounts. Set up Facebook Pages for both your organization and for each event so people can follow along with updates easily on their phones or computers. Then create Twitter handles (with photos!) as well as Instagram accounts after taking some great pictures at your event…and don’t forget YouTube videos! LinkedIn is mandatory too; this is where professionals go when they want job leads, so don’t leave them out of the loop.”
Generating a fundraising strategy and subsequently shaping fundraising events are the core activities of your nonprofit organization. But, after you collect donations, how do you manage the funds?
That’s the point where Zivo steps in. We believe that there is already enough pressure on nonprofit founders to succeed and grow their organizations while seeking to maintain a healthy work-life balance. We are here to assist you with your nonprofit bookkeeping because of this.
If you need a Canada-based expert to glance at your finances before you decide to move forward with a CFO or on your own, book a free consultation with Zivo.
Link to the material about revenues after you publish it 🙂