7 min read
5 Unique Nonprofit Fundraising Ideas to Try (Using Automation)
Fundraising is one of the most notable activities in every nonprofit organization. Structures of nonprofit organizations depend on the number of funds they can raise, which range from a few thousand to millions of dollars. To obtain a hefty number of donations, nonprofit organizations often organize events and activities for their members and people who support their causes. Some of these events are quite common in nature like organizing a nonprofit fundraising show, placing a fundraising box in a shopping mall, and asking for donations from altruists.
The way nonprofit organizations communicate is a vital factor in making nonprofit fundraising a successful one. Unlike in the 80s or 90s, it is now way easier for nonprofit organizations to reach out to people and request their support. However, with increasing competition, they are having a hard time gathering funds so they now require unique fundraiser ideas.
In this blog, we will explore five unique ways to raise funds. As a bonus, we will also explore how marketing automation can scale up these ideas!
Nonprofit Fundraising #1: Organize a Gaming Contest
Video gaming contests have always been great attractions for many people — especially the youth. A daylong gaming contest can easily bring lots of participants. Ideally, in a gaming contest, organizations collect entry fees from each of the participants. Gaming companies or stores can also chip in by providing sponsorships. A small portion of the fee is spent on tokens of participation and winner’s prizes. The rest goes to the cause.
Nonprofit Fundraising #2: Craft Sales
A craft sale is another unique idea for nonprofit organizations to raise a substantial amount of money. A craft sale event can be done in two ways. In the first way, participants can donate their crafted items to a nonprofit organization and the organization displays those items for sale. In the other way, a nonprofit organization organizes a craft sale in a public place where participants take small stalls and sell their creative works. After deducting the cost to organize these events, a large portion of the raised money goes to charity. Often, artists who raised the highest amount of funds are given prizes.
Nonprofit Fundraising #3: Potluck Fiesta
Nonprofits using human taste buds to raise funds is an idea that will never get old! In fact, this simple idea of selling food to raise money is now coming back in many innovative ways. For instance, a potluck is one of the latest additions. Nonprofit organizations bring all the food lovers together to take part in a potluck feast. People who love to showcase their cooking skills can pay a small amount to secure their stalls, while visitors pay a registration fee to enjoy a wide variety of foods. Some organizations may even invite a few restaurant start-ups to set up stalls so they can promote their businesses. Some extra funds can be generated via these kinds of sponsorships. Like the previous idea, top fundraisers are acknowledged by handing over tokens of appreciation.
Nonprofit Fundraising #4: Take a Picture
This one is a straightforward, yet innovative technique. Nonprofit organizations invite the masses to take a picture with a celebrity or with an influencer, typically in a public place. Then they print those pictures for the participants or send them via email for a small donation. The collected money goes to charity. Sometimes, this idea is a big hit and brings tons of crowdsourced funds. For instance, during the eve of Christmas, nonprofit organizations set up picture booths with Santa Clause in shopping malls. Children take pictures with Santa, and their parents happily pay a small amount, knowing that they are contributing to a great cause. Imagine, 1000 children took pictures with Santa, and parents paying $10 for each! That’s $10,000! Not bad!
Nonprofit Fundraising #5: Sports Night/Cinema Show
Enjoying a super important game such as the Stanley Cup Playoffs or UEFA Champions League Final with a group of likeminded people sounds exciting, doesn’t it? That’s what nonprofit organizations can use to raise funds for their causes. They simply book a place, invite people to register and execute the event. A good portion of raised money might be spent on food and beverages but still, whatever remains is a good source of income for nonprofit organizations.
Okay! So how is a marketing automation platform relevant here?
Because marketing automation will scale up these good events into great events!
Confused? Let me explain!
Among so many constraints in organizing these events on a large scale, a major one is a shortage of human resources, which is why nonprofit organizations struggle to execute large scale event ideas. However, there is a solution!
Effective marketing can bring a larger audience, which can in turn generate more funds from an event. A marketing automation platform can be used to efficiently plan, execute, and manage these events.
Think about it: all the examples above have a few things in common. To become successful, nonprofit organizations need to promote these events, collect responses, manage attendance, give constant reminders, and share updates with those who signed up, and finally, once an event is over, follow up with them and give them updates on future events.
If you’re going to do it manually, organizing these events would need a lot of resources and human power, which brings us back to square one. Imagine, you have promoted a potluck on social media. Hundreds of people who want to contribute food signed up as well as a couple hundred who want to visit and enjoy food. They signed up by filling out a Google or MS Form or worse — sending emails! Someone must manually copy and paste all the data to another file and follow up manually. The person who is contacting them needs to be on his/her toes all the time because that’s a tedious and troublesome job. Imagine, sending hundreds of personalized emails to the registered people manually. Let’s not talk about follow-up or recording feedback after the event. It will become a nightmare!
All of this can be avoided if a marketing automation platform is utilized. Here are a few examples.
Nonprofit organizations can use social media tools to promote events over multiple channels. They can also use an email marketing tool to send highly customized emails or SMS marketing tool to send personalized messages to their existing contacts.
People will click on a link to visit a landing page where they can get more information about those events. There, they can fill out a digital form to sign up for events. The marketing automation platform will send an automated acknowledgment email/SMS/voicemail once they sign up.
Information for people who signed up will be stored in a contact relationship management. From there, they can be updated in real-time right after following up. A CRM can be used to segregate contacts in different groups and send them appropriate messages to pursue them to attend specific events.
Participants can provide their feedback and report concerns via a survey tool at the event. In this way, managing an event can be easier because of two-way communication.
Since nonprofit organizations highly value their patrons, they can go an extra step and use an emergency management tool to deal with any unexpected situation. These tools include alert, mass notification, etc. For instance, an incident took place during an event that requires everyone to leave the building at once. A mass alert system can easily do the job.
See! Most of these tasks are interconnected. Therefore, using a marketing automation platform not only reduces the number of tasks but also decreases the need for human intervention. By using a marketing automation system, nonprofit organizations can easily scale up their events. That’s a big deal and nonprofit organizations should embrace the technology to keep up with the change of era.
It should! Multipurpose marketing automation software not only helps nonprofit organizations be more efficient but also makes them more prolific without increasing their headcount.
But which platform to use?
Try SimplyCast! Why? Because this marketing automation platform provides you with all the tools you need, under a single platform.
There are over 20 communication, engagement, and emergency management tools such as Email Marketing, SMS Marketing, Landing Page Generator, Social Media Automation, Sonar Web Tracking, Form Builder, CRM, Alerts, Blueprints & Maps, Instant Teleconference, Event, Live Survey, OnCall, and Recall. On top of that, SimplyCast has a cutting-edge marketing automation workflow designer: SimplyCast 360. Using SimplyCast 360, you can design nearly unlimited types of customized, automated marketing workflow, based on your need.
Why don’t you give it a try? Click the button below to book a demo.