There are a few key motivating factors that encourage individuals to give back, including altruism, feeling good and recognition.
One of the most important parts of charitable giving is giving to a cause that’s important to you.

There are a few key motivating factors that encourage individuals to give back. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but to highlight the most prominent motivations to consider:

  • Altruism: Wanting to “save the world” with the belief in your mission or connection to your cause
  • Giving Feels Good: Giving actually produces a benefit to the donor (James Andreoni’s “warm-glow” theory)
  • Recognition: the donor wants to see their name on a plaque, or annual report

Once you understand the reason behind a donor’s motivation to give, the next step is to bring together all your individual donors to harness the power of collective action. Together, your strong supporters can combine their fundraising efforts and boost your fundraising success on Mightycause with event and team fundraising.

The Psychology of Event and Team Fundraising

When it comes to event and team fundraising, good campaigns incorporate the concepts we’ve reviewed above that get to the core of why people get involved and give back. The best campaigns build on these while incorporating other motivations that make the event fun and engaging.

There are 2 key benefits that participating in an event fundraising campaign provides that a regular donation does not. The first is the love of competition, something we can all admit that we are more driven by than we might like to be. The second is, of course, the opportunity to participate in whatever activity is associated with the event. Whether your event is a 5K, a bike race or some other athletic or social activity, people will be interested in participating in the activity, sometimes regardless of the cause it’s supporting.

On Mightycause, events are becoming even more popular. In just one year, we’ve seen the average event garner 7 more fundraisers than this time last year, helping to make the case that events are appealing for team campaigns.

Friendly Competition as a Driving Force

One of the most important reasons that event fundraising is both successful and engaging to participants comes back to human nature and our love of competition. It’s one of the reasons why sports are so fun as kids, and why adults recreate that feeling with fantasy sports leagues. Friendly competition is a way to connect with other people in your social circle. We are hardwired to want to win, even when the only incentives associated with winning are bragging rights. Now, add in rewarding incentives on top of the bragging rights and competition becomes an even more motivating factor. Event fundraising plays on this driver, and on Mightycause, we showcase a leaderboard as one of the centerpieces of the campaign. This leaderboard showcases in a very public way how much each event member has raised, and who is in the lead. With this in mind, events on Mightycause see 60% more donations than the average fundraiser.

As the leader, you feel encouraged that you are on top, and as someone farther down the leaderboard, you’re motivated to take action to see your name rise to the top. Furthermore, the leaderboard helps to create a sense of healthy peer pressure among event members. Nobody wants to be to the event member that is in last place, or that has brought in $0 for the effort. The leaderboard can hold your event members accountable, while building a sense of connection among the event members.

This competition doesn’t just play in for your event members, but the donors supporting their campaigns as well. Donors want to see their friend or family member win the competition (as long as they aren’t playing against them!). Seeing the leaderboard results on the page can spark this competition for donors, and encourage them to make a second gift, or a larger gift than they were originally intending, in order to help support their friend.

Building a Community

Great team organizers will build camaraderie among fundraisers, or host an in-person activity to cap the end of the team fundraising campaign and celebrate the team members’ efforts. Team members that feel like they are a part of something greater will have a better chance of success.

For example, in spring 2017 the American Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas held their first-ever team fundraiser to complement their annual 5K. Aside from raising funds for the American Preparatory Education Fund to help support the school’s upcoming initiatives for the following year, the fundraiser also helped students and staff see a tangible representation of their hard work to help raise the funds the school needed.

“Go Riyann Go! Las Vegas Raiders fans unite!!” One donor commented on a top fundraiser.

The school used its Mightycause page to highlight why this campaign was so important for their community. According to their Mightycause page, “Every year situations occur in the lives of our families, teachers and administration where a little extra support goes a long way at healing from a tragic occurrence, illness or loss. Together, we will support our APA community at times of need.”

In less than two weeks, staff and students raised $32,506 via Mightycause to help fund various initiatives. Over 250 students and staff created a fundraiser for their event on Mightycause, and 708 unique donors gave to the cause.

Next Steps

Now that you understand how events and team fundraising can bring your community of supporters together for bigger impact, the next step is to start building your event so your supporters can get started with their fundraising efforts.

Ready to start your event today? Get started here!

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