Spring fundraiser seasons is upon us! Here’s how to plan your fundraiser, choose the right theme, and find the right product on Mightycause.
We’ve come a long way since last spring. 2020 upended nearly every spring fundraiser. Many spring fundraisers had to be moved online or completely reimagined, since they are often built around in-person events. And if that wasn’t enough, many nonprofits were adjusting to working remotely for the first time. It was rough. But nonprofits did what nonprofits are best at, and persevered. Now, we’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel as more people get vaccinated against coronavirus. And we have a year’s worth of digital fundraising under our belts & experience to draw from. We’ve got this.
So, knowing that your spring fundraiser will still need to be digital, here’s how you can get started planning your spring fundraiser!
Spring Fundraiser Goal-Setting
The first step in planning any campaign is setting your goals. And at Mightycause, we recommend that your fundraising goals always be SMART Goals.
That means your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Basically, you should be setting specific goals that have a metric you can use to evaluate your success, are attainable giving your capacity at the moment, and setting a deadline.
Here are some goals you may want to consider for your spring fundraiser:
- Increase average gift size (in general or compared to your last spring fundraiser)
- Get new recurring donations (and set a goal for how many you’re aiming for, based on how much X number recurring donations for $XX would bring in annually)
- Retain donors (since retained donors cost less and are worth more than new donors – check your current retention rate & track your improvement with your Overview screen & retention report)
Your deadline is the easiest part: It’s the end of your campaign! But once you’ve got your goals mapped out, planning the rest of your campaign will become much simpler.
Picking a Theme for Your Spring Fundraiser
In 2020, nearly every spring fundraiser had the same theme: Coronavirus, coronavirus, coronavirus. But now that most nonprofits have stabilized a bit, your spring fundraiser is a chance to mix it up. (And bring back some of those fun spring fundraising ideas that were canceled last year!)
Sometimes, you campaign’s theme will become clear when you consider your organization’s needs at the moment. Is there a particular program that is especially relevant right now? Animal shelters and rescues, for instance, often use spring fundraisers to draw attention to their foster program because they see an uptick in litters of kittens brought to them in the spring.
Another popular fundraiser theme is building your campaign around a special date, like Earth Day, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and more.
Fundraiser, Team, or Event?
Mightycause has multiple products to support your spring fundraiser. We offer fundraisers, teams, and events. The question is, which one is right for you?
What’s the difference?
The main difference between these different products is the path donors take to get to your nonprofit.
In a fundraiser, donors have one path to making a donation. And that’s through you. So, whether they find out about your fundraiser via email, social media, or on your website, they click and end up on your fundraiser page. The donor makes their donation on the page you set up. Now, with a team, they take a slightly different path.
A team adds the element of peer-to-peer (P2P) to your spring fundraiser. These P2P fundraisers are supporters of your organization (and maybe even volunteers or board members) who work together as a team to raise money for your nonprofit. So, donors have an important new path to finding your campaign: through your P2P fundraisers who are part of the team. Of course, donors can still give directly, but this diversifies the ways your supporters get to the end-point of completing their donation.
And events add even more paths:
In an Event, you have individual and team P2P fundraisers working within a larger event with a shared goal. So, for instance, a donor could find their way to your page through a friend or family member, a local business that’s teamed up to fundraise, or they could find out about it from your nonprofit. That means you’re able to cast a much wider net, and get more people through the (virtual) door.
Events also add the elements of registration and ticketing, which is another layer of complexity. It usually pays off in higher amounts raised! Events & teams raise about 30% more than fundraisers alone on Mightycause.
How to Choose a Spring Fundraiser Method
No method of fundraising is better than the other. They just have different uses!
If you want to keep things simple (and who doesn’t, In These Trying Times), a fundraiser is your best bet. There’s less to manage, which allows you to laser-focus on your message. And energy that might otherwise be spent wrangling P2P fundraisers can be spent on reaching out to your supporters.
If you’re looking to spearhead a P2P fundraising effort, to reach new people and find new donors, a team might be the right choice. Teams allow you to bring together a group of individuals to fundraise for you. Each team member will have their own page that they can customize to make their own, so they can share it with their social network. And teams add a little friendly competition to the mix, too!
Events are the final frontier. They combine everything that happens with a fundraiser and a team into one, with the added elements of ticketing and registration! Now, we recommend following CDC guidelines and keeping your event digital, but you can still sell tickets to an online event. Think of a fun streaming event you can use to attract your supporters! And registration will make managing all of your P2P fundraisers and team a breeze.
Pros and Cons
So, each method of fundraising can be successful, but they each have their pros and cons, too.
Fundraisers: The benefit to running a spring fundraiser is that it’s simple, easy, and allows you to concentrate on a clear-cut, focused message. The downside is that this method is not as helpful for donor acquisition as teams or events, because you’ll be doing all of the outreach to your existing base of supporters.
Teams: Teams are a fantastic way to get people excited and engaged in your spring fundraiser! They’re interactive and social, which makes them especially timely now, when everyone is craving community. However, teams can require more effort recruiting and organizing team members. And you’ll lose a bit of control over your messaging, since your team members will be the ones doing most of the outreach. (Though fundraiser templates can help here!)
Events: Events are often magical for spring fundraisers! They’re perfect for charity walks, marathons, and any fundraising endeavor built around gathering people together for a cause. (Even if that’s just online!) Events are usually about thinking big, too. They raise more than fundraisers or teams on average, but they can require more effort to manage. After all, you’re organizing individuals and teams and a whole digital event! The payoff is usually worth the extra effort, but it’s definitely something to consider if your nonprofit’s capacity is limited this spring. The good news is that we’ve got an entire ebook to help you plan and manage your event.
Still Not Sure?
If you’re just beginning to plan and need some help, no problem! Our team can talk to you about your spring fundraiser and help you find a solution that works for your goals and your budget.
We also recently hosted a webinar on spring fundraiser planning you can use to kickstart your planning process! Check it out!