Team fundraising on Mightycause brings together a nonprofit’s most passionate supporters to raise funds and awareness for their favorite cause. The success of a team fundraiser hinges on how motivated its participants are to stump for their cause. A team organizer can work to organize behind the scenes, but at the end of the day, it’s up to the team members to get the word out, get people excited about what they’re doing and raise money.
These tips will help you climb to the top of the leaderboards, reach your fundraising goals and support your favorite cause.
What is team fundraising?
Team fundraising is a competitive peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Peer-to-peer fundraisers leverage a nonprofit’s existing supporters to bring in new supporters, by tapping into their social networks. A “team” is a group of peer-to-peer fundraisers working toward a larger fundraising goal.
On Mightycause, a team has a central page, with general information about the campaign and a leaderboard that ranks all the team members. The team members have their own peer-to-peer fundraising page, where they collect donations for their cause and work toward their own fundraising goal.
The benefits of team fundraising
“Strength in numbers” is the driving principle of team fundraising. When one person creates a peer-to-peer fundraiser for a nonprofit, it helps generate funding and bring in new support. When a whole team of fundraisers come together to throw their support behind a cause and raise money, it can be a game-changer for the nonprofit.
Tip #1: Optimize your Mightycause page
When you join a team on Mightycause, you get your very own page. That page is yours to personalize and trick out with photos, videos, and links that will help convince your social network to donate to your cause. So, to be an awesome team member, you’ll want to use that page to make the best case possible for donating.
Here’s how to do it.
Use the template for inspiration
Team organizers have the ability to create a template for team members that pre-loads several sections of their page for them, making it easier to get published. If your team has one available, we recommend using it … but using it as a jumping-off point.
The template can help you get going, especially with parts of your page like your goal that aren’t personal. But to rise to the top, you’ll want to make sure your page has your own personal stamp.
Utilize all the tools available to you
Mightycause pages are hard-wired to get donations, but you’ll need to make use of the tools we’ve provided. Each of aspect of the page will make it more robust, help you tell your story better, and make people more likely to donate.
In order to get published, you’ll need to add some text to your story. But don’t stop there! In the text editor, you can add photos, embed videos, create lists, add emojis, and more. We gave you these tools because no one likes to read a wall of text. The more flourish and personal details you add to your story, the more likely people are to actually read it and donate.
Learn more about optimizing your fundraiser page
Tip #2: Make it personal
Peer-to-peer fundraising works because people trust people that they know. They may not believe or care about what a nonprofit says about its own work. But when someone they know personally tells them about the impact a nonprofit has made in their life, or why the cause is so important to them, it grabs their attention. It inspires them to care as well. And that’s why it’s so important to get personal. Personal connection and word of mouth is part of what makes team fundraising such a powerful awareness-raising tool for nonprofits.
When you’re gearing up to join a team, think about your connection to the cause. Why do you care about this nonprofit? What motivated you to join the team? How did you learn about this cause? Do you have a personal story about the organization’s work?
Case in Point
Tina is currently #1 on the leaderboard for her team, Dancing with the Giordano Stars.
One of the reasons she’s been so successful is her fundraising page, which shines with her personality and passion for dance. “The spotlight!! Finally!!!” she starts off. “I’ve been dreaming about this moment since I was a two-year old pip squeak who pirouetted around the house insisting to be called ‘Tina Ballerina.'”
This kind of personal storytelling is the key to being a successful fundraiser. She draws in her social network with a cute picture of her dancing as a child, a personal story about her love of dance, which segues into her connection to the cause.
So far, Tina has raised nearly $18,000 for Giordano Dance Chicago. While certainly a lot of hustle has contributed to her fundraising success, her excellent fundraising page with its personal storytelling is one of the reasons her fundraiser stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Tip #3: Get “seed” donations
Often, getting that first donation to your fundraiser is the hardest part. That’s because people are more likely to donate to an online fundraiser if they see it’s already got some donations — which creates a tricky problem for people trying to raise money online. The solution is “seed” donations.
Think about the people you know who are most likely to support. Your mom, your grandma, your best friend. Before launching your fundraiser to your whole social network, ask these folks for donations to get you started. They don’t have to be huge donations — $5, $15, $25. These smaller shows of support will help your page look active, get you past the hurdle of your first donations, and inspire others to donate.
How to ask
For your “seed” donations, you’ll want to ask personally. That means calling someone on the phone, asking them in person, or sending them a personal email. You can message them on social media or send a text message.
Make sure they know you’re asking them because they’re such an important part of your life and you know that they can be counted upon to support you. (Which is all true! That’s why you’re asking them.)
Tip #4: Be proactive
We see a lot of team members and peer-to-peer fundraisers fall prey to one of the biggest crowdfunding pitfalls: “Field of Dreams” fundraising. It’s the belief that if you build it, donors will come.
Here’s the thing: they will not. You have to hustle to get your fundraiser seen. That means being proactive — promoting your page, developing a strategy to get people to visit and make donations, following up and being persistent.
Think like a marketer
The most awesome, successful team members know how to market themselves. And it’s a skill anyone can cultivate, with some effort.
A link to your page is only interesting the first or second time you share it; after that, people will skip over it. So you’ve got to get creative and find ways to grab people’s attention.
Things like videos, photos and graphics can provide the variety you need to keep people from getting bored with seeing the same link to your Mightycause page on social media 20 times. (Don’t misunderstand us, though — still share the link! Just share it along with an attention-grabbing piece of content like a video or photo.)
Have a plan
Fundraising is all about reaching out. Think about your social network. Where are your people? How will you talk to them? Think through your strategy for talking to your social network about what your doing. Are there some people you want to email personally? Some people who would be better to ask on social media? How many times will you email someone? And how often will you post?
Winging it can work for some people, but most successful team members sit down and come up with a game plan.
Asking once is not enough to lead you to team fundraising success. Neither is posting a link to your Facebook page a few times. You’ll need to ask more than once, and you’ll need to follow up.
Successful team members aren’t afraid to ask once, ask again, and then ask every week or every day of their campaign. They’re not shy about putting themselves out there. They’re successful because they’re able to get people excited about their campaigns, while being just a little bit of a pest.
Measure your results, and adjust
Marketing professionals are always measuring what result they get from what action. They use their results to refine their approach. As an awesome team member, you’ll want to try a technique (whether it’s emailing people, posting on social media, asking for donations in person, etc.) and measure your results.
What lead to the most donations for you? Did one method work better than another? You can even try asking in different ways, asking for different things (like asking for $10 donations, asking for shares on social media, etc.) to see what brings you the results you want. Do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t.
Tip #5: Don’t forget to say thank you
Once you start getting donations, it’s important to say thank you to the people who’ve come out to support you. It sounds like an obvious thing, but you’d be amazed how easy it is to forget when you’re in the middle of running a campaign!
Respond to comments
On Mightycause, you can respond to any comments that have been left on your page. So, if your Aunt Susan makes a donation to your page and leave a sweet comment supporting you, respond! You can ❤ her comment, and leave a response thanking her for her support.
Besides letting your people know that you appreciate their support, it creates more activity on your page. And in turn, seeing that people are actively engaged on your page makes other more likely to donate.
Send personal thank yous
People who fundraise for a living know the power of a well-done, sincere thank you. There are people at nonprofits whose jobs are writing letters, making phone calls and sending emails to thank donors. When people fork over their hard-earned money for a cause, it’s essential to acknowledge them and make sure they feel appreciated.
Things like phone calls, writing letters, sending handwritten thank you cards and even making sure you thank your donor in person when you see them go a long, long way. Make it personalized and authentic. Besides making your donor feel good for making a contribution, it makes it more likely that if you participate in a team fundraiser next year, they will show up to support you again.
Give public shout-outs
Here’s a fact about why people donate: most people donate to a cause for selfish reasons. Either they like the feeling they get when they help a cause (this is James Andreoni’s “Warm Glow” theory) or because it says something positive about them (for instance, that they are generous people, or that they care about [INSERT CAUSE]). This is why universities name buildings after major gift donors, why some have displays of their donors’ names in their lobbies, why you see donors listed after you watch a show on PBS, and why many nonprofits dedicate pages in their newsletters to printing their donors’ names. And it’s why, if you backed a creative project on Kickstarter, a frequent reward is having your name listed in the credits when the project is complete. It’s also why, on Mightycause, we have a feed with donors’ names on your both the team fundraiser and your own page.
So, following suit, publicly acknowledging your donors is a great way to make sure your donors get that “warm glow” from donating to your fundraiser.
Now, you don’t need to spray-paint their names on the side of your house or dedicate a bench to them. Simply thanking them on social media, tagging their account, posting on their Facebook page or sending out a tweet, or even filming a short video on your smartphone thanking them and posting it to Facebook or Instagram is plenty.
Bonus tip: Have fun!
Team fundraising is all about bringing people together for a cause. And, while these tips will help you get to your goal, the point of team fundraising is getting people excited about a cause you care about. So don’t get too bogged down in the nitty gritty. Remember to have fun!
When you’re building your page and running your campaign, be real, be authentic, be yourself, and try to have a good time. You’re doing an amazing thing for a cause you care about! And your enthusiasm for the cause will be infectious and inspire others to care about the cause as well.