10 Innovative Fundraising Campaigns

10 Innovative Fundraising Campaigns

Fundraising is essential for nonprofits. If an organization doesn’t fundraise, they risk losing resources, programs, and the ability to help the cause they’re advocating for. Fundraising has become more popular online, and many nonprofits have acquired donations using crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe and JustGiving.

Fundraising is about more than just raising funds, however. It’s about making your organization a functioning and sustainable force that betters the community. Fundraising can bring your entire staff together as they are all working towards a common goal, hopefully with a local community that shares the same passion.

Here are 10 innovative charity campaigns and fundraisers that can help you attract donors to your organization:

1. Start an email newsletter

Not only do donors want to hear from the nonprofits they support, they want to know where their money is actually going. It might not sound out of the box, but email marketing is one of the best ways for nonprofits to connect with current and potential donors. If you personalize content to your donors—detailing the impact they’re making and the gratitude your organization has for them—they’re more likely to continue supporting your organization which would boost donation and engagement.

2. Peer-to-peer fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising makes it easier for nonprofits to raise money through networks by reaching out to each other on behalf of the organization or cause. You want to encourage current donors to set up personal fundraising pages which send your organization’s message to their networks and relationships. This strategy works well with virtual, in-person, and hybrid fundraising and encourages better performance from participants.

3. Host a virtual event

Virtual events are perfect for donors that may not be able to attend an in-person fundraiser but still want to support your cause. They can help your organization raise awareness and also foster a sense of community entirely from the comfort of their home. There are different types of virtual fundraising ideas, including live streaming a concert or performance, hosting an online auction, a virtual walkathon or race, a virtual gala, and many more. Being creative is key to hosting virtual fundraising events, and ensuring a seamless experience for your supporters via livestream.

4. Donation matching drive

Securing matches from another company or major donor shows potential donors that with their donation, they’re essentially giving two gifts for the price of one. Matching donations is a great way to boost funding for your campaign, and can be promoted through all channels of communication, including social media, emails, and newsletters.

5. Social media takeover

Social media takeovers are a form of influencer marketing used to increase brand exposure and give entertainment to an organization's current audience by providing new and interesting content. How would a nonprofit or charity benefit from a social media takeover? Takeovers are great ways to showcase the faces behind your organization’s work and those that directly advocate for the cause, especially with the Instagram and Facebook stories feature.

6. Challenge campaigns

Viral challenges have spread rapidly across social media over the last year, with millions of views and donations for mission-driven fundraisers. You want to ensure the challenges are highly engaging and allow supporters to partake in a variety of activities to support your organization, both virtually and in-person. You can create a series of challenges that test both team and personal skills and endurance with a games tournament, and get local businesses involved for prizes and sponsors. Participants will share their experience on social media and nominate others to join in on the challenges and games, allowing for more exposure for your organization. Possible challenges include a plank challenge, ice plunge, pushup challenge, and more.

7. Auctions

Auctions are fun events that can be successful both in-person and online. When planning a virtual auction, you want to invite participants to join a live-streaming platform on a set date and time where they can place bids on items and do their part to contribute to a good cause. You can partner with local businesses to donate items to auction or sponsor.

8. Online giving pages

Online giving pages can generate a passive flow of income through visitor donations for your organization. You want to present your organization’s mission and where the money goes as clearly as possible on the giving page so potential donors are aware of your organization's activity and how they can benefit the overall mission. This also helps your nonprofit accept donations consistently. 

9. Merchandise sales

Supporters love representing organizations through branded merchandise, like hats, sweatshirts, and t-shirts. Your organization can sell apparel, and even keychains, water bottles, and a variety of other products that display the name, logo, or specific campaign.

You can create the merchandise to sell year round, or create limited edition designs during the holidays, organization anniversaries, or other events. Merchandise sales are a great way to raise funds for your organization and give supporters something cool to wear and use. 

10. Text-to-give

Methods of virtual giving have been increasingly used by charities and nonprofits over recent years. Text-to-give donations is a low-effort method of fundraising that can generate money for your organization. Various platforms allow donors to text a dollar amount and receive a link to enter their financial information required to donate. Donor engagement is the key to better fundraising, so why not add texting your supporters into your organization's communication and fundraising plan?

These innovative online and in-person fundraising ideas are just some of the ways to help boost your fundraising goals and foster engagement for your charity or nonprofit organization.

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