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Expanding Your Fundraising Calendar: 4 Unique Fundraisers

Thank you ShopRaise for this blog post.

If your nonprofit startup is looking to hit the ground running with fundraisers, you’ll need to start planning a full calendar of events, campaigns, and programs. If you’ve done your research, you’re likely already familiar with some staple fundraising activities such as crowdfunding campaigns, walk-a-thons, and galas to name a few. 

However, you can get your fundraising off to a stronger start by diversifying your revenue sources with fundraisers you might not have first considered. Passive fundraisers, supporter-led campaigns, and variations on classic events all put their own spin on a nonprofit’s usual fundraising activities, giving your supporters new, innovative ways to get involved. 

To help you start brainstorming new fundraising ideas for your nonprofit, this article will explore four unique fundraisers you can add to your calendar: 

  1. Online Shopping Fundraisers 
  2. Hybrid Auctions 
  3. Peer-to-Peer Campaigns 
  4. Matching Gifts

The activities are designed to supplement your regular fundraising calendar to generate additional revenue and give supporters new opportunities to engage with your nonprofit. Consider how you can promote these new fundraisers alongside your large-scale campaigns to maximize your potential earnings. Let’s get started! 

1. Online Shopping Fundraisers

Your donors can support your nonprofit steadily throughout the year without spending a cent more than they normally would with online shopping fundraisers. Shop for a cause programs raise funds by equipping nonprofits with an online shopping fundraiser app and browser extension their supporters can download. 

Then, supporters can start raising funds by making purchases through the app or browser extension at participating retailers. All of the funds raised come from the retailers, meaning your supporters won’t need to spend any more than they usually would to participate. 

The relationships with the retailers will be managed entirely by the online shopping program your nonprofit partners with. This means you can focus on your relationships with supporters and promoting your new fundraiser, while your online shopping partner program handles the exact contribution rates. 

To get started with this fundraiser, your nonprofit can take the following steps:

Shopping fundraisers are an easy way to expand your digital fundraising strategy. However, keep in mind that these fundraisers are designed to help nonprofits earn revenue slowly. In between your major fundraisers, online shopping programs can bring your nonprofit a reliable stream of income that will only grow over time. 

2. Hybrid Auctions 

Charity auctions are a popular nonprofit fundraiser for a few reasons. Unlike most fundraisers, donors are given tangible items and prizes in exchange for their contributions. Sometimes, auctions can even attract new participants who are primarily interested in winning an item, rather than just bidding solely to support the nonprofit. 

Increase your auctions’ accessibility and potential audience by trying out a hybrid auction format. With hybrid auctions, guests will be able to view items and place bids in person at your venue or from the comfort of their own homes. To set up your hybrid auction, you’ll need to: 

For a hybrid auction, ensure your nonprofit has auction software that tracks bids in real-time so both guests at your auction and at home can fairly bid against each other. Plus, with remote auction software, you can continue your hybrid auction for several days, kicking off with an in-person event and then encouraging guests to continue bidding in the following days. 

3. Peer-to-Peer Campaigns

You can incorporate a peer-to-peer fundraising element into almost any fundraiser you have planned. Peer-to-peer fundraising involves recruiting your supporters to volunteer to raise funds on your nonprofit’s behalf, leveraging their personal networks to earn donations from new supporters. 

Here are three steps for launching a peer-to-peer campaign: 

Peer-to-peer campaigns can be especially effective for organizations that already have a large group of regular members, such as schools, teams, and nonprofits with a reliable volunteer base. Encourage your volunteer fundraisers to engage in a bit of friendly competition with one another, while also supporting each other’s efforts to ensure the entire campaign is a team effort. 

4. Matching Gifts

Your supporters can increase the amount of each donation if their employer has a matching gift program. Essentially, when an employee who works for a business with a matching gift program donates to a nonprofit, they can fill out a form to have their employer match their gift. Many matching gift programs have 1:1 matching rates, but some have ratios as high as 1:3. 

Of course, many people are unaware of whether they qualify for a matching gift or not. To make your matching gift program a success, be sure to:

You can also encourage supporters to see if they qualify for a volunteer grant. Like matching gifts, volunteer grants are donations from your supporters’ employers. For volunteer grants, your supporters will need to volunteer a certain number of hours at your nonprofit, then fill out a form to qualify for their program. Just like with matching gifts, be sure to help them uncover their eligibility and help with each step of the application process. 

Coming up with new fundraising ideas can be hard. Fortunately, there are many creative solutions that allow your supporters to help raise funds outside of their routine donations. Explore your options to see which types of fundraisers make the most sense to add to your fundraising calendar. Good luck!

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