Running a nonprofit is exciting and fulfilling but also never easy. If you’re one of the lucky ones who are helping make a difference to the world then you’ll know all about the stress of getting funds. People don’t part easily with their money, no matter how great the cause. Sadly, there are so many causes out there so how do you make yours stand out? The key strategy is to diversify as much as possible all your sources of funds. However, there are also lots of fundraising ideas that can help you get started, including, believe it or not, having fun with a shoe fundraiser.
5 Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits
1- Crowdfunding for special projects
Everyone knows about crowdfunding these days. Don’t be fooled by the hype though because you still need a solid strategy. Also, it only really works for special projects and not as a long-term source of funds.
Crowdfunding involves building a campaign about a particular issue or project and explains why you need funds. There are many different platforms to choose from that offer a range of services for various fees. There are even nonprofit crowdfunding platforms who work with you for shared success.
Overall, crowdfunding is very powerful as long as you have a strong campaign with a marketing strategy and a large network to tap into. Whilst social media is constantly mentioned as the number 1 way to target people this is actually a bit of a misnomer.
In fact, around three quarters of your crowdfunding campaign comes from emails with the rest split between the various social media platforms. There’s nothing stopping you from leveraging other people’s networks though by letting them create a sub crowdfunding activity from your main campaign.
2- Peer-to-peer fundraising
This option overlaps with crowdfunding because you’re basically leveraging other people’s networks. With peer-to-peer though, you can also work with other nonprofits and align your causes to attract more donors.
With peer-to-peer, you’re also asking people to create their own fundraising page to appeal to their network on behalf of your cause. The reason it works is because people are more likely to donate to something run by someone they know. At the end of the day, we are humans who belong to their own tribe that includes the people they like to follow.
3- Corporate Fundraising
Most societies still live in a capitalist structure and so money tends to be with corporates. It’s a great time to target corporates though because many companies are now shifting and trying to be socially responsible.
What easier way to do that than by sponsoring your nonprofit? You simply have to convince them to support yours.
4- Online strategies
- Social media
- Online donations
All nonprofits should be active online. That includes building and segmenting your target audience such that you know what appeals to them. For instance, younger people might enjoy donating as part of an online game. Depending on what your nonprofit does then you can ask them to sponsor a building or a rescued animal, for example.
In this day and age, every nonprofit needs a social media and advertising strategy. Who are you targeting? What message are they going to respond to? How do you appeal to their humanity and emotions? All these questions can be worked out to deliver a strong and results-focused marketing campaign.
Finally, of course you’ll always attract the browsers. Those people who feel they should be doing something to help someone can always stumble across your website. This is a more organic approach but it’s still important. You therefore need to make sure that it’s easy for them to donate on your website. This means making both credit card and PayPal payments available.
5- Shoe Fundraiser
As a slightly different option, there’s always your classic fundraising activities. These range from auctions to events and sport-a-thons. It’s worth remembering how much effort goes into these activities though and unfortunately, often for very little gain.
Nevertheless, a shoe fundraiser is a great way to build awareness and to connect to your local community. The concept is simple because you organize for everyone to donate their shoes. You then receive 1 dollar per pound of shoes in exchange for donating them to a nonprofit. To give you a benchmark, a pound of shoes is roughly equivalent to 2 pairs of shoes.
The great thing about a shoe fundraiser is that you’re also helping the global community. This is because the nonprofit company you work with to pick up your collected shoes will then donate them to micro-entrepreneurs. These tend to be in South American ad Africa, as an example. The aim though is to help them help themselves such that they can actually build a business by selling all your donated shoes.
Final Recommendations for Fundraising for NonProfits
Launching and running a nonprofit is one of the most fulfilling things you’ll ever do. However, don’t forget that it tends to be a lifestyle choice as you try to do your bit to make the world a better place. Part of that means that you’ll constantly be looking for funds. Having said that, don’t be put off because if you have a great cause then funds will follow. You simply need to be organized, passionate and have a strong strategy.