Individual donors are the main source of charitable giving per the latest Giving USA Annual Report on philanthropy. To understand your donors, how to reach and engage them effectively as we approach the Independence Day we’ve put together some creative ways for you to consider. But before we get started let’s have a quick look at how the art of fundraising has changed and evolved over the years.
First mentions of fundraising are described in the Christian Bible and many other religions too. The focus has always been to connect the donor with the cause. Traditionally fundraising was done by people going door to door, or going around in the streets to raise funds. Fundraising events were also organized to raise money for institutions like churches, schools or charities. But in the new era, the new forms of fundraising are taking over the traditional face-to-face events. Since the introduction of the internet into our daily lives, fundraising has become effectively more efficient and easy now being done online too.
Holding fundraisers around a holiday has always been effective. 4th of July is probably the biggest event in the history of the United States. It is the largest national holiday and the best time for summer fun. Including the Independence Day celebration into your fundraising activity can help interact with your community and engage.
When it comes to your non-profit organization, the joys of the holidays and fundraising can go hand in hand. Leveraging the fact that schools are out and offices are closed and everyone is looking forward to socializing and having some fun, you can be the organizer of that excitement. Those very holiday activities can become your fundraising opportunity.
Here are some easy fundraising ideas to help you start planning your appeal:
The patriotic feeling in the general population is high during the holiday. Lots of people want to show their patriotism by putting up flags at their homes. Your fundraising event can involve a flag sale. Small flags are easy to produce and sell in big numbers.
You can also arrange fun activities for kids to keep them and their parents engaged during the event. You can charge the parents a small fee for the activities, like painting your own flag. You can even turn it into a contest for greater engagement.
This activity is for mostly the older folks, for the purpose of involving people from all age groups. There are many elderly folks who are good donors. These people usually can’t hoist a flag at their homes, on their own. A fundraising activity can be about asking volunteers to help them with putting up the U.S. flag in their homes and yards.
Flag raising can be very useful fundraising activity. It can be done on a subscription basis where a family can pay for the flag, where you can rent not only the flag but also necessary accessories. Right from the flag post to the ropes, you can ask for donations. Training the volunteers in the proper procedure of flag raising is an additional community building opportunity that will pay-off in the long run. Not just for the 4th of July, the flag raising activity can be used all year round, like on Presidents Day, Flag Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day. You can also charge the subscriber on yearly basis and make them members, and provide the service on the quarterly basis or whenever a holiday requires.
With the weather nice and warm we all are looking forward to being outside. So why not organize a run / walk. Any kind of run or walking event done as a community will attract people in crowds. You can have a sponsored run that may attract considerable donations from sponsors.
Capitalizing on the number of people an event like this is likely to attract consider offering snacks and beverages for purchase that will go towards your charitable fund. Working with the neighborhood businesses for additional fundraising is yet another avenue for you to consider. Inviting local artisans to set up booths to sell their art will promote the image of your charity and attract more donations.
Independence Day evokes pride and can result in a exercise of special generosity among certain donors. Keep in mind this unique ‘giving spirit’ as you approach your top 5 donors. Special occasion community dinners or silent auctions will most likely appeal to your high-potential donors.
In Honour Of……
4th of July can be a great day to remember our fallen heroes. Local community heroes can inspire people to come forth and help your cause. Asking people to give in honor of Benjamin Franklin or in honor of Andrew Jackson, is just some examples. Reach out, speak to your community and great things can happen.
Fourth of July themed Party
A themed party can be another way to attract your donors. Everyone loves a good themed party. You can have independence punch/drink, flag goody bags, flag canopy, etc. You can either charge an entry fee for the party or arrange for a costume competition, where people will pay a minimal amount to enter the competition.
Put a fun spin on movie nights. You can host a public film screening of any patriotic film or any other which will be popular with your community. These screenings can be hosted in big public parks to lower the cost of arranging the event. You can also get in touch with a local business with a large warehouse or a space big enough, to provide a venue for your charity event. You can charge for tickets for the movie and as well for the popcorn and other snacks and beverages.
Concerts are always fun and attract a wade demographic. So, consider arranging for a benefit concert. You can invite a few local performers, seek sponsorship from local businesses and make an ask. Staff and venue size are important considerations as you plan for an event like this.
A benefit concert has multiple sources of funds. Selling tickets for the concert, providing beverages and snacks and selling concert/charity-themed t-shirts and merchandise can help in generating revenue. You can also take the performance online and urge the online donors to donate through the online portals.
Any idea you end up going with done correctly will be a good source of fundraising. Publicizing your event correctly is a major factor in the success of your effort.
Use social media advertising to let people know of your event. Social media helps you to reach thousands of people instantly and helps in sending them reminders for attendance and keeps them updated about any changes. Be sure to communicate the objective of your initiative. The more your community knows about you and your plans the more they will participate with true intention and open heart.
You have a variety of options to connect with individuals, raise funds and awareness about your organization and its mission during the holidays. At the end of the day fundraising is about connecting with your supporters, developing a long-term relationship to support your organization. So, wait no more. Plan your event and reach out to individuals!