In today’s hyper-connected, digital world, incorporating social giving in your peer-to-peer strategy can make or break fundraising success – especially for nonprofits trying to innovate and grow supporter engagement.
We know from recent OneCause research that today’s donors:
So how do you bring all these needs and ideas together?
Peer-to-Peer DIY fundraising, of course!
Many national level nonprofits are looking for new ways to reach untapped segments and engage existing donors through support-driven campaigns. These do-it-yourself fundraisers can help dramatically grow your fundraising impact, at scale, without overburdening local chapters.
That’s the beauty of DIY (Do It Yourself), third-party, and support-driven campaigns. Your nonprofit can harness the creativity and personalized passion of supporters, helping them fundraise their way, without the heavy burden of managing campaigns.
The best part – these campaigns, if done right can, be turn-key, presenting nonprofits with easy solutions to raise more and reach more.
Learn the ins-and-outs of DIY peer-to-peer and how you can leverage it to grow your fundraising and attract new supporters today.
This informative and lively guide will share strategies for planning and executing third-party fundraisers that any national nonprofit can use.
Let’s dive in! We’ll cover all things DIY fundraising, including:
DIY fundraising is a strategy in which supporters create personal fundraising pages to raise money on behalf of your cause. These campaigns can be spun up for birthdays, weddings, graduations, tributes (in honor of others) and memorials, and personal challenges (fitness, activities, personal goals, etc.). The possibilities are endless!
The difference between a regular peer-to-peer campaign and DIY fundraising (and why DIY fundraising is so great) is that rather than being tied to the specific timeframe or event, supporters can spin up a fundraising page anytime they want.
Participants can also fundraise in multiple ways using the same campaign and participant page. One participant can donate their birthday, host a bake sale, and complete a personal challenge all in one campaign. The culmination of their total fundraising impact shows in one place. This provides evergreen fundraising opportunities for you and your supporters.
At OneCause, we know fundraising is important 365 days a year. That’s why we are helping nonprofits tap into DIY fundraising. Supporters can create their own campaigns, channeling their personal passions and networks into fundraising action. They set the fundraising goal, timeframe, and theme/activity.
DIY campaigns might be:
Nonprofits have always known that the more personal an ask, the more likely that supporter will be to donate. According to the recent OneCause Giving Experience Study, 51 percent of survey respondents were motivated to give to a cause because they cared about the person who asked them to donate. What a HUGE opportunity for nonprofits to reach and engage new donors.
You may have already seen a DIY fundraising campaign online before, with supporters creating their own campaigns on Facebook, GoFundMe, etc. Why not have all the campaigns benefitting your cause in one place? Doing so would allow your organization to:
The OneCause Peer-to-Peer fundraising software allows fundraisers to customize their pages by adding their own stories, photos, and videos.
Let’s dive into a few more benefits of DIY fundraising.
There are several major benefits to DIY peer-based fundraising campaigns for both nonprofits and donors alike. If you’re on the fence about planning a DIY supporter campaign, here are a few top benefits to keep in mind.
DIY Fundraising campaigns boost engagement by providing a fun, interactive way for supporters to get involved with your cause. With a DIY campaign, donors can see a different side of fundraising by actively engaging with a cause they care about and doing it via an activity or campaign idea they create. Making the entire giving experience more personal, more connected, and more fun!
By the end of one DIY fundraising campaign, you’ll have:
Now, imagine if you are able to replicate that among your top donors, engaged volunteers, and board members. Talk about the potential for BIG impact!
More traditional peer-to-peer fundraising models funnel all engagement through a single outlet, in this case your campaign page. This can limit your ability to grow your donor base.
DIY Fundraising, on the other hand, allows your supporters to share their personal story about why they’re passionate about your cause, create their own campaigns and third-party events, and drive donations for your cause. With their support, your nonprofit can:
A DIY supporter-driven fundraising campaign isn’t just easy to launch – it can be highly cost-effective, too!
With DIY fundraising, your supporters take on most of the heavy lifting. They choose a campaign type, create their fundraising page, and blast it out to their networks. All your team needs to do is help bring visibility to it! This makes DIY a turn-key fundraising idea that your national nonprofit can use to scale across chapters, affiliates, and regions.
Given its universal appeal (donors can personalize their campaign or events) and wide reach, DIY fundraising is one of the most efficient strategies available today (when it’s backed up with the right tools and tactics.)
Here are key features to keep in mind as you explore DIY fundraising:
To keep the fundraising process easy for your supporters, you’ll need the right peer-to-peer software to help build your nonprofit’s DIY strategy.
At OneCause, we’ve worked with countless nonprofits to support their DIY fundraising efforts, so we’ve seen firsthand the impact that a well-executed strategy can have for both on-the-ground and virtual fundraising. We’ll dig into top DIY fundraising ideas and examples of successful campaigns later on. But for now, let’s break down how to leverage DIY fundraising into four steps:
As a National nonprofit organization, you likely have chapters or affiliates at the local level through the country or regionally. The first step before getting started is to define your strategy.
The means defining how you will roll out your new DIY fundraising program at the local level. Ask your team to discuss and determine:
Taking time to answer these macro questions will help ensure alignment and create a strategic framework that your team can follow to begin planning your DIY fundraising program.
Just as your cause, your mission, and your donors are all unique so too should be your DIY fundraising strategy! The first step in exploring DIY is figuring out who your supporters are and what they are interested in.
Why? Because the beauty of DIY fundraising is the ability for your supporters to fundraise the way they want. Your job is to tap into their passions and use those to connect them to your mission and raise funds for your cause.
Let them get creative! Bonus points if they can relate their fundraising campaign back to your cause. For example, a supporter for an animal shelter could host a Yappy Hour fundraiser, inviting friends and family to bring their four-legged friend over for an event benefitting the shelter.
While birthday fundraisers are one of the most popular types, the breadth of DIY fundraising far surpasses that. Donors today are using DIY for:
The list goes on and on because the opportunities are endless! Which means your first step in implementing DIY fundraising is two-fold.
Creating this framework will do wonders for your DIY fundraising strategy. Then what’s next? Get the right technology and the right people
Donors, supporters, and volunteers are online and connected 24/7/365. So, when it comes to DIY fundraising, choosing a solution that is easy, promotes engagement, and has built-in social tools drives success.
But with all the options out there, deciding what to invest in can be intimidating. Here are a few questions to consider:
Did you know? According to our 2021 Giving Experience Study, ease is the number one factor when deciding to participate in a fundraising campaign.
A successful DIY fundraising campaign goes beyond the transaction and focuses on the giving experience. Nonprofits need a fundraising software that will allow donors to give quickly and easily while also providing nonprofits with a secure, easy-to-use platform.
So, be sure to invest in a peer-to-peer fundraising solution that extends ease beyond donations to all aspects of the online giving experience. This will ensure you not only attract supporters to fundraise, but keep them engaged, motivated (with rewards and gamification), and on the fast-track to fundraising success.
The “who” is just as important as the “what” and the “how”! Before you get too far in the planning process for implementing your DIY fundraising strategy, be sure to determine who will oversee the different components.
It’s a good best practice to select a program director who oversees your DIY fundraising, manages the big picture, and assigns roles and responsibilities to other staff and volunteers. Having a leader that’s head of planning means that other team members will have someone to direct questions to and they can keep your team on the right path to accomplish your goals.
If you’re just introducing DIY to your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy, it’s a good idea to consider the many facets of a DIY campaign and delegate a person (or a few people) to tackle specific aspects, such as:
One of the many benefits of DIY fundraising, though, is that most of the heavy lifting is on your supporters! Just be sure you have someone, or some people, overseeing the creation and promotion of DIY campaigns (and always say ‘Thank you!’).
Once you have a strong strategy and the people and technology to help you implement, it’s time to start building out your DIY fundraising! Here’s the thing… if you spend enough time and effort upfront, your supporters will return the favor in tenfold. Let’s dive into how.
Think about it this way: just 1 day of setting up a DIY fundraising program can turn into 365 days of supporters fundraising for you.
Or think of DIY fundraisers as employees for your nonprofit who work for free… 24 hours a day, 375 days a year. You have the people who are committed to the success of your mission. If you engage and empower them, they’ll evolve from donors to champions for your cause!
So, take the time to:
Let’s dive into some tips, tricks, and keys to success.
When setting up your DIY Fundraising program, you’ll want to find a balance between being structured enough that your supporters’ campaigns will be successful and open enough to allow your supporters to make their campaign their own.
After all, the best part about DIY fundraising is the ability for supporters to fundraise their way.
In this ‘Build’ phase, you’ll want to focus your efforts on your website and your fundraising platform. Follow these top tips to ensure your success:
By taking the time to make your website and fundraising platform fun and easy, you not only help your supporters raise more money and reach more donors, but you also make them want to do another campaign in the future!
After setting up your DIY program, set up your supporters for success! To ensure their campaign goes off without a hitch, introduce your supporters to the technology they’ll be using and the marketing for their campaign.
PRO TIP: This can all be done in a short video on your website or a one pager. Choose whatever option your organization is more comfortable with and consider how your donors would best respond to this information – written out or in video format.
To further help your DIY fundraising participants feel empowered and encouraged, be sure to set them up for success and provide support throughout their campaign.
PRO TIP: Here’s what you should think about including in your toolkit
Preparing your supporters before their fundraising campaign arms them with the resources and information they need to be amazing advocates for your cause and reach their fundraising goals.
Getting the word out on your DIY fundraising program is critical. And, if done right, it can give your nonprofit the chance to try creative and innovative strategies to find new donors and hit big goals.
Unlike the lesson from “Field of Dreams,” just because a DIY fundraising program is built, doesn’t mean that contributors will come or that donations will flood in. To be a success, DIY needs to be marketed.
As technology evolves, the ways in which we connect do as well. Because of this, you’ll be best served by using a multi-channel marketing strategy. Let’s break it down by:
Outbound promotion campaigns include most of your traditional marketing channels to help you “push out” organization generated communications.
Having a good outbound campaign is the first step to launching your DIY fundraising program and hitting fundraising goals.
Just remember, DIY fundraising success lies in your ability to harness social networks and attract new donors, so outbound promotion is key. These include:
While these channels might seem basic, they’re highly effective in garnering exposure, attracting supporters, and bringing in new fundraisers for your cause.
A broad outbound strategy will help you reach new donors and foster strong relationships with current audiences. It also enables you to create positive awareness for your virtual event – and let’s face it, with so many distractions these days, every cause needs a way to stand out.
Your website is your donors’ go-to place for information about your cause and how to show their support. DIY fundraising is arguably one of the BEST ways to do so – so let it shine on the homepage of your website!
Make sure the opportunity for DIY fundraising is:
PRO TIP: Get a few loyal donors or active volunteers to walk through your site, ask questions, and call out improvements.
Think about highlighting a new DIY campaign on your website each month – maybe as a blog or featured video! That way it sparks interest in other supporters, shows them what’s possible with DIY, and makes them want to get involved as well.
Nonprofits can engage individuals in a way that brands cannot because they have a much easier time tapping into their supporters’ emotions. To effectively communicate with your target audience about the power of DIY fundraising, ensure your social media posts leverage one or more of the following “Five E’s of Engagement”:
Social media can supercharge your DIY fundraising program. Post consistently, leverage the 5 E’s of Engagement, and you’ll be good to go!
Once you have gone through the steps of concept, build, and promote, your work is not over yet. It’s time for the final step…engage!
DIY Fundraising is your opportunity to show donors the impact they can have when they help you in new and different ways. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by!
If your organization has the capacity, consider these options to show your gratitude:
In the OneCause Social Donor Study, we found that while 29% of donors said that it was important to receive a thank you from an organization, only 13% heard back from the organization they were involved in.
Thank you’s are an easy and highly effective way to drive deeper engagement and cultivate year-round connection beyond just the transaction of fundraising and giving. So get to thanking!
When you show your gratitude, you emphasize to them that they are an important part of your nonprofit’s community and your mission and it makes it more likely that they will want to keep creating new campaigns, sharing your mission, and raising money for your cause.
We learn best by seeing what others do – it’s a fact!
See how real nonprofits are using OneCause’s Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Solution for their DIY fundraising campaigns to stand out, maximize reach, and inspire online giving.
Canine Companions is leading the service dog industry so their clients and their dogs can live with greater independence.
The organization provides service dogs to adults, children and veterans with disabilities and facility dogs to professionals working in healthcare, criminal justice and educational settings.
To increase their impact, Canine Companions introduced DIY fundraising to their supporters, encouraging them to host a walk/run, barbeque, dog wash or dedicating their birthday or anniversary for donations.
Why it works:
Our favorite part is the Frequently Asked Questions tab that breaks down questions by registration, technology, and matching gift questions.
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is a volunteer-fueled organization dedicated to finding cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and improving the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases.
To help move their mission forward, the foundation is empowering their supporters to ‘Fundraise Your Way’ by donating their day or hosting an event.
First, supporters are called to get creative and choose a fundraising idea that’s personal to their purpose and passions. Then, they’re encouraged to spread the word, invite friends, and raise money.
Why it works:
Alberta Cancer Foundation invests in programs and research programs based on their potential to lead to progress in the areas of earlier detection, better prevention, improved treatment, and quality of life thanks to the help of their generous donors.
On the organization’s website under ‘Other Ways to Give’ supporters are encouraged to Create Their Own Event.
Alberta Cancer Foundation breaks it down into 5 simple steps:
By making it easy, and providing important resources along the way, including an event handbook and fundraising toolkits, supporters feel prepared and empowered to fundraise their way and support the worthy cause.