As fundraising technology has become nonprofit mainstay, fundraisers are adding new strategies to their events and galas. If your team is looking for cutting-edge innovation and engagement, explore a new form of peer-to-peer called based Ambassador Fundraising.
For those that aren’t familiar, peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising harnesses the influence and power of peer networks by engaging supporters to amplify your cause, fundraise, and help you reach a wider donor network.
Ambassador Fundraising takes social fundraising to the next level. It leverages peer fundraising in conjunction with galas, auctions, golf outings, or any type of event. Nonprofits tap “ambassadors” (a.k.a ardent supporters, champions, highly visible supporters) to fundraise leading up to your event.
It’s the perfect way to broaden giving networks, leverage social fundraising, and drive higher proceeds to the bottom line.
So, join us and explore a whole new world of fundraising! This nonprofit guide dives into the world of Ambassador Fundraising, how to get your top supporters on board, and best practices to implement at your next gala or event.
Let’s face it – every event has a lifecycle. After a few years, even the best gala, golf outing, or fundraising campaign needs an injection of creativity and energy.
Enter Ambassador Fundraising, aka the perfect way re-energize events. Tapping your supporters and turning them into active fundraisers with the right tools provides an instant way to grow your networks and drive increased revenue.
With a well thought out Ambassador Fundraising strategy, your nonprofit can:
Ambassador fundraising is a peer-to-peer campaign that mobilizes loyal supporters to conduct personal fundraising on the behalf of your organization. It often takes the form of contests, challenges, campaigns, or team fundraising for your signature event.
Ambassadors are chosen, given social fundraising tools, and turned loose to fundraise. They use individual fundraising pages to secure donations from their social networks and attract supporters to your event.
They fundraise for the months and weeks leading up to your event to raise funds and encourage more people to attend. Then, at your gala, the fundraising culminates with a winning ambassador being selected.
It’s this competitive element that motivates ambassadors and their supporters by generating giving momentum and proceeds, rolling into a signature event. Showcasing an ambassador as the highlight of your gala can really take your event to the next level.
One of the most important keys to success are the ambassadors themselves. Selecting the right ambassadors can be the difference between a fundraising success and coming up short.
Ambassadors should be people of influence, who have strong networks and social clout in your community. They must be outgoing, engaged, and well connected. They can be people who already know your cause, but they don’t have to be.
A well-oiled ambassador fundraiser should have a minimum of three ambassadors competing, but you can tap into more if you have them. For those with large bases, create a group-based ambassador campaign, where teams fundraise, to compete for team glory!
Good places to look for Ambassadors include:
Asking someone to be an ambassador doesn’t have to be daunting. Look for people in your network who have a passion for the mission and values of your organization.
Most of all, think of your ambassador program as an honor – they can create rich traditions and hold community cache. Carry that badge of honor mentality into your ambassador asks.
Next, it’s time to get your Ambassador Fundraising campaign off the ground! Like any campaign, a successful fundraising campaign takes planning and focus, especially when it’s part of a larger event.
Start early to give ambassadors enough time to get up and running on your social fundraising platform. Here are tips to plan out your campaign so there are no questions down the road.
Get creative with what works for your organization. Here are some ideas that other nonprofits have done to utilize Ambassadors:
It’s important to define your contest elements in advance so you can clearly communicate the details to your Ambassadors as well as to the public.
Clear goals are a must for any successful nonprofit fundraising campaign, and Ambassador Fundraising campaigns are no different.
This is when you’ll introduce your ambassadors to the technology they’ll be using and the marketing in place for their campaign.
Preparing Ambassadors at the beginning of the fundraising campaign will arm them with resources and information so they can be amazing advocates for your cause to increase brand awareness and final proceeds on event night.
During your gala or event, it’s all about engagement. You want your attendees (many of whom have most likely donated an ambassador) to learn about the overall fundraising campaign, mission, and connect with your ambassadors.
Ensure ambassadors and their networks are engaged up until the moment your gala or event starts. Add an extra layer of social engagement and competition to your planning.
As with any competition, announcing your winner can be tricky. If you’re announcing the winner at the gala, make sure to congratulate and thank all participating ambassadors for supporting your organization.
If you announced the winner beforehand, still have a moment of public recognition for all of ambassadors at the event. This may be the perfect tine for a live donation appeal.
After the event, celebrate, but keep going! Take the time to execute on a well-thought-out follow-up process and post-event engagement plan.
Start thinking about how to leverage your existing ambassador network and continue the excitement for your cause long into the fundraising year.
Ambassadors have done a lot for your organization and brand, so make sure you go all-out with thank you’s.
Make sure you let attendees, supporters, and donors know how much you raised and what you plan on doing with the ambassador-raised funds.
Celebrate the success of your ambassadors with your team, at your gala, and after the event.
Your gala or event may be over, but now’s your chance to thank your ambassadors and share highlights of your event.
Now onto the fun part! After taking a well-deserved break, start thinking of new and exciting ways to build on your Ambassador Fundraising campaigns for next year’s gala or event.
You made it! Congrats on taking this step in re-energizing your fundraising. Ambassador fundraising has the ability to supercharge your next fundraising campaign.
You’ve taken the first step in Ambassador Fundraising, but the learning process never ends. Get inspired by these additional peer-to-peer and Ambassador Fundraising resources: