Probably some of the most important questions that begin your fundraising initiative is: How are we going to fundraise? What type of fundraising event or campaign should we host? How will we go about the marketing and planning of our campaign? Albeit creativity, resources—people, time, and your fundraising budget—and scope & scale are important considerations, the most successful campaigns tie into the heart and mission of an organization. This is sometimes called mission driven fundraising, since the organization’s mission is at the heart of their fundraising efforts.
You can see this easily in the reverse as well, when organizations select a non-profit fundraising event that doesn’t align well with their mission. An example of this might be an elementary school that hosts a fundraising raffle of a rifle. They chose the event because someone donated a nice prize, but asking kids to raffle off a gun would surely draw negative attention to your school or PTO’s fundraising efforts.
What Exactly is Mission Driven Fundraising
Fundraising that mirrors your mission aligns the acquisition of your funding and resources with your organization’s most deeply held beliefs and values. Not only can you raise money for your organization and raise awareness for your cause, but when fundraising mirrors your mission, your supporters are more likely to become engaged and supportive of your event. Why? Simply because as stake-holders and supporters, they are dedicated to your mission and values.
Here is one way to keep the idea of mission driven fundraising in mind. The very act of fundraising should in some way be furthering your organization’s mission, not just raising funds (though this doesn’t mean that you discount the importance of raising as much money as possible).
On the contrary, you can discourage your donors and supporters by hosting fundraising events that may seem at odds or in opposition to your cause. You certainly don’t want to do this!
Examples of Mission Driven Fundraising Events
Here are some creative, mission-driven fundraising ideas that we have seen from our clients at DoJiggy:
- Environmental organizations hosting hike-a-thons in beautiful wilderness areas
- A writer’s group hosting a write-a-thon where writers get together and do a cram writing session
- Read-a-thon fundraisers where students raise money for their school or library
- Yoga organizations hosting All Day Yoga events – marathon yoga or sun salutation sessions with various local teachers
- A high school hosting a community serve-a-thon, teaching students to help in their community and supporting their school’s mission of service
- Bike-a-thon events where riders bike to local farms in support of community farming and education
- CSAs or Sustainable Agriculture organizations hosting a Farm to Table dinner
- A film festival hosting a 24 hour movie viewing
- Baseball and softball leagues hosting hit-a-thons
- Animal shelters and rescue organizations hosting Dog Walks
These mission driven fundraising events can be very successful for your non-profit, especially if you include a peer-to-peer or crowdfunding component. Your participants will be engaged and excited about the event and can be encouraged to invite friends and family to donate to your cause.
How Can Your Organization Implement Fundraising that Mirrors your Mission?
Start with the basics to find a fundraising strategy that works for your non-profit:
- You already know what your organization does and why you need to raise money, right? Who will benefit from your fundraising efforts? These are important questions that you should already have a good handle on, but you may not be keeping them in mind when it comes to fundraising.
- Think about your target audience of donors. Your donor base should be a reflection of your organization’s needs and your values. They are the heart of your organization and fundraising efforts. How much can your donors give? Are you looking for major gifts or smaller donations from more donors.
- How will you go about fundraising? What types of communication and outreach efforts will you use? Do you and your team feel good about what you are doing?
- With these ideas in mind, be creative and have fun. The DoJiggy resource center offers more free information on creative fundraising ideas.