Many nonprofit organizations host fundraising events to raise money for their cause. But what your organization may not realize is that the type of fundraiser you choose to host says a lot about your brand and your organization. Therefore, when planning your fundraisers, in addition to accomplishing your financial goals, also consider how your fundraiser can help you communicate your mission and strengthen awareness of your brand and cause.
Choose a Fundraiser In-Line with Your Brand Positioning
When selecting the type of fundraiser you will host, the best place to start is by looking at the core of your business. What is the mission of your organization and the message you are trying to communicate? How can you create an online fundraising campaign that will help you spread awareness of your brand and cause, appeal to your target market and supporters, while helping you accomplish your financial goals? One idea is to host a unique fundraising event that directly ties into the mission of your organization.
Here are a couple quick examples:
- An organization raising money for the homeless organizes a walk-a-thon event variation such as a “serve-a-thon” where participants raise pledges in support of helping those less fortunate (serving food at a homeless shelter, sewing blankets for homeless, etc.)
- An Environmental Organization hosts a “hike-a-thon / trail clean-up” fundraising event. This type of fundraiser allows the organization to raise money for their cause while communicating the core mission of their brand by cleaning up the environment.
Keep in mind that hosting a unique event isn’t only a great way to strengthen your brand positioning by connecting your message to your fundraising event, but it’s also a great way to differentiate yourself. After all, nonprofits, schools and community organizations host fundraisers year-round. Rather than being pigeonholed into the same category of fundraiser that everyone else is…go out on a limb! Do something that differentiates your organization so you receive attention from media and donations from current supporters and community members.
Seek Like-Minded Brands for Sponsorships
If you are considering reaching out to local businesses to sponsor your fundraising event, be sure to consider the impact the partnership will have on your brand. You will want to reach out to like-minded companies that share similar values and reach similar customers.
The environmental organization we mentioned above, hosts a hike-a-ton / trail clean up event in an effort to raise funds in support of programs to clean up local trails. When seeking sponsors, the organization should look for companies that also value conservation—organizations that invest in programs to lighten their footprint on the environment. If they were to partner with a company that produced mass amounts of catalogs and did not source sustainable paper production or encourage recycling, this could create a conflicting message.
Share Your Vision with Participants & Volunteers
Be sure to clearly explain your mission and reason for the fundraising event to all who are involved with the campaign. Participants and volunteers become the champions of your brand, and their actions reflect positively or negatively on your brand. Participants are the ones reaching out to friends and family to solicit online donations, and in doing so…they are telling your brand story. Not only do you want to be sure they are educated on your brand values and cause of the fundraiser, but you’ll also want to be sure they have the fundraising tools and materials they need to solicit donations with tact. Similarly, volunteers working your event become the “face” of your organization. These people are the ones having direct contact with customers, donors, potential supporters, and the local community. Be sure they are educated, well-versed, and able to represent your brand in a positive light.
For more useful fundraising resources and helpful tips, visit DoJiggy’s fundraising resource center.