Technically a subset of peer-to-peer fundraising, DIY fundraising is one of the fastest growing types of fundraising programs. DIY fundraising does not (and should not) replace your signature events or your capital campaigns – but it is another great option in your fundraising tool kit, and one that younger supporters will expect you to have.
Let’s talk about what it is, it’s benefits, and explore what you can do to help make your DIY program successful.
What is DIY Fundraising?
DIY (Do It Yourself) fundraising is a crowdfunded, online fundraising model that allows your supporters to raise money for you in a way that works for them, regardless of location, scheduling, or other limitations.
Birthday and Memorial DIY fundraisers are very popular, but we’ve also seen successful campaigns around challenges (remember the Ice Bucket Challenge?) and hosted events.
Here’s Why It Works
The most appealing thing about DIY fundraising for supporters is the freedom and creativity it affords. With DIY fundraising, anyone can turn anything into an opportunity to help a favorite nonprofit.
And unlike walk and run events that have a fixed start and end date, DIY fundraising campaigns can carry on in perpetuity, becoming a kind of tradition on their own.
It’s for Everyone
Another reason that DIY fundraising has been so successful is because of its broad appeal. Online fundraising is a great place to reach Millenials, Gen X’ers, and Baby Boomers. While these three groups have a lot of differences in their communication preferences, all three had a strong presence in crowdfunding participation in 2018.
DIY fundraising also allows your supporters to leverage the power of their social network. In addition to helping your supporters be successful, this is great for your organization because it expands your reach beyond your base and puts you in front of the eyes of potentially new supporters.
Because setting up a DIY fundraising campaign is easy, and because it allows your supporters the ability to jump into a campaign at any time, DIY fundraising is a great entry point for first-time fundraisers. We’ve also seen organizations have success in encouraging lapsed peer-to-peer fundraisers to reengage on the DIY fundraising model.
How You Can Help Your DIY Fundraisers Be Successful
While DIY fundraising is easy, there are some additional things that your nonprofit can do to ensure that your DIY fundraisers are set up for success.
Use an Evergreen DIY Model
Some fundraising platforms (like Luminate Online TeamRaiser) only allow for one registration per unique email address, effectively restricting a fundraiser to participation in one event at a time. To work around this limitation, fundraisers that want to fundraise in multiple campaigns concurrently use multiple email addresses. This means that supporters have to continually log in and out of the fundraising platform to move between their campaigns, instead of being able to manage all their activities in one centralized place.
By setting up an evergreen model, you can structure your DIY program in such a way that will allow your supporters to use one email address, and see all their fundraisers in one central dashboard.
The evergreen model also allows you to support these types of campaigns year after year – without the need for annual administrative maintenance.
Since DIY fundraising has a higher retention rate than traditional events, it’s important that that you streamline the process and remove roadblocks to continue to make it easy for your supporters to keep coming back, year after year.
Be a Cheerleader
Your DIY fundraisers are heroes, and you should give them the hero treatment!
Highlight stories of DIY fundraisers on your website, social profiles, and in email campaigns. Interact with them on your social channels and let them know how much you appreciate them. Set up automated milestone and best practices emails to keep them feeling supported and encouraged.
And don’t forget to follow up with them when their campaign ends to thank them for their support, their time, and for sharing your vision with their friends and family.
Lorealle Bishop is a marketing consultant here at Zuri Group. She understands the impact that messaging can have at every touchpoint of the user journey and helps organizations build a communication strategy that reflects their core values and supports their business goals.