Why Your Past Power Fundraisers Are Key to Your Future Success
You’ve recently closed out an incredibly successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. You hit your overall goal in part because of the dedicated supporters evangelizing your mission to their networks, bringing in donations left and right.
Looking ahead, you’ll need to plan how you can recreate this kind of traction, passion, and success for your next campaign.
One of the best places to start is with successful fundraisers from your previous campaign. Identify who crushed their fundraising goals, invite them to fundraise for you again, and empower them to build off their previous success.
This is the exact situation one of our account executives, Jeff Strnad, found himself in when fundraising for an organization called Watts of Love. We sat down with him to discuss how they reengaged him, and how your organization might replicate these efforts.
Find Your Loyal Fans
Everything starts with discovering your cause champions: your powerhouse fundraisers. A great place to look for them is in previous campaigns. Who raised the most money, mobilized their networks successfully, or brought in the most new donors?
Without a doubt, you want to retain all of your past fundraisers and supporters. However, you should also personally invite your champions to fundraise again for your future campaigns. They’re already familiar with your organization and mission, and you know they can effectively mobilize their networks.
Jeff was identified as a power fundraiser by Watts of Love for a few reasons, chief among them that he was a fan of their work. He was also adept at funneling the inspiration he derived from the organization’s story and attracting potential new donors.
After he heard Watts of Love’s story, he set up a fundraising page for them to complement a separate half marathon he already planned to run. He spread it around to his networks, built in a creative ask, and raised just over $1,000.
“My appeal was simple: ask people for $13 donations. It lined up almost perfectly with the 13.1 mile distance of the half marathon. Not only that, it’s also the cost of one solar powered light from Watts of Love. What was interesting is that people ended up giving $25, $50, and even $100 donations because of the way I framed the language around my ask.
The ask reads: “$13 gives one family light. Light = Hope.”
While you’ll blast your entire community to participate in your next campaign, reach out to your power fundraisers—among your other dedicated supporters—during the soft launch. This is the 1 to 2 week period before you broadcast your campaign to the wider public. Make them feel like a special group that is central to your campaign success.
When you get these people fundraising, you’ll be able to build momentum and have progress to show when your campaign becomes public.
Make It Personal
One way to help fundraisers feel appreciated, and ultimately make your message feel personal, is to call them. That’s what Watts of Love did when they reached out to Jeff.
“They knew I was a big fan of their work, and they just asked if I wanted to fundraise for them again. I said yes. That was that, and I got to work immediately.”
The second campaign was for a mission trip to hand-deliver solar lights to villagers in the Philippines. Anyone who brought in more than $3,000 got a spot on the trip.
Knowing that Watts of Love wanted him to come back reignited in Jeff a zeal for their mission: he was committed to seeing their impact with his own two eyes. He also knew that he would have to design a strong campaign.
“I didn’t just copy and paste some details my first campaign. Instead, I rebuilt the whole thing. Anyone who donated more than $50 was going to get a personal thank you from the family that receives the lights.”
When all was said and done, Jeff exceeded the $3,000 mark and secured his spot to go on the trip. He tripled his fundraising totals from one campaign to the next, and he delivered a top tier incentive for his donors.
He also delivered a top tier incentive for his donors.
“I took photos with all the families onsite, holding up the cards with their lights before sending them out to my donors. People said it was the coolest thing they’ve ever gotten from supporting a campaign.”
Maybe your organization can’t host an overseas mission trip as an incentive. Still, it’s always worth personally reaching out to your powerhouse fundraisers, inviting them back to fundraise, and letting them know that they are a core driver of your organization’s success.
Keep the Fire Burning
Reengaging with past fundraisers, and inviting them to participate in another campaign, is a huge vote of confidence. You’re telling them they’re the best of the best.
And while this may light a fire inside them to crush fundraising goals, you need to do more to add fuel to this fire. Equip them with the knowledge and tools to draw in as many donors as possible.
Watts of Love allocated time for sessions with Jeff, and the other fundraisers, to ensure their pages were effective at appealing to broad audiences. Specifically, the organization:
- Hosted conference calls to give fundraising tips and best practices
- Facilitated group brainstorm sessions with fundraisers on creative page design
- Built slideshows with step-by-step instructions to help people get pages up and running
- Sent out PDF documents with extra support tips and FAQs
“We would discuss with Watts of Love, and with each other, how everyone was customizing their pages to make the story of these villagers their own. We learned how to expertly build our pages for maximum reach and engagement within our personal networks.
In addition to what Watts of Love did, you could also:
- Provide email templates that describe your mission and fundraising efforts
- Give fundraisers branded images and pre-written social media copy to share
- Unveil incentives for your top individual and team fundraisers
Hard Work Pays Off
Aside from tripling his amount raised, what makes Jeff such a strong example of all this in action is the engagement he had on his second campaign. He brought in 70 donors total, but about 95 percent of them had never heard of Watts of Love before coming across Jeff’s campaign.
He learned a valuable lesson about why some people choose to give:
“People give to the causes that the people they care about, care about.”
When you mobilize and reengage fundraisers, you increase your chances of acquiring new donors and expanding your reach. And for organizations looking to reengage with powerhouse fundraisers, or for anybody fundraising in general, Jeff has one final piece of advice:
“You can’t be afraid to ask. We find, every day, that when we empower people to tell their story and support causes in creative ways, they’re able to make a huge impact.