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9 Valentine’s Day Fundraisers to Inspire Your Nonprofit

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By Robert Carnes

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Published February 2, 2022 Reading Time: 6 minutes

While it doesn’t rival holiday powerhouses like Christmas or Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day is still one of the top consumer-spending holidays in the United States. An estimated $21.8 billion was spent on Valentine’s Day in 2021—a number that continues to increase every year.

Imagine the impact even just a portion of that money could have on nonprofits worldwide. While February isn’t typically considered a top month for giving, encouraging donors to spread the love through a contribution to your Valentine’s Day fundraiser could change that.

Below we break down some Valentine’s Day fundraising opportunities your nonprofit should consider this February.

1. Launch a Love-Themed Fundraising Campaign

Encourage those celebrating Valentine’s Day to make a donation to your organization on behalf of someone they love, instead of spending their money on material gifts like chocolate and flowers.

Couples spend an average of $165 per person for Valentine’s Day gifts, so securing even a small portion of that for your nonprofit could make a meaningful impact.

Be sure supporters are aware of this donation opportunity. Here are some simple ways to spread the word:

  • Create a customized landing page on your website for Valentine’s Day donations
  • Write a blog post about the impact a Valentine’s Day donation could make on your organization this season
  • Craft a personalized email appeal for existing donors about the opportunity to give
  • Record a video message from your leadership team or employees explaining why Valentine’s Day is a unique opportunity to support your nonprofit
  • Share bite-sized pieces of that video message on social media
  • Design valentine-themed graphics that can be used across all channels
  • Encourage your team to spread the word online and with their networks to raise awareness of this unique way to show love

A multi-channel marketing approach gets your campaign in front of more donors. Start by identifying which platforms are most effective in reaching your unique audience, then brainstorm what content you plan to share leading up to February 14. It’s important to keep your audience demographics in mind when crafting your marketing narrative.

2. Encourage Donors to Send eCards on Classy

Classy’s online giving platform simplifies the process of making a donation in honor or memory of someone you love. If a donor chooses to dedicate their gift, they can immediately send a virtual card to the honoree to notify them that a donation was made in their name.

Once you’ve created your eCard templates using a design platform like Canva or Adobe Illustrator, simply upload them to your campaign. Donors can select their favorite card and pass it along to their loved one during the donation process. Not only does this provide a more personal donor experience, but it also introduces your organization to new potential supporters.

To save you time, we created four packs of Valentine’s Day eCards that will be sure to ignite the giving spirit. Upload one or more of these templates to your Classy campaign to give donors immediate access to your designs.

Pack 1

Valentine’s Day eCards

Pack 2

Valentine’s Day eCards

Pack 3

ecard template

Pack 4

ecard template

Your nonprofit could also send these eCards to donors, partners, and volunteers to spread the love and thank them for their support. Donor recognition and appreciation are key to retention.

3. Partner with Local Florists or Restaurants on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day presents an extremely lucrative opportunity for florists, candy shops, and restaurants. Tap into the money flooding these local businesses by establishing mutually-beneficial partnerships.

These local companies are likely busy during the week of Valentine’s Day, but your partnership could help them stand out among the competition. By promoting the partnership with your nonprofit network, you’re helping to increase their business and therefore increase the amount of proceeds your organization can collect.

Alternatively, you could include a small card on each flower bouquet that shares a little about your charity or encourage local supporters to order a special menu item from participating restaurants that raises money directly for your organization.

4. Organize a Heart-Healthy 5K

Valentine’s Day is intrinsically linked with the heart. This is great news for nonprofits since community walks or races are some of the most popular fundraising events.

This is a big advantage for heart-related charities who are especially interested in promoting cardiovascular health and awareness, but endurance events can be hosted by any nonprofit looking to bring their community together for a common goal.

Encourage friends, family, and couples to run together to enjoy some quality time. Consider inviting attendees to dress in red clothing or their favorite Cupid costume to boost morale, or give out flower bouquets to the winners of the race.

5. Write Love Letters to Supporters

Striking the right balance of direct appeals and messages of love and gratitude is particularly important for Valentine’s Day. In addition to your fundraising ask, write some letters of appreciation to current donors, sponsors, and volunteers to let them know they’re valued.

These messages could be sent in the form of physical mail, personalized emails, or quick videos. Regardless of what you choose, the point is to show your supporters that you care. Donors who feel valued are more likely to continue coming back to your organization.

6. Promote Gift Matching

Finding a match is a prominent theme on Valentine’s Day, so why not carry that theme into your fundraising strategy?

Promote gift matching by reminding supporters how they can amplify their impact by doubling their donation through an employer. Eighty-four percent of donors are more likely to give if a match is offered, and 1 in 3 donors will give more if their donation is matched.

Keep in mind that 38% of people shop for Valentine’s Day gifts online, so online donations are a good place to focus your fundraising efforts.

7. Host a Date Night Event

In case you don’t already have a fundraising event scheduled in February, your nonprofit could host one built around Valentine’s Day.

There are a number of directions this could go:

  • Romantic date night for couples
  • Sweetheart dance for your younger donors
  • Singles night for those looking for love

Your nonprofit could also create events that entice the entire family, like a craft night to make your own valentines or a romantic comedy movie marathon.

To boost fundraising levels, you could sell tickets to the event, run a silent auction, sell flowers during the evening, or (in the case of a singles event) auction off dates with eligible bachelors and bachelorettes.

Consider using a platform like Classy Live to host your virtual, in-person, or hybrid event to make the online experience both memorable and engaging for all.

8. Launch a Fundraising Competition Between Local Schools

Since candy, cards, and flowers are the most popular gift for Valentine’s Day, you could partner with local schools to sell these items in exchange for a donation.

The school that raises the most money could receive a Valentine’s Day-themed dance, candy gift baskets, or an invitation to your nonprofit’s next big event.

9. Sell Valentine’s Day Telegrams

In exchange for donations above a certain level, you could send a special Valentine’s Day video to your donors’ loved ones. Ask your staff and volunteers to record personalized messages, like Cameo, or a recording of your team singing a love song.

Be sure to plan these videos in advance. Have clear instructions for how to record each one, with particular details about backgrounds and lighting. Decide where you’ll upload these videos to ensure they’re mobile-friendly and easily accessible, and don’t be afraid to have some fun and get creative.

Power Your Mission With a Valentine’s Day Fundraiser

Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to re-engage year-end donors and capitalize on the fervor of a new year. While many organizations are still ironing out the final details of their annual strategy, taking advantage of this holiday could help you establish steady momentum heading into spring.

To get a head start on Spring fundraising success, explore these 25 Creative Spring Fundraising Ideas.

Posted in Fundraising

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