10 DIY fundraising questions answered

on September 05, 2018

DIY fundraising (or do-it-yourself) fundraising is one of the most exciting topics in the nonprofit community right now — in fact, we’ve already written Five. Whole. Posts. About. It. It’s exciting due to some of the advantages nonprofits are gaining with DIY (namely being able to set it and forget it, and that DIY fundraising can act as “found money” for them).

But because DIY fundraising is still a new concept for many, there are a lot of questions that surround it, from people who have never heard of DIY fundraising to nonprofit development staff who are thinking about working it into their larger peer-to-peer fundraising strategy.

So today, we’re diving into the most commonly asked questions about DIY fundraising so you can learn why do-it-yourself fundraising could be a game changer for nonprofits.inBlog_1_DIY1. What is DIY fundraising?

DIY fundraising is a type of peer-to-peer fundraising that allows your community of supporters to raise money on behalf of your nonprofit by starting an online fundraiser of their own. The best part? They have the flexibility to start a fundraising campaign or create an event on their own at any time — creating something that is completely personal to them. Supporters can get super creative, and support you in a way that works best for them at any time they want.

2. What does DIY fundraising look like?inBlog_2_MapofDIY

An average DIY fundraising program has many components that fit together like puzzle pieces — 1. An introduction to the DIY program on your nonprofit website, 2. A DIY landing page where supporters can go to learn, get inspired, and take action, 3. An open peer-to-peer fundraising or event platform that allows supporters to create their own DIY campaign, and 4. Social amplification that allows your DIY fundraisers to share their pages, stories, and passion with the world.

To get a deeper understanding of what a successful DIY program looks like, check out our map of the essential components of a DIY program.

3. How is DIY fundraising different from regular peer-to-peer fundraising?

Typically with peer-to-peer fundraising events, the nonprofit is organizing the overall event, usually with a start date and end date for the campaign. For example, fundraising for an upcoming marathon, or a giving day fundraiser. But with DIY fundraising, there doesn’t need to be an event with a set ‘time and place.’ Instead, they can create their fundraising campaign at a time that works best for them, and have it last as long as they choose. This allows them to get creative, which can make all the difference for success.

4. What are some examples of DIY fundraising campaigns my supporters might embrace?

The most common type of DIY fundraisers that we see are centered around a personal occasion — such as a birthday or a wedding — or in memory of someone who was connected to a particular cause. Other types of DIY fundraisers might be an individual challenge, like someone pledging to climb a mountain or cycle a distance in exchange for donations, while others may be connected to a larger event, like a marathon.

The best part about DIY is that there are no restrictions — your supporters can make their event as big, small, simple, or complex as they want.

5. What kind of supporters have the most success with DIY?

It’s hard to predict which of your supporters will do best with DIY, because every supporter is different with different reasons for fundraising. But typically, we have found that supporters who are really engaged with a nonprofit or have a direct connection to the cause find greater success with DIY fundraising.


DIY is also a great option for supporters who already volunteer for your nonprofit or donate, and are asking how they can do more to support your cause.

6. So you’re saying if we build a DIY program, people will just start fundraising?

Not exactly. While DIY fundraisers require significantly less time to start, maintain, host, and run than other DIY programs, there is still work to be done in terms of recruiting and providing support of their efforts.

It’s important that your nonprofit has some clear direction on how you plan to recruit and sustain a growing DIY community before you get started. It also alleviates a ton of stress and work when you use an online fundraising platform like CrowdRise by GoFundMe, with a history of  hosting successful DIY programs, as the ease-of-use of a well designed platform allows your supporters to do most of the work for you.

7. Will starting a DIY program take me away from my other fundraising initiatives?

No — and this is one of the main reasons why this type of fundraising has become something interesting for small and large nonprofits. DIY can act as a new fundraising channel, largely untapped, to add incremental dollars to the mix. Plus, these fundraisers don’t take money or time away from your other initiatives, or cannibalize a holiday campaign or gala.

8. How do I get my board on board?

DIY fundraising does requires a commitment that is aligned within the organization, from bottom to top. So to make sure that your board not only understands the benefits and potential, but supports them, make sure you take the time to educate your board on the 101 of DIY, and even ask them to kick off your program with DIY fundraisers of their own.

9. It’s great that supporters get to make the mission their own, but how do I make sure my brand is protected?

We know how important brand voice and tone is when it comes to spreading your message, achieving your mission, and creating passionate advocates and donors. When you host your DIY program on CrowdRise, you’re able to control the brand and theming that gets applied to your DIY fundraisers’ pages. You can set things like colors, logos, default photos, and default text for every person who creates a fundraiser as part of your program. Your fundraisers can always add additional photos and text to make the story completely their own, building out the personalization of their campaign.

10. Why should I consider CrowdRise by GoFundMe for my DIY program?

CrowdRise was built with a fundraising-first mentality, and includes the essential features that you need to make your DIY program a success, including brand control, social fundraising, mobile optimization, event ticketing, and more. With over $5 billion in donations processed and 1 million+ campaigns launched, we are the clear leader in social fundraising.

We think of our DIY solution like a ‘white-labeled’ version of GoFundMe, with all campaigns benefiting your organization.

Want to learn more about how CrowdRise can help you kick off your nonprofit DIY fundraising program?

Gary Wohlfeill

Gary Wohlfeill is the Director of Marketing at CrowdRise. He works with partners to develop highly engaging fundraising campaigns, and leads the marketing team in developing the CrowdRise brand. Gary has been named as having the “3rd best haircut of people under 6 feet tall at CrowdRise" and hopes one day to slip to 4th.