DIY (or do-it-yourself) fundraisers can take on many forms. These supporter started peer-to-peer campaigns can include bake sales, bowl-a-thons, memorial fundraisers, supporter-organized walks, or even campaigns designed to gather charitable donations instead of wedding gifts.
And while DIY fundraising has the potential to be a powerful offering for many nonprofits, understanding how it works and why it works is important to any nonprofit looking to add DIY to their fundraising arsenal.
Map of a DIY fundraising program
DIY fundraising has many components that, when all put together, fit like a puzzle to keep the DIY wheel moving along.The journey all begins with your nonprofit website and your channels of communication with your community. When supporters land on your site, they should be able to easily see that starting a personal fundraiser is an option for supporting your cause. There should be a clear call to action (such as a ‘Start a fundraiser’ button on your website) that links them to your nonprofit DIY landing page.
Once they learn about the program via your nonprofit website, they should be clearly directed to your nonprofit DIY landing page. This is the place where supporters go to learn even more about your DIY program, get inspired, and take the action of starting their own fundraising campaign.
Supporters are also likely to reach your campaign page via email and social links, so making sure that your social communication not only talks about your program, but also links to your nonprofit DIY landing page, is crucial.
Once the supporter decides to take the next step and start their DIY fundraising, they go through the campaign creation process. This experience should intuitively walk your supporter through the necessary steps to create a campaign that’s unique to them, while still supporting your brand and mission.
They are now able to share with the world why they’re so passionate about your cause and what their trying to accomplish with their fundraiser.
And just like that, the DIY puzzle is completed.
But to really get a deep understanding of a successful DIY program, let’s take a more in-depth look at these components. Because everyone likes a deep dive.
The nonprofit DIY landing page
You can think of the nonprofit DIY landing page as the hub of your nonprofit’s DIY program. It’s the place where your supporters will be pointed to from your website and any other communication (social media accounts or email) in order to learn more about the program, start their own fundraisers, and get guidance and inspiration from other fundraisers just like them.How do they get to this page? Well, that relies on you, the nonprofit, to make sure you’re talking about the program on a consistent basis, and that your messaging is aligned across your website, social media channels, and email messaging. For instance, your charity website should ‘advertise’ for your DIY program and have a direct ‘Fundraise’ button that links to your DIY campaign.
Once on your DIY landing page, you should get specific with your supporters about how the program works, the steps they need to take to get started, and share with them what their hard-earned dollars will do for your cause. You could even include some stats about the impact of the dollars raised, or a video about someone who was helped by the program.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re highlighting campaigns on your page to not only show examples for ideas and inspiration, but also alleviate some people’s concerns that running their own personal campaign will be hard work, annoying, or confusing. When you show that others are doing similar campaigns, it helps foster a sense of community and gives your supporter the boost they need to take that next step.
It’s also impactful to highlight the most popular types of DIY campaigns, like birthday, memorial, and wedding fundraisers, as well as point a spotlight on unique fundraisers such as bake sales, bowl-a-thons, or maybe even someone who is successfully growing a beard for your cause.
The fundraising campaign creation process
Once you’ve got a committed fundraiser, they can start creating their own campaign. The fundraiser creation process should be intuitive and frictionless to cut through any concerns or fears they might have.The process should allow them to customize their DIY campaign page to highlight their personal connection to your cause. For instance, they should be able to add a campaign title, their own pictures, a video, and compelling text to help illustrate why they chose to do a fundraising campaign. They should also be able to set a personal fundraising goal in order to have something to strive for and talk about with their network.
As the nonprofit, it will be beneficial if the platform you’re using allows you to prepopulate the branding and color theme, as well as have suggested imagery and a storyline that they can use to bring the whole thing together. This allows the fundraiser to create a unique campaign that’s their own, but also makes sure to keep the integrity of your brand, story, and clarity of mission.Pro tip - You might have supporters who want to start their own ticketed event like a school dinner or spin class fundraiser. Additionally, the ability to create teams for events, such as bowl-a-thons or walks, allows supporters who want a bit more complex of a DIY event to easily take that next step.
Once the fundraiser has completed creating their campaign page, it’s time for them to share. Having a social optimized sharing features built into your platform of choice is a must since this is where almost all of the money they will raise for you will come from. Sharing is proven to increase donations, as well as heighten overall awareness of your organization’s work.
The fundraiser’s experience
The ability for your fundraiser to give updates through the platform to their donors is a great tool that can help to foster a connection between your DIY fundraiser and their supporters, and create excitement and urgency to take action.
The inclusion of social sharing prompts throughout the donor journey is another must-have in order to encourage the friends and family landing on the page to share that they donated, or even their excitement around their friend or family member’s fundraiser. This, again, will lead to more engagement, donations, and awareness.
So there you have it. A map of a DIY program. Once you break it all down, you see how it creates its own little ecosystem that, when nurtured and encouraged, can become a powerful, evergreen part of your overall fundraising programs.