Do you ever find your self thinking … “How can I empower my nonprofit supporters to raise money for a cause they love”? I do. In fact it’s something I think about often.

In recent year’s we’ve (at the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties) taken the traditional “event fundraising” or “team fundraising” model and applied it to the more traditional types of fundraising that most nonprofits engage in (i.e. Annual campaign, Capital campaign and Special projects).

Annual Campaign

Mobilize your volunteers to share your cause with their friends and family using a team structure.

Do you have specific times throughout the year when everyone is talking about annual giving? This is the perfect time to create a Friends Asking Friends website to ask your board, campaign chair, staff and volunteers to share why they love your organization with friends and family.

Make sure to use a multichannel approach when you do this. Incorporate the link in your Facebook and Twitter posts and print materials. If you have facilities then make a poster and ask people to visit. Leave the option to make your own page active and see what happens.

Capital Campaign

In an effort to encourage a larger number of people to make gifts to your capital campaign, consider a Friends Asking Friends page to purchase bricks, tiles or a commemorative item.

So often a capital campaign is quite. Then by the community phase ($1,000 and under) you want everyone to know what you are building or planning with your campaign. This is a perfect time to launch a peer-to-peer fundraising initiative through Friends Asking Friends. As part of your campaign you could launch a site that allows all the supporters of your campaign to reach into their networks to generate increased buzz, engagement, and support.

Special Projects

High Schools projects, teens wanting to be active, bake sales, and birthday wishes  are only a few ways you can leverage Friends Asking Friends. We’ve done this for a few projects to allow individuals to share why they love our organization and it’s been a great success.

In just four short weeks a twelve year old raised close to $1,200 through family and friends. All we had to do was think creatively about how to leverage Friends Asking Friends and empower our supporters!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Frank Barry, director of digital marketing at Blackbaud and blogger at npENGAGE, helps nonprofits use the Internet for digital communication, social media, and fundraising so they can focus changing the world. He’s worked with a diverse group of organizations including LIVESTRONG, United Methodist Church, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, ChildFund Int’l, InTouch Ministries, Heifer Int’l, University of Notre Dame and University of Richmond. Along with writing for industry publications like Mashable and Social Media Today, Frank facilitates discussions, presents solo sessions and organizes panels for industry conferences such as NTC, SXSW, BBCon and numerous others. When he’s out and about he enjoys talking to interesting people about how they are changing the world – check out his interviews. Say Hi on Twitter - @franswaa or Google+

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