Coaching Your First-Time Event Fundraisers Towards Success! | npENGAGE

Coaching Your First-Time Event Fundraisers Towards Success!

By on Jul 19, 2013


(Part 3…the Finale!)

Last month, I kicked off my blog series on how to coach your first-time fundraisers towards success.  I highlighted important tips on Step 1: Get your participants to access their fundraising tools.  A few weeks later, we talked about Step 2: Coaching your participants on how to use their fundraising tools to make them rock star fundraisers for your organization.  Today, I’m going to bring this blog series to a close with talking about the third step which involves how to keep the momentum high with your first-time event fundraisers in the months and weeks leading up to your event.

Step 3:  Keep your fundraisers ENGAGED & FOCUSED!

Whether you are using Teamraiser or Friends Asking Friends to power your event fundraising, it is critical to keep your event fundraisers excited so they stay committed and driven to raise donations for your cause.  This should involve a good balance between communicating fundraising messaging and mission messaging to keep your participants focused on achieving, or better yet, surpassing, their event goals for your organization.

So, what are some ways to keep things fun and exciting for your fundraising peeps?

1.  Weekly (or bi-weekly) Call-to-Actions:  A call-to-action that supports your event fundraising goal, should be included in every email that is sent out to your fundraisers leading up to your event.  Whether it is the lead message of your email, or secondary, it is important to include a call-to-action that is easy to identify and understand, to keep activity front and center with your participants.

Examples of such call-to-action statements include:

  • Take 10 to send 10! (Take 10 mins to send 10 emails)
  • Spread the Word! (Share a mission-related message with 5 people… i.e. warning signs for heart attack/stroke)

2.  Frequent Recognition:   Hold drawings on a recurring basis that coincide with those calls-to-actions, so there is an incentive for your fundraisers to follow-through.  For example, ‘For all those who send 10 or more emails today, will be entered into a drawing to win a gift card for a free tank of gas!’

3.  Mission sharing:  When I am fundraising for an event, while I appreciate getting coaching tips on how to be a successful fundraiser, it means just as much for me to receive an email with a message from a survivor or an inspiring video clip that tells the story of how the dollars raised will further the cause.  Some examples that are near and dear to my heart include:  American Heart Association’s Jump Rope For Heart, Make a Wish Foundation’s wish stories, and see below for an awesome passion letter from a fifth grader on her experience with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Kids Walk For a Cure:

JDRF Kids Walk passion statement

 4.  Social sharing: We live in an era when social media is driving how people communicate and inspire others with their network.  Both TeamRaiser and Friends Asking Friends allow for accessing social sharing tools that organizations can configure to provide some creative and meaningful ways to recognize milestones achieved by your event fundraisers.

 5.  ‘Oh, you are sooooo close’ email:  For those fundraisers who are so close to their fundraising goal, but have not reached it yet, send those folks an alert email informing them that they are so close and just need to send out a few more emails to hit their goal.  Sometimes, a friendly reminder is just what they need to get them over the hump!

I hope you take advantage of integrating some of these ideas into your communications with your fundraising peeps.  If you have any others, please share…I would love to hear about them!

Here are a couple of other blogs from my fellow blogger friends and fundraising experts that share awesome tips on how to write engaging communications with your audiences…

Why don’t we tell more stories in our fundraising messaging, by blogger Amy Braiterman

My favorite 2012 marketing campaign, by past blogger Miriam Kagan



Deepa Karani, a senior solutions consultant at Blackbaud, consults with organizations to grow their peer-to-peer fundraising programs using Blackbaud strategy and technical solutions.  She has 13 years of experience in fundraising, event management, and volunteer management in the nonprofit sector. Prior to Blackbaud, Deepa served as a national consultant for the American Heart Association and propelled one of the largest national youth service programs to online fundraising success by driving fundraising best practices with the premier technology solution, TeamRaiser.  She has a Masters of Business Administration degree from University of Texas at Dallas and works remotely from her home office in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas.

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