5 Ways to Empower Your Crowdsource Fundraisers | npENGAGE

5 Ways to Empower Your Crowdsource Fundraisers

By on May 23, 2012


crowdsource fundraising

Crowdsourcing has become a popular term in recent years, but the word has only been around since 2006.

Its popularity has made the word commonplace when you interact in social networks. It’s also spreading around the fundraising and nonprofit world.

Some people are starting to call it “Crowdsource Fundraising”.

But haven’t we been doing “crowdsourcing” for a little longer than 5 years in the event fundraising space?

I like to think of it as what we “used to” refer to as peer-to-peer fundraising or P2P (you know, used to, like in 2011). It’s when you invite your supporters to reach out to their contacts and spread the message, raising money on your behalf.

Maybe there’s some nuance there, but in general, my take is that we’ve simply given a new name to a long-practiced form of fundraising.

So, how can you enable your peer-to-peer fundraisers to effectively use crowdsourcing as part of their fundraising efforts? Here’s five ideas to make the lives of your fundraisers much simpler while also improving their fundraising effectiveness.

Fundraising Page Badges

Repeat fundraisers bring in more money, more consistently for the cause. In past posts we’ve discussed some ways to create an experience during an event to let these repeat performers know they’re highly valued, but remember that you can achieve this same effect online as well. And you can do it with a simple strategy.

Fundraising badges for repeat fundraisers.

Display these badges on your fundraiser’s personal page so that they can show off to the world. While Heather (shown in image below) may have raised just $100 for the 2012 event, she’s solid gold … actually, a “Double Diamond” fundraiser for Children’s Hospital of Colorado, with over $50,000 and 5 to 9 years of participation in the Courage Classic under her belt.

Event Fundraising Badges

QR Codes

Event Fundraising QR CodesIn her role of IT and Community Marketing Manager at Maine Cancer Foundation, Erlene LeBorgne specializes in developing creative ways to cultivate her community of avid supporters and assist them with their fundraising efforts.

One of the ways Erlene is doing this is by providing top fundraisers with personalized QR codes to use in their promotional fundraising materials (i.e. flyers or offline donation forms).

Donors who scan the QR code with their phone go directly to that fundraiser’s donation page – making it simple for fundraisers to raise funds any where they go.

For more on QR Codes, see also: 

“Trophy Case” Badges

Another way the folks at the Maine Cancer Foundation support their fundraisers is through their  email “Trophy Case”.

Reminiscent of Foursquare badges, trophies are awarded as fundraisers reach new landmarks in participation and fundraising. The trophies can be downloaded and shared through Facebook and on the athlete’s fundraising page.

Event Fundraising Trophy Cases

Email Signatures

Event Fundraising eMail SignaturesEmail signatures allow your fundraisers to tell their story every time they send an email.

These badges, created by our partners Charity Dynamics and Zuri Group, display the participant’s fundraising goal and the amount they have raised to date, along with a prominent call to donate.

This method helps any crowdsource fundraiser display a high level of enthusiasm and dedication to the cause. With more and more volunteer solicitors competing for donated dollars, helping your fundraisers stand out serves them in meaningful ways.

Facebook Covers

The rollout of Facebook Timeline to most Facebook users provides some distinct opportunities to nonprofits to provide cover photo collateral to their enthusiastic supporters.

With the rising popularity of “challenge” events like full and half marathons and triathlons, many volunteers have higher fundraising goals to achieve. Creating a small library of cover photo options takes some minor photo editing skills … and may help these elite fundraisers get an edge.

Event Fundraising Facebook Cover Images
See How to create Facebook Timeline covers for your nonprofit’s supporters to use. While I tend to prefer the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano’s screaming arrow pointing at profile picture, a subtle design like NRDC’s may mean folks use your cover photo for its aesthetic beauty.

See also:



There are a lot of truly creative and special ways to encourage supporters to show their pride in your organization and reward them for their fundraising prowess through websites, email and social media. Should your organization have any questions about the legal implications of allowing your supporters to fly your brand flag, be sure to consult qualified legal counsel.


What else have you seen out in the wild? Are there other creative way’s nonprofit organizations are enabling their peer-to-peer fundraisers to be effective at crowdsourcing?



Kathryn Hall began developing web-based applications in 1996, and in this capacity has worked with leading nonprofits as well as Fortune 500 ecommerce and telecommunications companies. As a web producer, consultant and customer success manager at Blackbaud, she has worked with hundreds of nonprofits, from international charities to local organizations, helping them optimize their use of software, analyze performance, and deploy best practice strategies. When not working, Kathryn enjoys climbing tall buildings, bicycling the Midwest, and traveling the world, with a special emphasis on South Africa. You can reach her on Twitter @KathrynHall.

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