In recent weeks, I’ve been hearing more and more interest from event fundraisers on providing online tools to support their third-party or Independent Fundraising Events (IFE.) This topic came up earlier this month at the Run Walk Ride Roundtable discussions in Chicago. You can read more about that discussion along with some tips on how to get your own IFE brand started [defunct link removed] from my friend Nancy Palo on the Friends Asking Amy blog [defunct link removed].
Traditionally, most orgs have only provided support to these types of events using offline channels alone. Typically, the fundraising group signs an agreement, gets permission to use the org’s name/logo in promotional materials and maybe if the event is large enough, maybe a staffer would show up to accept the large check.
As online fundraising has grown in popularity and as traditional run walk ride events have adopted sophisticated online fundraising tools like TeamRaiser or Friends Asking Friends, we’ve seen a trend where third-party fundraisers are now requesting (or demanding) access to similar online fundraising tools to support their independent fundraising event campaigns. When done right, these types of online campaigns can provide a nice complement (and a revenue stream) to your overall peer-to-peer fundraising strategy by providing individuals who are not interested in your traditional staff-driven events with alternative ways to support your organization by hosting their own style of fundraiser.
WaterCan is a Canadian organization committed to fighting global poverty by providing access to clean water, basic sanitation and hygene education. They worked with Cathexis Partners to develop an extremely visually compelling website that promotes several types of IFEs; highlights include a 25th Anniversary Campaign (pictured), Kilimanjaro Climbing Event, Donate Your Special Day and (my personal favorite) the Board Challenge. If publically displaying a photo of your board members next to their fundraising totals doesn’t motivate them to fundraise, I’m not sure what will.
There are so many things I love about this website that it’s hard to only pick 2-3 to share with you… so I limited myself to 4.
- Stunning Graphic Design– This site is beautiful and easy to navigate. They have successfully used compelling and moving photography paired with limited text to create a positive, easy user experience that communicates their mission in a loving, respectful way.
- Smart Use of Fundraising Stats – I love how they have displayed their fundraising statistics to include not only their campaign goals and total campaign fundraising, but also how many people have been helped by that fundraising total. Tying fundraising back to the mission of your organization is smart way to motivate your fundraisers. As if it wasn’t smart enough to connect fundraising to their mission, WaterCan has also created a sense of urgency with these stats by including how many days are remaining in the campaign.
- Clear Calls to Action – This site has visually distinguished their calls to action by using bold fonts on yellow buttons/backgrounds. It’s obvious on the screen at a glance where I should click to Donate, Get Involve and Share on Social Media. They use these same visual cues for the secondary calls to action, which appear below the fold and drive me toward the other fundraising opportunities on the site or to an imbedded federal petition.
- What? Did she say federal petition?! Oh yes!! – These guys have done a great job of incorporating the spirit their mission into their website by imbedding an advocacy widget into their fundraising website that asks fundraisers if they would like petition the Canadian government to increase funding for Canada’s foreign water projects. Providing your fundraisers with options like this furthers your mission and deepens the relationships that your fundraisers or donors will have to your org leading to more involvement (and fundraising) in the future. In my eyes, it’s a win-win for you and them!
Interested in learning more about third-party fundraising / Independent Fundraising Events? Check out our whitepaper on How to Raise More Money with IFEs.