Summer contests to get participants fundraising | npENGAGE

Summer contests to get participants fundraising

By on Jul 13, 2011


If you’re managing a fall event, it’s a great time to start fundraising contests. But, instead of the typical raise $100 this week and be entered into a drawing to win a prize, how about trying something different?

I’m a huge fan of contests, because who doesn’t like a little competition or the opportunity to win a prize. So, here’s my new take on contests. Instead of asking participants to raise a certain amount ask them to complete a series of tasks. What do I mean by tasks? How about in your next email, ask participants to send 5 emails? While this is not an outright fundraising ask, it will result in dollars raised.

When it comes to fundraising, what we’re really trying to do is get participants to take action. For some raising $100 or $200 may seem daunting, but sending 5 emails is something most everyone can do. But, what’s really great about task based contests is you’re encouraging participants to use online tools. We know that participants who use online tools raise six times more than non-users.
Everyone thinks fundraising is difficult, but once an individual sees how easy it is to send emails and then receives their first donation, they’ll want to do more.

You can track the number of emails send by, simply running a Participant Detail report in Friends Asking Friends and checking the check box for “# of emails sent”.

What other task based contests can you run? How about update your facebook status today or this week? In your communications be sure to provide participants with directions on how to update their facebook status from their MY HQ. Make it even easier for participants and give them a sample update. For example: Did you know kids get Arthritis too? Check out how I’m moving to find a cure: link to personal page.
Just like with email you can track facebook status updates sent by simply running a report and checking the box for “Facebook Message Sent”.

Remember: participants are not professional fundraisers, so always include directions, tips for success and share with them why this task is important.


Amy Braiterman, principal strategy consultant at Blackbaud, supports customers with their peer-to-peer fundraising events with a process she refers to as “data-driven strategy.” Amy’s data driven strategy analyzes how effective event participants are using online fundraising tools and takes those results to develop an event fundraising plan. Prior to joining Blackbaud, Amy earned her fundraising stripes managing events for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Association and Share Our Strength. She shares her fundraising know how here on npENGAGE, by hosting educational webinars and speaking at customer conferences

Comments (2)

  • Spratt says:

    Is the “update their facebook status from their MY HQ” function available in all FAF events?

    • Amy Braiterman says:

      Hello – It is. Are you currently using FAF?  If so, login into your account and go to the Website Checklist under the Add-On sections select Participant HQ Settings.  Then you just have to check the box to enable Facebook
      and Twitter. That’s all your have to do. Now, your participants can send tweets and status updates.

      You can also report on their activity.  Be sure and let them they can customize the message as they’d like, but let them know to keep the link provided you can track activity.  You can report on how many tweets and status updates sent, you can also report on conversion rates.  I think there’s even more.


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