DIY Fundraising Best Practices: What Every Nonprofit Needs to Know

|9 min read Nonprofit Fundraising

Do-it-yourself (DIY) fundraising has grown in popularity over the years. Organizations can use this fundraising method to ramp up growth. In this article, we’ll cover essential nonprofit DIY fundraising best practices, along with the basics of what you need to know to get started. We’ll also outline everything you need to look for in a fundraising platform so your organization knows exactly which features you’ll be required to have to make a DIY program successful.

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What is DIY fundraising and why should your nonprofit use it?

DIY fundraising is a type of peer-to-peer fundraising that allows your community of supporters to raise money on behalf of your nonprofit by starting an online fundraiser of their own. Supporters have the flexibility to start a fundraising campaign or create an event on their own at any time—creating something that is completely personal to them.

How is DIY fundraising different from regular peer-to-peer fundraising?

In peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, the nonprofit organizes the specifics, like the start and end date. For example, fundraising for an upcoming marathon would be considered DIY fundraising. However, with DIY fundraising, there doesn’t need to be an event with a set time and place. Instead, supporters can create their fundraiser at a time that works best for them and it can run as long as they choose.

DIY fundraising platform features

As you search for a platform, look for these platform features. A platform that offers these features will help your organization implement DIY fundraising best practices correctly and help you succeed.

Easy to navigate landing pages

You can think of the nonprofit DIY landing page as the hub of your nonprofit’s DIY program.  The landing page should be a place where people can learn about the program, your organization, and start a fundraiser.

Simple ideas to make your landing page pop:

  • Be specific with your supporters about how the program works, the steps they need to take to get started, and how their donations will help your cause.
  • Consider including some stats about the impact of the dollars raised, or a video about someone who was helped by the program.
    Highlight fundraiser examples to inspire ideas and alleviate concerns about running their own. When you show that others are running similar fundraisers, it helps foster a sense of community and gives your supporters the boost they need to take that next step.
  • You may also want to show the different types of DIY fundraisers, such as birthday fundraisers, wedding fundraisers, or other types of unique DIY ideas.

Intuitive fundraiser creation process

The fundraiser creation process should be intuitive and frictionless. The creation flow should allow supporters to customize their DIY fundraiser with things like creating a fundraiser title, adding photos and videos. It should also give them the ability to write a fundraiser story in their own words. They should also be able to set a personal fundraising goal in order to have something to strive for and talk about with their network.

Your nonprofit should also ensure your platform has customization features to help you stay on-brand. This allows supporters to create a unique fundraiser that’s their own, but also makes sure to keep the integrity of your brand, story, and mission.

Optimized sharing features

Once the fundraiser is created, supporters will need to share it. Having social sharing features is a must since this is really how a fundraiser garners support and donations. If you’re using a platform that does not have optimal sharing features, you’re putting your supporters at a huge disadvantage. Another thing to consider is keeping your extended network engaged. This involves updating them on the status of the fundraiser and getting them excited about a cause. Be sure to select a platform that allows supporters to post updates as they move through their fundraising journey.

DIY fundraising tips every nonprofit should know

Take a look at the following DIY fundraising tips to help amplify the fundraising efforts of all your supporters.

Encourage different types of fundraisers

The most common DIY fundraisers that we see are centered around a personal occasion, such as a birthday, wedding, or a memorial fundraiser to honor someone who has passed away. However, don’t limit your supporters to just these types of campaigns and help them get creative with new ideas. Ask your supporters to start fundraisers for a personal challenge, like someone pledging to climb a mountain or cycle a distance in exchange for donations, while others may be connected to a larger event, like a marathon. Offer examples of other people who have done creative fundraisers so supporters don’t shy away from deviating from the norm.

Leverage people already involved with your organization

It’s hard to predict which of your supporters will do best with DIY because every supporter is different. Typically, however, supporters who are really engaged with a nonprofit or have a direct connection to the cause find greater success with DIY fundraising. Think about your volunteers or people who already donate to your organization. These same people may be looking for more ways to help a cause they’re clearly already invested in. Ask these individuals to start a fundraiser and share it with their extended network.

Use branded fundraisers only

Brand voice and tone are highly important in spreading your message, achieving your mission, and creating passionate advocates for your cause. When you host your DIY fundraising efforts on a platform that allows you to control the brand and theming, you have a powerful tool to help you reach your fundraising goal. You can set things like colors, logos, default photos, and default text for every person who creates a fundraiser as part of your program. Your supporters can always add additional photos and text to make the story completely their own, building out the personalization of their fundraiser. Avoid using a platform that does not allow this level of customization, as it could hurt the long-term success of your DIY efforts.

How can GoFundMe Charity help your DIY fundraising strategy?

At GoFundMe Charity, we’ve helped some of the largest nonprofits in the world, like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the American Cancer Society adopt and run successful DIY fundraising campaigns. We’ve done this by creating a suite of features designed to make DIY fundraising as easy as possible.

A simple start-up process

With our frictionless fundraiser creation process that is mobile-optimized, your supporters will not waste any time on a clunky start-up process. Supporters can seamlessly set up, create, and share with the world the fundraiser they created for your nonprofit.

Social sharing features

We believe that social sharing is the newest fundraising currency, and we know that when someone shares a fundraiser on social media, it leads to more donations. The easy ability to share also increases awareness for the fundraiser, your organization, and the cause being supported.

Complete control over your brand

When your supporters start a fundraiser through your DIY program on GoFundMe Charity, they have a certain level of control. They decide when they want to start their fundraisers and how they go about doing it. This level of flexibility and creativity is imperative to sparking some of the most unique ways to fundraise for your cause.

This doesn’t mean that you should give up all your control, though. With other platforms, supporters may be creating fundraisers with inconsistent branding. With GoFundMe Charity, you have full control over the branding, color, and overall theme that is displayed on these individual DIY fundraisers.

You decide where the money goes

When you use GoFundMe Charity to power your DIY fundraising program, you can decide which initiatives your nonprofit fundraisers support through their donations, thanks to customizable options that designate how donations get accounted for. With our premium financial coding feature, you have the ability to codify fundraisers and donations based on your nonprofit’s active campaigns, projects, or initiatives. You can choose to funnel the money raised into ongoing initiatives or urgent projects, such as disaster relief. This coding can be sorted, filtered, or synced by using our seamless Salesforce integration, or with your own CRM, for deeper segmentation.

Campaign updates and messaging at your fingertips

We understand how important it is for you to communicate with your fundraisers. That’s why we created messaging capabilities within the platform that allow you to do just that. Additionally, anyone setting up a fundraiser can message their donors with text, pictures, and video. They can reach out to donors when they are close to hitting their goal to encourage more donations, or they can send thank-you notes to donors. They can even message about the value of sharing the fundraiser in order to increase awareness and donations.

Mobile-first design

A large percentage of donations are now generated on mobile, so having a platform that is designed mobile-first is key. GoFundMe Charity’s entire optimized social sharing experience—from DIY fundraiser creation to donation checkout—is proven to increase awareness and drive more donations. A platform optimized for mobile devices is highly important to the success of any nonprofit fundraiser.

Use our DIY fundraising best practices to raise more money

With no subscription costs, contracts, or platform fees, GoFundMe Charity is designed to help all nonprofits. For nonprofits that are looking to embrace DIY fundraising, our platform offers everything they might need to help supporters launch new fundraisers. If your nonprofit is searching for a way to capitalize on the growing trend of DIY fundraising, get started today with GoFundMe Charity and ensure you’re employing all the right tools to succeed.

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About Rosa Hernández