Urgency, Fun, & Accessibility: Elements in Fundraising

Photo by Sam Howzit

On Thursday, we have one of the most exciting events in online fundraising this summer: Twive and Receive (pronounced like Give and Receive). Twive is a 24-hour fundraising marathon where over 200 nonprofits all over the U.S. signed up to be the one organization representing the city they serve. Starting at 12AM Pacific on June 14th, the “doors” will open, and these nonprofits will begin collecting the donations they’d been soliciting for weeks. The top three nonprofits to raise the most at the end of the day will win an additional share of the $30,000 prize.

There are important elements in this competition that nonprofits are using in their fundraising campaigns: urgency, fun, and accessibility. Take these two elements an see how you can incorporate them into your own fundraising.

Sense of Urgency

We’re all busy and we forget to do things sometimes–that’s normal. But when we have a deadline that’s fast approaching, we get an adrenaline rush and begin to crank out the remaining items in that to-do list.

The same sense of urgency works in fundraising campaigns. In giving day events, donors can only make their donation within a certain period of time; in Twive’s case, just 24 hours. The reason is because this tight deadline motivates people to take action; they may only have one shot to make a difference, and feel more motivated to take action in that moment.

Adding a sense of urgency to your campaign helps you stay in your donor’s radar, and makes them feel closer to your fundraising mission as they help you reach your goals.

Gotta Have Fun

Having fun is almost as important as the sense of urgency. People feel good when they do good, especially when they donate. And the way these giving events are set up, people are given the opportunity to engage in friendly competition, motivated by the race and the desire to see their cause win.

Doing good should make you feel good (not guilty or sad) so inserting an element of fun–in appropriate proportions to what your audience will like–can be a great way to win new supporters that will want to engage with you more in other activities. Who said fundraising had to be boring, anyhow?

Being Accessible

The last thing you want to do is put barriers between your donors and the action you need them to take. Clear calls-to-action are important; you want them to easily understand what you’re trying to achieve and what you need them to do to get there. A navigable website and/or donation form are also important; the more you make them click, the chances of them actually going through with it lessen. Having an active presence on social media (where you’re actually talking and responding to their comments) also shows that you’re accessible for any questions they may have.

What other elements would you add to make your fundraising event more engaging?