Fundraising Tip #22: Offer a Prize to Your Donors (Because Sometimes Donors Need a Little Extra Motivation)posted on 08/10/2009 by Erica Trzeciak
One fundraising strategy that many of our users have found really successful is offering prizes to their donors to create a little extra incentive to donate. Often times, this can be great way to reel in potential donors who are sitting on the fence about donating. (i.e. those people who may have overlooked your emails in the past or may not have donated otherwise).
Although you many think this tactic too closely teeters on the border of bribing, the reality is that in most successful fundraisers, people donate for a number of different reasons. Sometimes people donate because they feel really connected to your cause. Sometimes they donate just because they want to support you as a friend. And then other times, people donate because they want to win a prize.
If it helps, think about it this way: you are fundraising for a great cause, your friends want to help you reach your goal, and someone along the way gets an iPod, gift card, etc. I’d say it’s a win-win-win situation all around!
So, here’s how to create your promotion:
- Inform your contact list: Send out an initial email/Facebook message to your contact list informing them that anyone who donates over a certain amount will be entered into a raffle for an ipod or any cool thing you have lying around the house (autographed tissue, extra pair of moon-shoes, just a couple examples). Make sure to follow up with subsequent reminders as the promotion moves along to keep people interested.
- Create a sense of urgency. People are more likely to donate when there is a sense of urgency, so to help get donations coming in you should structure your promotion within a short time frame or on a first come first serve basis.
- Time period: Anyone who donates within a certain time period (e.g. two weeks) is entered into a raffle to win the prize
- First come, first serve: The first X amount of people that donate (e.g. first 25 or first 50) will be entered to win the prize.
Timing of the campaign
- As far as when to begin such a campaign, it’s probably best to wait until your first or second round of donors have made donations- this being your closest friends and family first, then all your other circles of friends, co-workers, former dog-walkers, etc. When the donations start to slow down and you think you have received all the donations you will get from these people (like when you know its time to take the bag of popcorn out of the microwave because there are 5 seconds between each POP), it’s a great time to start this little campaign.
Remember to have fun with it.
- The strategy above is just one example. But there are many ways to go about implementing a prize promotion and you will have to find a way for it to fit your fundraiser and personalize it. If you’re real hard up for an idea or the funds to back up a good prize, simply offer your services. If you’re a great photographer, offer to do a family photo shoot for free; maybe an oil change if you’re mechanically inclined, or something as simple as an extra hand around the house. Be creative and make it work for your fundraiser and your friends. You never know who will turn around and surprise you.
**Please note: Each state has different rules regarding raffles, so please check your state’s regulations on fundraising raffles before you decide to do this. GiveForward is not a non-profit organization and does not hold responsibility for individual raffles.