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The ins, outs and benefits of 'challenge' fundraisers

runners

Sponsored challenges, personal challenges, charity challenges—whichever phrase you choose to use, these fundraiser events are great for your nonprofit to boost donations and create online giving campaigns that speak to the heart. How can you tap into this trend and help support these fundraising 'events' that have the potential to drive donations for your cause?

If executed correctly, a fundraising challenge can be both an epic event and a great way to show how many supporters are willing to raise money for your good cause. Nonprofits will want to pick a unique fundraiser idea that’s doable, but also still difficult, and specifically one that relates to their mission. The nonprofit will then encourage supporters to complete that challenge while raising money for the cause.

The ins and outs of challenge fundraisers

There are many different ways for nonprofits and their supporters to participate in charity challenges. Charity challenges are typically those that are organized and associated with a particular charity or nonprofit. Individuals taking place in these challenges are raising support for that specific charity. Major event challenges allow participants to choose a major event and raise money to both participate in the event and support the charity of their choice. For example, many marathon runners will choose a nonprofit or cause and ask friends and family to support their run by giving donations. Personal challenges allow supporters to host their own events or challenges to raise support for the nonprofit of their choice.

There is often a wide selection of challenge opportunities available to participants, including: physical challenges (such as marathons or cycling), personal challenges (losing weight or growing a beard), overseas mission trips and social or corporate events.

Think of each challenge in two parts: The actual physical challenge that supporters are participating in and the philanthropic challenge of raising money for your cause. While the physical part can be more personalized towards each supporter, there are steps your nonprofit can take to make the philanthropic aspect a little easier.

3 ways to help your supporters participate in challenge fundraisers:

1. Help them create personal websites

Offer a platform linked from your website that allows your challenge participants to create an online fundraising page that can be personalized and that makes it easy for them to raise money from friends and family. These pages are the channels through which your organization can garner donations and tap new networks of supporters; they also give your supporters a platform to share their personal connections to your cause. Optimize these pages for engagement, create clean layouts with easy-to-use features and give them tools to show progress in real-time, such as progress bars.

2. Utilize social media monitoring tools

Take advantage of social media monitoring tools to ‘listen’ for your brand online. Monitor all your channels and retweet content, ‘like’ Facebook posts and re-gram Instagram posts to help spread the word as you see others are raising money on your behalf. Make sure to implement share features on your supporters personal fundraising pages, by adding share buttons. This will provide supporters with easy sharing options and motivate them to share their goals on their own social media accounts.

3. Provide your supporters with content

Provide your supporters with verbiage they can use in emails, social media content and more for reaching out to their friends, family and network. Send your fundraisers general messages that they can use for their different channels, and remind them to personalize certain areas with their own content. Give descriptions of how each message can be used on different channels.

The benefits

Challenge fundraisers offer nonprofit supporters the opportunity to personalize and create their own excitement around raising support for their favorite cause. In many cases, this can all be done with little work on the part of the nonprofit itself. In addition, these challenges can help spread word of your nonprofit to participants’ entire networks of family and friends.

Learn more about how 4aGC can help your nonprofit succeed online.

Image credit

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Since founding 4aGoodCause in 1998, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves - building software that makes a difference in the world. For almost 20 years, Ronald and the 4aGoodCause online fundraising platform have helped raise millions of dollars for nonprofits from Maine to Hawaii. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @4aGC.

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