Yes. That’s me in the picture. I promised our donors that I would dress up as Iron Man if we reached our goal, and I went all out: mask, gloves that glow, and I even grew out my “Tony Stark” goatee (just kidding). For the past three years now, my husband (Glenn) and I have participated in a walk/run benefit for our favorite local nonprofit. We’ve gone from raising $1,000 our first year to almost $3,200 this year. For those who have run/walk/bike events, you’re probably looking for ways to help your participants boost their pledges. You’re in luck; I’m about to share three of our superhero secrets to raising more money:
Superheroes are Super Motivating
We make a deal with our sponsors: if we make our goal, we’ll dress up as superheroes. It’s surprisingly effective. I don’t know if it’s because we have a lot of Marvel fans or if our donors just want to see our team in tights. Either way, our donors love it, and now we’ve gotten other participants to dress up with us! Having your participants dress up as something fun (the cast of Gilligan’s island, characters from Mario Kart, or U.S. presidents), motivates their friends and family to give just to see ridiculous pictures of them.
It’s all about the Memes
For those who don’t know what a meme is, it’s a humorous picture which people put their own text to. These can be a great way to publicize your fundraising efforts on Facebook. Here are some examples:
(I posted this after we reached our goal but were still encouraging people to give.)
(Yes, I had a few people sponsor me to STOP the memes. All in good humor, of course.)
Using memes are nice because 1) they’re funny, and people respond to humor and 2) they show up in people’s feeds. The newsfeed is chock full of pictures, links, and cat videos. Plain text updates just get buried, so it’s nice to have a picture to highlight your status update.
Ode to the Donor
We also offer prizes to our top sponsors. This year, our top donor earned a real-life Portal cake (Reference from the video game Portal. “The cake is a lie!” is a famous line from it.), our second highest won an antique silver bowl, and third place got a Beowulf-style epic poem written in their honor (we’re English majors; we’ve got to use our skills somewhere!). It taps into people’s competitive spirit and gives donors tangible satisfaction for donating.
Of course, you don’t want to overlook real fundraising methods–relationship fundraising and donor cultivation. But, these tricks help your participants make the fundraising fun and the event memorable for their donors. We have several friends who look forward to our superhero pictures every year, and we’ve even gotten a few to participate because of it. Making events fun is the name of the game, and who knew tights would be so motivating?
Ready to assemble some superheroes? Dickerson-Bakker & Associates will give you strategies for making your event memorable. Contact us today.