[Editors Note: Over the holidays, in addition to consuming vast quantities of butter and potentially wearing a dangerous sweater or two, the Plenty team spent its time reading fundraising advice from the past year and combing through the numerous advice columns for 2014.
We thought we’d follow tradition and offer you our top five pieces of advice for the year ahead.]
Tip #5: Focus on your fundraisers.
Zero balance participants are nothing new in the world of fundraising, we all know who they are. In peer-to-peer fundraising especially, there is always a lot of talk about zero balance participants. Those are the people who show up, eat your snacks, have some fun and yet don’t do any fundraising. Heck, these people don’t even make a small self-donation. You did ask for a self-donation, right?
Anyway, your zero balance group can be anywhere from 40% – 75% of the people on your event, which can be pretty shocking when you first dive into these numbers. Many organizations start doing the math and figure out how much money they could raise if they could just get this group to give $5. Or even just half of this group. It seems so simple, right? It’s only five bucks.
The truth is, you will never get everyone to donate or raise five dollars. Maybe they are there with a friend, or they just want to run the race, or they paid a registration fee and think that’s enough. Whatever the reason, they aren’t going to make a donation, and you will most likely spend a lot of precious time and resources trying to convince them otherwise.
Instead of making this common mistake, spend that time cultivating the people who have started fundraising. You know they care about your cause because they are already asking their friends for support. And, they know how to fundraise because they are already doing it. Make these participants feel special and appreciated for the money they’ve raised so far. Then, inspire them to set higher goals and reach out to more donors by sharing how this money will make a difference (see Tip #3).
I know it’s hard to let those zero balance people go. Your mission is important and they really should give. But focusing on your fundraisers will raise more for your organization than trying to convince everyone else to give five dollars. And as a bonus, it’s also a lot more fun!