February 2, 2023

3 Unique Marketing Ideas for Your Fundraising Event

Featured image for “3 Unique Marketing Ideas for Your Fundraising Event”

In order to drive crowds to your fundraising event, your nonprofit has to get creative. After all, the success of your event depends on how many people attend and give to your important cause. If you don’t have a strong marketing strategy in place, it’ll be much more difficult to maximize attendance and earn a high return on your investment. 

Technology has opened up a variety of marketing opportunities for organizations. It’s easier today than ever to draw new audiences towards your cause, build connections with existing supporters, and motivate people to give through leveraging technology.

Whether you’re hosting an in-person, virtual, or hybrid event, engaging marketing ideas can give you the momentum you need to boost attendance and revenue. In this article, we’ll walk you through three unique marketing ideas to take your fundraising event to the next level: 

  • Create a text message marketing campaign
  • Develop a social media contest
  • Encourage peer-to-peer recruiting

An innovative marketing strategy can help you grow your nonprofit’s reach and make your next fundraising event the most successful one yet. Let’s begin. 

Create a text message marketing campaign

Bring attention to your fundraising event through the power of text messaging. Your supporters are already spending most of their time on their phones, so meet them where they are and create hype around your event with inspiring texts.

Tatango’s guide to nonprofit text messaging recommends including the following elements in your messages:

  • An overview of the event. List the date, time, and location of your event or how supporters will access it if it’s online. You’ll also want to describe the event type and what supporters can expect from attending, including perks like catering or live entertainment.
  • The event’s purpose. Are you raising money to support a new project, buy supplies for the community, or to generate revenue for your general fundraising campaign? Explain to supporters exactly how their in-person, online, and text-to-give donations will be used so they understand the link between their contributions and tangible impact in the community.
  • Impactful visuals. If you’ve held this event in the past, share images from the last time you hosted it to give supporters a better idea of what they can expect. You can also include graphic designs or photos that demonstrate the important work your nonprofit does, such as by highlighting constituents who received support from your organization.

To set up your text messaging campaign, you’ll need to work with a reliable platform with fundraising experience. Do your research to partner with a text messaging service that offers segmentation, automation, and other key features so you can make your campaign as impactful as possible. 

Develop a social media contest

If your organization wants to expand its reach to new audiences, especially younger generations, social media is the perfect way to promote your event.

Use the following steps to design your social media contest:

  • Consider your audience. Are you targeting millennials and older generations? Or, is your nonprofit focused on reaching out to Generation Z? Consider your target audience and where they’re most likely to see your content. For example, while Facebook is popular among older generations, younger generations are more likely to be spending time on TikTok or Instagram.
  • Decide on your contest. Choose a relevant contest that will help get the word out about your organization’s fundraising event. For example, you could ask supporters to post a short video explaining why they’re attending your event and supporting your mission. Then, the people or event teams who referred the most new registrants by a certain date earn a prize. Once supporters post, everyone in their network will learn about your organization’s upcoming fundraising event, allowing you to drive more awareness and registrations.
  • Create a catchy hashtag. Adding a hashtag to your social media posts can help your organization make sure its content is being seen by its target audience. Create a memorable hashtag related to your mission so people who are already interested in your cause can learn more about your nonprofit and its fundraising event. Encourage your supporters to use this same hashtag in their contest posts.

If you’re running your social media contest on Facebook, consider using Facebook’s lookalike audiences feature. This segmentation tool helps you find new people that are likely to be interested in supporting your nonprofit because they share similar characteristics with your existing supporters. 

To further attract new audiences, your nonprofit should also recommend that supporters include links to your nonprofit’s event registration page in their caption or their social media biography so their friends and family members can easily sign up right on their mobile devices. Create and provide a template to make this step easy for them. 

New supporters may not be following your nonprofit’s social media accounts, so to promote your social media contest, provide directions in your email newsletter or text messaging campaign with links to your accounts. 

Encourage peer-to-peer recruiting 

Tap your nonprofits’ loyal supporters and turn them into active recruiters for your upcoming event. With peer-to-peer recruiting, followers of your organization will market your upcoming event among their personal networks so you can reach brand new audiences. By giving supporters the tools and support they need to spread the word about your upcoming event, you’ll quickly see your registration numbers, and revenue, grow. 

One of the most effective peer-to-peer marketing strategies is text messaging. With the help of an advanced text messaging platform, you can send supporters a link that will automatically generate pre-composed messages advertising your event. Then, all supporters have to do is type in the contacts that they want to share this message with and hit send. 

Another great way to leverage peer-to-peer marketing is through social media reposts. Post highly engaging content, such as graphic designs that outline the basic logistics and purpose behind your event, and encourage supporters to repost it on their social media accounts along with a mobile-friendly registration link. You can even gamify this strategy by giving a prize to the person that receives the most engagement on their repost. 

A strong nonprofit marketing strategy is exactly what your organization needs to maximize support for its fundraising events. After all, you’ve already done the hard work of planning your event—now, you just need to make sure that you have a thriving support base eager to attend. 

Marketing your event doesn’t have to be difficult! Leverage tools like a texting service or email provider to bring these marketing ideas to life and drive amazing results for your fundraising event. Good luck, and happy fundraising!