As an advocacy organization, your focus is your cause. It takes hard work to turn community members into ambassadors for your mission.
However, there are other responsibilities your organization must balance with its mission-critical work. While fundraising is a necessary task for advocacy organizations, it can be time-consuming and difficult to keep fresh and exciting for your supporters.
Product fundraisers provide an easy solution.
This fundraising method allows a product provider to do most of the work while your organization sits back and watches the money flow in for your cause. Additionally, it’s a fun way to give your supporters something in return for their donations and convert advocates into donors.
To get you started with product fundraising, we’ve compiled a list of the four best product fundraising tips for advocacy organizations. Let’s get into it!
1. Define your fundraising goals.
It’s important to start off with clear goals that drive your fundraising efforts. These may stem from your overall fundraising strategy or current issues related to your cause.
Following the SMART goal framework will allow you to provide focus to your fundraising campaign.
When you create a SMART goal, you’ll have an easier time tracking goal progress and completion. For example, a good goal may be raising $100,000 by the end of the year through a product fundraiser to help fight food insecurity.
This goal will be more helpful for supporters to gain an understanding of your objectives than simply saying you’re raising money for your cause.
2. Choose a product.
Once your fundraising goals are set, it’s time to pick a fundraising product. Some examples of product types you could sell include:
- Snacks: Who wouldn’t love getting a delicious new snack in return for their donation? ABC Fundraising recommends selling popcorn in particular because you can earn up to a 70% profit. Plus, popcorn is safe for many people with dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free.
- Branded items: In addition to their advocacy work, your supporters can continue sharing your cause by purchasing and wearing branded merchandise. T-shirts, hats, and travel mugs with your organization’s logo on them can provide extra marketing for your mission.
- Discount opportunities: Discount cards allow supporters to save on everyday purchases and contribute to your cause simultaneously. Consider partnering with local vendors to give back to your community.
To help narrow down what you’d like to sell, gather supporters’ feedback through surveys. You can also offer multiple products to cater to different supporters’ preferences.
3. Market your fundraiser.
With the perfect product secured, it’s time to start promoting your fundraiser. Get your supporters excited by introducing the campaign ahead of time. Then, send additional reminders and explanations of how to participate once the fundraiser starts.
It’s best to use a variety of marketing strategies, including:
- Social media: Social media is a great method for generating excitement about your fundraiser. Make sure to show off pictures of the snacks or merchandise you’re selling so supporters can get a sneak peek at what’s available for purchase.
- Website: Your website is one of the best marketing tools at your disposal. Consider creating a new page for your product fundraiser or adding your online store link to an existing high-traffic page.
- Newsletter: Your most engaged supporters are likely also subscribed to your newsletter. Introducing your product fundraiser in your newsletter can ensure that donors know how and where to contribute.
- Google Ads: With the Google Ad Grant program, mission-based organizations can receive $10,000 per month in ad credits to use toward Google Ads. If your organization applies and is approved, you can create ad campaigns geared toward getting people to participate in your product fundraiser.
Another easy way to encourage fundraiser participation is through your supporters. Take advantage of your supporter network and their passion for your cause by asking them to share your online store link with friends and family. That way, you can raise exponentially more to fuel your mission.
4. Track goal progress.
When you center a fundraising campaign around a goal, you’ll want to track the progress of that goal over time. Additionally, you can share this progress with your supporters so they can visualize the impact they’ve made.
A great way to track fundraising goal progress is by using a fundraising thermometer. With your fundraising goal amount at the top, your supporters can watch as you inch closer and closer to that objective. This type of visual is especially effective for end-of-the-year fundraising because it can encourage supporters to help raise the last sliver of donations needed to reach your goal.
If you participate in the Google Ad Grant program, you can also use Google Analytics to track goal progress. While you won’t be able to track donations directly, you can analyze your Google Ads and determine which are most useful for promoting your fundraiser. This exercise will offer key insights into how you should approach fundraiser promotion in the future.
With a product fundraiser, your organization can earn money for your cause in an easy, engaging way. To spend less time worrying about fundraising logistics, reach out to a product fundraising provider for help so you can dedicate even more time to giving back to your cause and your community.