Have you ever stood in line at Starbucks and listened to the orders of others in front of you? If so, you’ve likely noticed that almost every order is different; patrons want coffee made their way, and Starbucks is happy to oblige. Nonprofits are experiencing this same kind of consumer behavior with their constituents: donors don’t want to just write a check anymore, and fundraisers want to fundraise their way. As a result, organizations are creating new fundraising opportunities to meet their constituents’ needs.

Whether someone is running a marathon for one cause or hosting a lemonade stand for another, do-it- yourself (DIY) fundraising campaigns are rapidly expanding revenue opportunities for nonprofits. They aren’t replacing traditional peer-to-peer fundraising events, but they are giving donors and fundraisers more options to make a difference. In response, nonprofits are providing and customizing online fundraising tools. Whether or not your organization has a DIY platform, this article will help define or redefine the way your constituents fundraise for you.

Defining a DIY Fundraising Road Map

The foundation of an online do-it-yourself fundraising campaign includes a website, registration process and fundraising tools. The website provides constituents with information about your campaign, mission and organization. The registration process collects the information you need to cultivate and communicate with your DIY fundraisers. The online fundraising tools give your fundraisers personal fundraising webpages and email tools to solicit donations. Once the foundation is in place, you can expand your campaign in many different directions.

5 Things Every DIY Campaign Should Include

  1. The ability to collect donations online
  2. Guidelines for fundraising for your organization
  3. Branded collateral (e.g., logos, posters, web badges)
  4. How-to guides on fundraising
  5. A staff contact in your organization

Download the 2012 winter issue of the free npENGAGE digital magazine to learn about the two approaches to DIY fundraising.