Any fundraising that takes place outside of your official events
Ex: fundraiser celebrating a birthday by asking for donations in lieu of gifts
Grassroots fundraising pages are independent -- don't fall under an umbrella (official) event
Official fundraiser organized by your nonprofit
Ex: 5K run/walk organized by your nonprofit and added to your nonprofit start page
Fundraising pages are directly linked to the event
Who are your grassroots fundraisers?
Sally and Harry, newlyweds
Bonded over a love of vizslas
Asked their friends and family to donate to the Vizsla Rescue Fund in lieu of wedding gifts
Fundraising potential (estimate):
200 wedding guests invited
1/2 of those wedding guests choose to donate instead of buying a gift
Average wedding gift donation is $150
100 X $150 = $15,000!
Who are your grassroots fundraisers?
Running a marathon in memory of his father, a Vietnam War veteran
Donating any money he raises to the Military Veteran and Family Assistance Foundation
Sent a link to his fundraising page to his family and his father's friends
Why should you care about grassroots fundraising? Donations grassroots fundraisers receive are larger , on average, than donations received by event based fundraisers. Don't believe us? Take a look at these rockstar grassroots fundraisers:
Jodie Nelson , Paddle with Purpose (Keep a Breast Foundation)
Stand-up paddleboard trip from Catalina Island to the California mainland
Reached her fundraising goal of $100,000 in less than 24 hours!
Total raised: $121,260
Joseph D'Amico , Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC-CNI)
McRunner Challenge: ate ONLY McDonald's food for 30 days while training for the L.A. Marathon
Successfully completed the Challenge...and ran a 2:36:14 marathon (that's 5:57 minutes/mile!)
Total raised: $40,159
Types of grassroots events In memory of someone
Commemorates someone close to the fundraiser
When setting up an "In memory of someone" page, the fundraiser will be asked how long he/she would like to keep the page active
Types of grassroots events Sporting
What counts? Walks, runs, bowling, adventure races -- the possibilities are endless!
When setting up a "Sporting" page, the fundraiser will be asked for the name, date and type of his/her event. The system will search for public events listed on FirstGiving near the date provided so that the fundraiser can join it if it exists.
If a public event does not exist for the fundraiser's sporting event, he/she can create it as a grassroots event
Types of grassroots events Personal occasion
If there's reason to celebrate, there's reason to fundraise!
When setting up a "Personal occasion" page, the fundraiser will be asked if the event is an anniversary, birthday, christening, wedding, or "other event"
Types of grassroots events Other
If a fundraiser is raising money in an unconventional way, for example giving up chocolate or growing a beard for a month, he/she can categorize the fundraising page as "other"
When setting up a "Use your imagination" page, the fundraiser will be asked how long he/she would like to keep the page active
Grassroots fundraising strategies
The people who will choose to create a grassroots page for you are committed and motivated to raise money for your organization. Nurturing them is important and can lead to further fundraising down the road.
Check your reports regularly for new grassroots pages - then get in touch with those fundraisers!
Make sure the fundraiser has maximized their fundraising page by entering a personal story about why they are doing this, uploaded a picture (or several pictures via Flickr), and added a Youtube video if they have one.
As an organization, you have connections an individual fundraiser doesn't have, so help them spread the word - media connections are particularly helpful.
Thank your fundraisers - this is particularly important in the case of personal-occasion or In Memory fundraisers, who may not want the public eye, but who do feel a strong connection to your organization
More grassroots fundraising strategies
Encourage grassroots activity between official events, or in lieu of official events should your organization not put them on (or not put them on everywhere you have supporters).
Have faith in your fundraisers - too often, nonprofits assume that no one would want to set up a grassroots page for them, or that it's too hard, and that's not true!
Use your nonprofit start page to give people ideas of reasons to fundraise, and let them know how easy it is - just a few clicks of the mouse.
Your fundraisers are getting donors for you that you may not otherwise have been able to reach, so be sure to hang onto these donors. Customize your thank-you message and reach out to donors after the fact using your nonprofit email tool.
Remember to close the loop with your fundraisers after they have completed their fundraising (or even as they go along, if applicable) - let them know what the funds they have raised are doing.
FAQ about Grassroots Fundraising Q: I accidentally created a grassroots fundraising page when I meant to create a fundraising page linked to an official event. Can you please move it over to the event? A : Yes! However, we cannot move fundraising pages from one official event to another. Also, we cannot transfer donations, but we can refund all of the donations made to the original page so that your donors can re-donate to the correct page. Q: I set my fundraising page to stay active for six months, but I'm doing so well that I want to continue fundraising for another six months. Is it possible to extend my page? A: Absolutely. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org -- make sure you include the email address you use to log into FirstGiving (so that we can find your account/ page), as well as the date you would like to extend your page to. Q: I finished fundraising early and cancelled my fundraising page. Will the donations made to my page still go to the nonprofit? A: As long as your donors did not contact us with a refund request, then yes, the donations made to your page will still be sent to the nonprofit even if your page has been cancelled.
Q & A For more on grassroots fundraising, visit the Success Center or email us at email@example.com