Unique nonprofit fundraising strategies that raised large sums of money

With a little creativity, the nonprofit fundraising efforts of charitable organizations can be wildly successful.
Date Published
10/14/2014

Nonprofit fundraising can be extremely effective when innovation and creativity are used in both the planning and execution stages of a campaign. Convincing people to support a particular cause or the efforts of a charitable organization isn’t an easy task.

Every individual is unique in the respect that they have different motivation when it comes to supporting a 501(c)(3) organization financially. In order to overcome this, those tasked with seeing that a nonprofit achieves its foundational mission must implement outside-the-box strategies that will attract a wide range of donors and encourage them to give gifts in both large and small amounts. One way that this can be accomplished is through the use of a celebrity endorser.

These individuals have the star power, reach and the platform that can help a charity far exceed its nonprofit fundraising goals. Although getting a celebrity on board can be difficult, the power of their voices is unmistakable.

Miley Cyrus helps raise awareness and money for My Friend’s Place
The former Disney star has become a lightning rod of late for what has been described as outlandish behavior. However, her celebrity status has been solidified and she used it to help more people become aware of the plight of homeless youths living in Hollywood, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

The superstar recently attended the 2014 MTV Video Music with Jesse Helt, a 22-year-old homeless man who received help from My Friend’s Place, a nonprofit based in Hollywood that provides services such as donating clothing and feeding hot meals to teens and children. After winning an award, Cyrus sent Helms to accept it on her behalf and he took the opportunity to educate those in attendance, as well as TV viewers about the large number of homeless young people living in the U.S.

From there, Cyrus helped launch an online fundraising campaign to help My Friend’s Place generate donations and the project was a rousing success. In four weeks, the organization was able to raise more than $200,000.

“These young people are her age, and what she said to me is, ‘I realize I have a stage, and people are listening,'” Heather Carmichael, who serves as the executive director of My Friend’s Place, told the Chronicle. “From our perspective, she has done an amazing job creating conversation nationally, maybe even internationally.”

The power of a celebrity spokesperson cannot be understated. Nonprofits, charities and foundations should take any opportunity to align themselves with those whose lives are in the public spotlight whenever possible. However, in addition to developing a working relationship with superstars, there are other ways that charitable organizations can raise money as well, such as using the Internet.

North Texas Giving Day event brings in millions
Since its inception in 2009, the North Texas Giving Day event has grown considerably each year. However, the last two years of the event were arguably the most successful ever. A separate report from The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which cited data from the Communities Foundation of Texas, revealed that the event raised $14.4 million in 2012. In 2013, however, donations jumped substantially to $25.2 million, and this year’s Giving Day netted $26.3 million from 98,056 online donors. 

Contributors were directed to a? website containing the names of 1,580 nonprofits in the North Texas area that they could give to directly.

“The key to the success is the active participation of all the nonprofits which are a part of North Texas Giving Day,” Brent Christopher, the Communities Foundation of Texas’ chief executive, told the Chronicle. “While we create in-person opportunities to celebrate on the actual giving day, it is really about going online and making a gift and finding more information about nonprofits working on causes that are of interest to you.”

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