Focusing on Fundraisers and Take Your Charity to the Next Level

At CrowdRise, we’ve seen a shift towards the traditional model of giving. In a space that used to be all about the donor, we’re finding that the real key to engaging passionate supporters and raising more money for your cause is all about embracing the individual fundraiser.

A fundraiser is a passionate supporter of your cause. They either have a personal connection or have been touched by your cause in some way that they’re engaged enough to not only give to your organization, but to fundraise and get other​ people to give to your cause.

I like to say that a $25 donor is great, but a $250 fundraiser is a game-changer.

Here’s why…

By focusing on the individual fundraiser, you’re tapping into a network of supporters that otherwise might have never heard of your organization. Think about it. You have a passionate supporter who has been giving to your charity for years and has an obvious personal connection to your cause. If you reach out to them and encourage them to not only be a donor but to become a fundraiser, you’re tapping into an engaged group who will then go out and send messages and social media posts to their entire network of friends and family with a personal message about why your cause means so much to them and how they’d really appreciate it if their supporters would give to their fundraiser. All of a sudden, you’ve taken a passionate person, empowered them to tell their personal story to their friends and family, which in turn gives you exposure and incremental donations. Their love for your cause is easily identifiable and almost impossible to say no to. It’s a real grassroots way to reach out and touch more people and raise way more money for your cause than you ever thought possible.

Who makes good fundraisers?

You’re most likely sitting around a few of them right now. Staff is a great place to start when it comes to fundraisers. They love your cause, are super passionate, and are great at explaining your mission. Encourage each of your staff to set up fundraisers for your cause and reach out to their friends and family both via email and through direct messaging on their social networks.

Many charities forget that their board members are some of the best fundraising assets they have. By reaching out to your entire board and encouraging them to become fundraisers, you have a real opportunity to reach a large and oftentimes lucrative group of donors. Your board members are on your board for a reason. We often tell our users that you should message your board members and basically give them no way out of fundraising. They’re passionate, have great networks, and should want to help.

Whether you have a list of 50 or a list of 50,000, reaching out to the supporters who have taken the time to follow your organization, donate before, and are actively seeking out ways to help your cause is another way to get more fundraisers. Reach out and let them know that you’re looking for passionate individuals to start fundraisers for your cause in order to help spread the word, raise more money, and make a real difference.

What’s the best way to get the movement going?

Make sure to send an email to your entire staff and ask them to start a fundraiser. Explain to them how the impact they have on your cause grows exponentially when they can reach out to their networks. Offer incentives like days off and staff pizza parties to encourage a little competition.

For your board members, it’s a great idea to reach out to each one individually. Make sure to remind them why they’re on your board and what an asset they are to your cause. Explain that, if they start a fundraiser and reach out to their networks, they’ll play a large part in getting your mission out there and bring more donations rolling in.

When it comes to your list, we suggest emailing in small batches—10 people at a time instead of 100 people. You don’t want supporters to feel anonymous, so definitely make it seem like more of a personal ask. Tell them that your cause relies on its best supporters to really reach more people and get more donations to help further your mission. Offer incentives, like charity t-shirts or other items that will encourage your fundraisers to reach their goals.

So, now you have one of your supporters messaging on behalf of your cause, driving awareness, encouraging lots of donations, and introducing new people to your email list. Incredible difference, right?

Indy Bishop
Director of Communications
Indy Bishop is the Director of Communications at CrowdRise (, the innovative fundraising platform used by charities like American Red Cross, UNICEF, March of Dimes and thousands and thousands of others. His experience spans communications, marketing, eCommerce, brand building, and lots of other smart sounding topical areas. Perhaps most importantly, Indy has a nearly cavity free set of teeth, decent hair and his mom has lots of really good stuff to say about him.