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7 Spring Fundraising Ideas to Enhance Your Relationship With Current Donors

Nels Challinor
Nels Challinor

Content Writer

It’s spring! The daffodils are blooming, the Kentucky bluegrass is coming in, and the winter jackets are headed toward the back of the closet. You’re finally done with your year-end giving analysis and follow up. It’s possible you’re even gearing up to close out your fiscal year before June 30th rolls around. Before you know it, summer will be here, and you’ll be knee-deep in preparations for the busy fall fundraising season.

Many nonprofits prioritize spring fundraising, making this a busy and lucrative time of the year for fundraisers. But we encourage you to not only think about this season as time to raise money; also stop to consider how you can truly enhance relationships with these current donors while you’re making the big “ask.”

In reality, you should be thinking as much about relationship-building as you do fundraising this time of the year.

Relationships built, not just on a one-time gift, but from a foundation of trust in your organization’s methodology and assurance that every donation will make an impact is extremely important for donor satisfaction and ultimately, donor retention. (Speaking of that, if you’re looking for a way to effectively track donor relationships, take a look at our digital fundraising CRM)

Check out this list of 7 spring fundraising ideas that focus on raising money AND deepening relationships with your current donors.

1. A 24-Hour Spring Fundraising Blitz On Social Media

I’m a big fan of the 24-hour fundraiser. In fact, whether your nonprofit is in need of a quick financial boost or you want to engage your supporters in a prompt yet effective way (or both!), this is one of the best fundraising techniques to use.

24-hour fundraising blitzes naturally create a sense of urgency and purpose; two elements that many fundraisers find essential in almost all fundraising campaigns.

  • Urgency encourages people to act fast to get involved before it’s too late. Have you ever received an email saying something like, “Only 12 hours left to get 50% off your total order?” It’s the same concept. A finite timeline gets people to act immediately instead of later. Urgency is instinctual.
  • If urgency is the instinct to act, purpose is the thought behind the action to give. Purpose gives your donors a reason to give. Do you have a special initiative you’re hoping to fund? Is there a goal you must meet in this campaign? Purpose provides the fuel for your day-long campaign.

This spring, try a fast and furious 24-hour fundraising blitz. Prep your supporters ahead of time with timely marketing. Then, on the day of the campaign, share a powerful nonprofit story, the purpose of your quick campaign (the intended impact), the deadline to give, and a strong call-to-action. Don’t forget to ask supporters to comment, share, and interact with you online to promote the organic growth of the campaign.

Centre College holds an annual one-day giving campaign– “Fund the Flame”– to support scholarship programs

2. A Community-Driven Fundraising Campaign

Community-driven fundraising is the ultimate combination of fundraising and engagement. Without your loyal supporters -raising money, sharing the campaign, and acting as your sounding board- you wouldn’t see much success.

Community-driven campaigns are perfect for your spring fundraising efforts. This is especially true if you’re looking to capitalize on the warmer weather and add an event element like a 5k or Marathon to your traditional campaign. For a list of best practices for walkathons, bikeathons, and other competitive spring fundraising campaigns, check out our recent blog post!

How does community-driven fundraising work to engage donors? Well, for starters, they’re the ones who are rallying others to get involved. They share your campaign, tell their own stories, and sometimes even serve as personal fundraisers. You could choose to simply ask people to email your campaign to their friends and family or run a full-fledged peer-to-peer fundraiser. Either way, engaging your community in your spring fundraiser is a smart step.

enhance relationships
Amigos de las Americas uses peer-to-peer fundraising, a type of community-driven fundraising, to engage their supporters

Peer to peer fundraising is one of the fastest growing campaign strategies in the nonprofit community. To take advantage of this tried and true method for your spring fundraising campaign, start by reading our peer to peer fundraising primer; this covers everything you need to know to run a winning campaign.

3. Plan a Volunteer Week or Day to Fundraise this Spring

National Volunteer Week runs the 3rd week of April in the United States and is organized by Points of Light. Many nonprofits choose to participate in this special time, either by recognizing key volunteers or offering volunteer opportunities. While it’s too late to participate in the official National Volunteer Week this year, you can still plan your own special Volunteer Week or Day this spring.

How does volunteering raise money? It can (and sometimes, it should!)

Take a cue from the Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, an organization that found the perfect way to combine volunteerism and fundraising. For their Women Build initiative, volunteers were asked to raise money to participate in the build event. They mobilized over 140 fundraisers and raised a whopping $84,000+ in the process.

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Pensacola Habitat for Humanity’s campaign website

Combining volunteerism and fundraising/giving engages your supporters on a whole new level. They’re giving you both sweat equity and monetary equity, further connecting them to the fabric of your work. Focusing increased attention on volunteerism is a great way to round out your spring fundraising.

4. Ask For Online Participation

Your donors don’t have to fundraise to prove they’re engaged. In fact, some of your donors may not be comfortable taking on this role. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t use the power of their influence online.

Online engagement takes many forms. It can be as simple as asking your followers to “Like” your post, using a campaign-specific hashtag, or asking donors to share that they gave a gift.

Remember, people aren’t going to do something without an “ask,” even if it’s an easy task like sharing your posts.

So, this spring, go ahead and ask your donors to share the news that they gave through social media or comment on your posts. (Don’t forget to enable that social sharing feature on your online fundraising website!)

It’s these small steps that add up to something much bigger.

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A Facebook post engages your donor AND increases your campaign’s audience

5. Try A Sponsorship To Boost Your Spring Fundraising

Sponsorships with businesses and corporations in your community are a superb way to connect and expand your network. But instead of asking for a monetary sponsorship, enhance your relationship by adding a fun twist to the collaboration. This could take the form of a friendly competition or contest.

Ask supporters from your partner business to join teams or fundraise on their own and compete against one another to raise the most money for a particular impact. The goal? To win, of course. Winners get bragging rights and the satisfaction of knowing that all their friendly competition is going to make a real difference.

Again, this is another case where engagement helps deepen the bond between your cause and your supporters, who in this case, are your neighboring businesses.

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Look at those amazing results headed to the Treehouse, a nonprofit in Seattle
enhance relationships
The Robert Half Bowl-a-Thon to sponsor Junior Achievement of Greater Washington

6. Give Them A Tour

There’s nothing quite like seeing your dollars at work, which is why nonprofit tours are almost always a hit with supporters.

A tour educates and inspires your donors, giving them the backstory to understand why their donations are so vital to operations. A great example that I always hark back to is courtesy of the Children First/Communities in Schools program in Asheville, North Carolina. Their “Mind the Gap” tour is something every nonprofit should take a look at.

Per the website: Mind the Gap Tours call attention to the gaps in our community that too often hinder the success of children, youth and their families living in poverty. The tour will educate and inspire you about our programs so you can help us close the gaps and realize a brighter future for our children.”

Participants take a bus through the Emma neighborhood in North Asheville, where they learn about the problems at-risk families have and the ways the community is helping to solve them. It’s an inspirational tour that provides attendees information and hope.

7. Diversify Digital Donation Options For Your Donors

Do you rely exclusively on one-off donations from donors in order to fundraise? This spring, consider how you can raise more with less effort by taking advantage of some of the amazing features available with CauseVox!

Recurring gifts are a great way to keep your donors active with your mission. Start a recurring gift campaign as your spring fundraiser this year and watch as donations roll in year-round. The best part? The time and energy that recurring donations free up from your staff will allow them to focus on recruiting new donors.

Want to try implementing a recurring gift campaign for your spring fundraising drive but not sure where to start? CauseVox offers a free guide to show you how and why you can raise more with recurring gifts.

In addition to recurring giving, we also offer a pledge feature, making any size donation available to your donors. Diversify the opportunities for donors to give with recurring and pledge donation options; this will allow your donors to participate in your spring fundraiser in a way that makes sense for them. 

Conclusion: Encourage Your Donors To Stay Engaged Year-Round With A Spring Fundraising Campaign!

We’ve given you several options for connecting with your donors to maximize your impact this spring. But remember, fundraising is a year-long process. If you’re looking for more inspiring ideas to help you fundraise year-round, we’ve got you covered. Check out this list of over 150 fundraising ideas you can use any time of year.

Spring is the perfect time of year to reconnect with your donors and make sure that they are engaged and ready to support your mission. This list has given you all the tools you need to run a successful spring fundraising campaign. Time to get started!

To learn more about how CauseVox can help you manage your donors and run successful fundraising campaigns, schedule a demo today!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published April 2018 and has been updated and for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness in April 2022.

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