Blog

Motivate Your Participants to Be Successful Event Fundraisers

October 31, 2017

It’s important to continually motivate and support your participants before, during, and after your fundraising event so they know they’re a crucial part of your success. A participant who feels valued and appreciated is more likely to become returning participant year over year.

Here are some tips on how to stay connected with your participants and motivate them to be successful fundraisers:

Keep in Touch
Have touch points with your participants throughout the year; just because the event is over doesn’t mean you have to stop communicating.

There are many ways to keep in touch with your participants before and after your event:

Before
• Send an email letting participants know when online registration will open.
• Send a ‘save the date’ to announce the date of the event.
• Share the exciting news of online enhancements or new features for event day.

After
• Send them a post event survey and thank you message. It is best to send this right after your event so it is timely. This will also provide you with an opportunity to use the survey to find out more about your participants and get valuable feedback on the event.
• Send them updates on the success of the event and remind them that they are a key part of this success.

Before and After
• Send emails with motivational stories about participants (feature stories) and ask for more stories.
• If there is a special holiday, send them a greeting to wish them well.
• Send them information about how the money raised at your event funded a project in your organization and how it benefits them.

Know Your Participants
Find out more about your participants and speak to them based on what you know about them. Use conditional content in emails to send specific messages to certain groups of participants or simply send separate emails to separate groups.

Provide Tools for Success
Put together a toolkit to share helpful resources with your participants. Here are some useful items you can easily put together:
• Fundraising tips and ideas
• Instructions on how to use your online tools (registration, participant centre, etc.)
• Frequently asked questions
• Posters
• Images to use on social media
• Social media post ideas – make sure to include your handles and hashtags
• Sample email templates to ask for donations or to recruit team members

Change Up Your Voice
Messages don’t always have to come from the voice of the organization. Have an email come from a participant with a touching story to help motivate all your participants. People are often inspired or motived by someone in a similar situation as them and it may compel them to do more.

Reach Out
Connect and reach out directly with participants each year who raised a significant amount in previous years either by email or phone to see if they need assistance or if they have any questions. A simple touch point like this can go a long way.

Stir Up a Little Friendly Competition
For online participants, use a little competition to make fundraising more exciting. Give them badges for reaching certain fundraising achievements and milestones. People will feel proud of their badge achievements and brag to their teammates who will then be motivated to achieve even more badges. You can use emails and social media to promote these badges.

Hopefully, this post has given you lots of inspiration for motivating participants to success at your next fundraising event! If you’d like further information about how hjc can help take your digital fundraising to the next level, contact us – we’d love to chat with you.

About the Author

Meghan Christiansen is a Digital Service Consultant at hjc and has over 10 years experience working in the non-profit sector focusing on events and online fundraising. She has worked on both the client side and the agency side and has worked with clients such as WWF Canada, Heart & Stroke Foundation, Canadian Diabetes, Sunnybrook Foundation and more. Meghan is a proud dog mom to her furbabies Cosmo and Wally.