Modern technology has ushered in more creative ways for nonprofits to fundraise for their missions. One particularly unique and effective way is through birthday fundraisers.
According to a recent study, 89.4% of Americans enjoy celebrating their birthday every year, with nearly 1 in 10 indicating that they celebrate for an entire week or more. By promoting birthday fundraisers, you can empower supporters to deepen their involvement and spread their passion for your cause, all while celebrating their special day.
We’ll cover everything from the basics to popular birthday fundraising ideas to set your nonprofit up for success with these impactful opportunities:
- What are Birthday Fundraisers?
- Popular Birthday Fundraiser Ideas
- How Do You Promote Birthday Fundraising?
- 4 Best Practices for Birthday Fundraisers
- Other Special Days for Fundraising
By incorporating birthday fundraisers into your overall strategy, you’ll be able to cultivate year-round support while bringing supporters much closer to your work and community impact. Let’s dive in.
What are Birthday Fundraisers?
A birthday fundraiser is a peer-to-peer fundraising initiative, during which people ask for donations to a chosen nonprofit in addition to or in lieu of conventional birthday gifts.
Traditionally, on an individual’s birthday, they can expect some variation of a party or meal, along with gifts from their friends and family to celebrate the occasion. For those who are looking to make their special day more impactful, they can create a birthday fundraiser to drive personally meaningful change.
This option provides a fulfilling experience for the birthday individual, who’s able to convert the care and support they receive from loved ones into contributions toward a cause that’s close to their heart. For your nonprofit, this means deepening your existing connections and extending your reach to new ones.
Benefits of Birthday Fundraisers
The advantages of birthday fundraisers go hand in hand with the power of social media in today’s society. According to 360MatchPro, “87% of donors who donate for the first time from a social referral source will also make their second donation from a social referral source.”
People of all ages are spending more and more time interacting with and influencing one another online. Birthday fundraisers can make the most of this trend and benefit your nonprofit by:
- Leveraging your existing supporters’ networks. When your supporters solicit gifts on your nonprofit’s behalf, they’re likely reaching out to friends and family in their personal networks who share their values and interests. This makes fundraising more personalized and effectively boosts awareness of your cause.
- Acquiring new supporters. It’s no secret that successful donor acquisition requires time and effort. Allow your current supporters to facilitate the process by increasing your nonprofit’s reach and connecting you with people whom your cause is likely to resonate with.
- Inspiring urgent action to make a gift. A crucial aspect of any fundraising appeal is urgency. This reduces the chance that a potential donor will forget to make their intended gift to your nonprofit. Since birthday fundraisers center on a specific date—an individual’s birthday—they create an immediate need to make a contribution.
- Boosting donor retention. Birthday fundraising provides supporters with the opportunity to celebrate their birthdays in a way that benefits their communities. By allowing them to link a day that holds personal meaning to them with your cause, you’ll cultivate a much deeper emotional investment in your nonprofit.
- Providing year-round support. Unlike holidays such as Christmas, your supporters have birthdays that take place throughout the year. This means that you’ll have opportunities to mobilize donors and generate revenue year-round.
Social media not only makes it easier for your organization to connect with current and potential donors online, but it also enables your supporters to effortlessly reach out to their personal networks about your cause. It’s up to you to equip them with the basic tools to start their next birthday fundraiser.
Popular Birthday Fundraiser Ideas
There are a number of ways to conduct birthday fundraisers, each with its particular advantages. The key to effectively incorporating birthday fundraising into your existing strategy depends on how easily supporters can find information and get started with their own birthday fundraiser. Consider promoting these effective methods:
Birthday Fundraiser eCards
Make it easy for your supporters to set up birthday fundraisers by designing and integrating donation eCards into your nonprofit’s website. That way, when your supporters are reaching out to their friends and family ahead of their birthdays, they can conveniently direct gift-givers to your website to send a donation eCard in their honor.
Birthday fundraising eCards are particularly effective because:
- They are easy to share and send across a variety of platforms, from email to social media to text messages.
- Donors can schedule their eCards to arrive on the recipient’s birthday.
- Your nonprofit can add suggested giving amounts to eCards.
- Donors can be confident that their donations will directly support the birthday individual’s organization of choice.
- Your nonprofit can collect information such as sender and recipient email addresses, allowing you to build relationships that last beyond each birthday fundraiser.
To set up birthday fundraiser eCards, you’ll first need to find the right software. eCardWidget makes implementing eCards simple and hassle-free!
All you need to do is create an account and log in. From there, you can effortlessly design your eCards and embed them into your nonprofit’s website. Then, simply have supporters direct their friends and family to your website, where they can add a personal message, make a donation, and send the eCard for the supporter’s birthday.
Birthday fundraising eCards are especially appealing because donors can directly celebrate the birthday individual by giving in their honor. For example, Habitat for Humanity South Africa effectively features tribute gift eCards for Christmas using eCardWidget. For birthday fundraisers, these tribute gifts can serve as both a card and a gift for the birthday recipient.
Individual Fundraising Pages
Your organization is likely already familiar with using individual campaign pages for peer-to-peer fundraising. Nonprofits can also make use of peer-to-peer fundraising software for birthday fundraisers.
Ahead of their birthdays, your supporters can set up their own individual fundraising pages to raise revenue for your cause. These pages will typically include a fundraising goal, images related to your mission, and a description. Then, they’ll share their birthday fundraising page with loved ones via social media, email, text messages, and more, encouraging them to donate.
According to the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum, digital-first peer-to-peer fundraisers generated an average of $1,193 in 2021. However, compared to using eCards to solicit contributions, this birthday fundraising option requires more effort from your supporters, so take the time to prepare them with everything they need to create their fundraising pages and connect with their personal networks.
Facebook Birthday Fundraisers
Facebook birthday fundraisers are a popular way for people to generate widespread support for nonprofits using their social media connections. In fact, Facebook and Instagram fundraisers have generated over $7 billion for charitable causes since their inception.
The process generally follows these steps:
- Facebook notifies your supporter of their upcoming birthday and suggests they create a birthday fundraiser.
- The supporter chooses your nonprofit from a drop-down list of organizations.
- The supporter fills in information such as a fundraising goal, end date, and a brief message about the fundraiser.
- The supporter shares their newly created fundraiser with friends online and invites them to donate.
This method largely depends upon your nonprofit’s engagement with supporters on social media, which affects how highly you’ll rank on their drop-down list for birthday fundraisers. Additionally, it’s important to note that your organization will be unable to directly access donor data and fundraising results associated with Facebook fundraisers.
How Do You Promote Birthday Fundraising?
While birthday fundraisers are a memorable and fulfilling way for your nonprofit’s supporters to deepen their contributions to your mission, the key to maximizing their participation is ensuring that they know about the opportunity and its benefits. Once you’ve solidified your birthday fundraising strategy, use the data stored in your donor profiles to reach out to supporters ahead of their birthdays.
Additional places to include birthday fundraising information are:
- Email newsletter updates
- Social media posts
- Direct mail
- Your website
Highlight that birthday donations do not have to replace traditional birthday gifts. Instead, they can be an additional gift option that friends and family can choose.
4 Best Practices for Birthday Fundraisers
Once you’ve inspired your nonprofit’s supporters to make their birthdays extra special with a birthday fundraiser, make the most of their efforts by following these essential best practices:
- Encourage supporters to share their personal stories. While donors are drawn to support a worthy cause, birthday fundraisers are all about celebrating the birthday individual and their generosity. Therefore, have your supporters add a story or personal note about their connection with your mission to resonate with more potential donors and help them understand why your cause is so important to them.
- Provide a birthday fundraising peer-to-peer toolkit. Make it easy and convenient for your supporters to fundraise on your behalf by supplying them with all the resources they need to solicit donations for their birthday. This includes attention-grabbing images and messaging templates that create an effective, consistent experience from one birthday fundraiser to the next.
- Have metrics in place to measure success. Keep track of essential data points, such as the number of supporters creating these fundraisers, the average number of donations they collect, and the average amount raised in each effort. This allows you to identify ways to improve how you promote and support birthday fundraisers in the future.
- Follow up with supporters after each fundraiser. When someone initiates a birthday fundraiser for your nonprofit, they’re demonstrating just how committed they are to your mission. Be sure to thank them for their efforts by sending them an eCard, spotlighting them in your social media posts, or featuring them on your website. This will ensure that your supporters remain invested in your organization year after year.
Furthermore, if your supporters have created individual birthday fundraiser pages, check to ensure that these are mobile-responsive, so donors can contribute on whichever device they prefer to use. By taking the time to streamline the birthday fundraising process for your supporters, you’ll help them boost their success and generate more revenue for your cause.
Other Special Days for Fundraising
eCards and peer-to-peer fundraising are particularly valuable because they can be applied to more than just birthday fundraisers. After all, there are many special occasions in addition to birthdays each year that can be powerful motivators for fundraising, such as:
- Observance Days, such as Earth Day or International Women’s Day
- Holidays, such as Valentine’s Day or Christmas
- Anniversaries, from your nonprofit’s anniversary to individual supporters’ anniversaries
- GivingTuesday, the global day of generosity
Along with birthday fundraisers, account for these notable days in your yearly fundraising. eCards are versatile enough to cover all of your needs, whether you’re looking to engage supporters on their birthdays or on a national holiday.
Wrapping Up: Celebrate Your Supporters
Birthdays are very special days for many of your supporters. This makes birthday fundraisers all the more valuable—by devoting their birthdays to your cause, your supporters are demonstrating just how important your nonprofit’s work is to them.
If you’re looking to gain more in-depth knowledge about engaging your donors and strengthening support for your nonprofit’s mission, take advantage of the following resources:
- How to Make Every Word Count in A Donation Thank You Letter. Take donor appreciation to the next level with this guide to donor thank-you letters.
- Donor Recognition: A Strategy Guide With Inspiring Ideas. Learn more about the potential of using eCards for donor recognition.
- A Complete Guide to Employee Engagement + Top Ideas.eCards can be incredibly useful for engaging your organization’s employees as well. Get started with this guide.