Modern technology has ushered in more creative ways for nonprofits to fundraise for their missions. From text-to-give campaigns to birthday fundraisers, there are a multitude of possibilities when it comes to leveraging the increasing prevalence of digital devices to engage supporters.
Birthday fundraisers are especially unique and effective for nonprofits looking to cultivate year-round support and strengthen their supporter relationships over time. Give your supporters the chance to expand their involvement with your organization and spread their passion for your cause by allowing them to fundraise on your behalf for their birthdays.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything from the basics to popular birthday fundraising ideas to help your organization hit the ground running with birthday fundraisers:
- What are birthday fundraisers?
- What are the benefits of birthday fundraisers?
- What are popular birthday fundraiser ideas?
- How do I promote birthday fundraising?
- What are some other special days to fundraise?
By opening up opportunities for birthday fundraising, you’ll bring your supporters much closer to your work and community impact. Let’s dive in.
What are birthday fundraisers?
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. However, for those who are looking to make their special day more impactful, birthday fundraisers provide a chance for them to drive personally meaningful change.
An individual hosting a birthday fundraiser asks those in their personal network to make a donation to a specific nonprofit they’ve chosen, in addition to or in lieu of conventional birthday gifts.
This option makes for a fulfilling experience for the birthday individual, who’s able to convert the care and support they receive from loved ones into contributions for a cause that’s close to their heart. For nonprofits, this means deepening your existing connections and extending your reach to future connections.
What are the 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, including your organization’s supporters, 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 much more effective for boosting 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 who 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, the individual’s birthday, they create a need for prompt action to make a contribution.
- Boosting donor retention. Birthday fundraising provides supporters with the opportunity to celebrate their birthday 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.
Social media has not only made it easier for your organization to connect with current and potential donors online, but it has also enabled 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.
What are popular birthday fundraiser ideas?
Depending on your nonprofit’s goals and resources, there are a number of ways to carry out birthday fundraisers, each with their 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 these effective methods for your organization:
Birthday Fundraiser eCards
Set your birthday fundraisers up for success by integrating donation eCards into your nonprofit’s website. That way, when your supporters are reaching out to their personal networks ahead of their birthdays, they can conveniently direct gift-givers to your website to send a donation eCard in their honor. Notable benefits of this option include:
- Donation eCards 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 that supporters’ birthday donors can send.
- 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, first you’ll need to find the right software. eCardWidget makes implementing eCards simple and hassle-free! Once you’ve made an account and logged in, you can effortlessly design your eCards and embed them into your nonprofit’s website. From there, all a supporter has to do is 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 particularly appealing because donors can directly celebrate and recognize 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 gift for the birthday recipient.
Individual Fundraising Pages
Chances are, your organization is already familiar with 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. As with any successful peer-to-peer fundraising, be sure to:
- Check that fundraising pages are mobile-friendly.
- Have metrics in place to measure your supporters’ success.
- Make it easy for supporters to share their fundraising pages online.
- Provide a peer-to-peer toolkit for birthday fundraisers, including graphics and messaging templates.
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 birthday fundraising pages and connect with their personal networks.
Facebook Birthday Fundraisers
Facebook birthday fundraisers have been a popular way for people to generate widespread support for their nonprofit organization of choice using their social media connections. 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 provides information such as a fundraising goal, end date, and a brief message about the fundraiser.
- The supporter shares their newly created fundraiser with their friends online and invites them to donate.
This method largely depends upon your supporters’ engagement with your nonprofit 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 birthday fundraisers.
How do I 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’re aware of 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 gifts to supporters. Instead, they can be an additional gift option that friends and family can choose.
As your birthday fundraisers begin reaching out to their personal networks, encourage them to share their personal story or connections with your nonprofit, along with the impact that donations will drive. This ensures that their messages will resonate more with potential donors, who will better understand why your supporters care so deeply about your cause.
What are some other special days to fundraise?
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: Celebrating your supporters
Birthdays are often very special days for 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.
Be sure to show appreciation for their investment by sending thank-you messages and spotlighting individuals who have hosted birthday fundraisers in your social media posts and website. This will ensure that your supporters remain enthusiastic and devoted to your cause year after year.
If you’re seeking to gain more in-depth knowledge about engaging your donors and strengthening support for your nonprofit’s mission, take advantage of the following resources:
- The Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Donor Recognition Strategies. Learn more about the potential of using eCards for donor recognition.
- A Complete Guide to Employee Engagement + Top 10 Ideas. eCards can be incredibly useful for engaging your organization’s employees as well. Get started with this guide.
- A Comprehensive Guide to Great Donor Thank-You Letters. Take donor appreciation to the next level with this guide to donor thank-you letters.