In the nonprofit space, online charitable gaming is gradually gaining popularity—mainly due to the ease of implementation, low cost, and high returns. However, this doesn’t mean you can adopt a set-and-forget strategy. There are things you can do to supercharge these fundraisers and maximize the results, which will allow you to expand your reach to more donors and improve your return on investment (ROI).
In this article, we will look at four ways you can supercharge your online gaming-based fundraiser to achieve your goals.
But first, what is an online fundraiser?
An online fundraiser is a fundraising event that is hosted on the internet (online) to raise money for a nonprofit or charity. Online fundraisers are not a new concept. The pandemic has forced organizations to take a more creative and innovative approach to online fundraising.
There are a couple of different types of online fundraisers:
- Ones that mimic or replicate real-life events such as masterclass, panel discussions and interviews with celebrities or industry leaders, galas, marathons, etc.—these are usually short, one-time events that are live-streamed; and
- Gaming-based fundraising like 50/50, Catch the Ace, Sweepstakes, etc. These are attractive, high-on-engagement events that are run over several days or months. They give donors/participants a chance to win money or prizes in return for their donation.
How to supercharge your online gaming-based fundraiser
1. Use social media to promote your cause
When planning any online charitable game, dedicate enough time to making a social media plan. Social networks have proven to be indispensable tools for nonprofits and charities. The 2020 Global Trends in Giving report highlighted that 29% of online donors claimed social media to be the communication tool that most inspired them to give, which was higher than email (27%), websites (18%), TV ads (12%) and print ads (6%). As for the platform, most nonprofits rated Facebook as the #1 option, with Twitter taking second place and YouTube claiming third.
The content you share influences your success. Social media enables you to share stories about the impact you are making in the world, allowing people to see how participating in your online charitable game won’t only give them a chance to win, but also help you do more of what you do. You can post updates about the progress of the game—a growing jackpot, for example, can attract even more players/donors.
Also, focus on creating the format of content that will resonate with your followers. Video has proven to be popular on social media. On Facebook, for instance, videos receive 135% more organic reach on average than other types of posts. So, consider what’s working and what isn’t for your target audience as you plan your social media strategy.
2. Choose an effective and engaging fundraiser
From online raffles to sweepstakes, there are different types of online gaming-based fundraisers you can choose from. No matter how engaging the game is, participation is key to the success of your fundraiser. Historically, 50/50 raffles and Catch the Ace have proven to be the most popular games for nonprofits and charities.
A 50/50 charity raffle is a raffle whereby the prize pool or “pot” is split between the winner and the organization. The split is usually 50/50, as the name suggests. The prize pot is funded through raffle ticket sales, and the winner is chosen through a random draw. Those that see success and growth with this method of fundraising typically repeat the event every month. This helps the campaign build momentum. As more people buy tickets, the pot gets larger—which is a marketable incentive. This is why 50/50 raffles are so popular; they are engaging, cost-effective and easy to set up since everything is done online—sale of tickets, choosing winners, etc.
This is another popular, easy-to-set-up online game you can do on a budget. This game may run for up to 52 weeks or until the ace of spades is caught. There is a weekly draw where the winner gets a percentage of the week’s ticket sales. In addition, they also get to win the progressive jackpot by drawing a card from a standard deck of 52 playing cards (the goal is to draw the ace of spades). If the card selected is not the ace of spades, that card is removed from the deck and the progressive prize portion of the ticket sales for that draw is rolled over into the progressive jackpot for the next draw.
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3. Partner with a full-lifecycle service provider
Most nonprofits have limited experience in running online gaming-based fundraisers. That is why many adopt a trial and error approach. But this usually results in wasted resources and limited success of the fundraiser, leaving much on the table.
This is why it’s always a smart idea to partner with a full-lifecycle service provider who can assist you from ideation to licensing, marketing, implementation and analytics. With this approach, you will be able to avoid many of the pitfalls that most nonprofits fall into. Additionally, you will also receive the guidance you need to increase your reach, grow your fundraising revenue, and build stronger relationships with your donors.
4. Personalize thank you messages to donors
Sometimes, the best way to seek repeat donations is by showing gratitude and appreciation. According to Guidestar data, donors who receive a ‘Thank You’ message within 48 hours are four times more likely to give again.
So, as you plan your fundraisers, remember to thank your donors. And above all else, make sure you personalize the messages. There is no better way to demotivate a donor than by sending them a message that looks generic. Find customer data in your CRM software and see all the interactions you have had with them. Use this information to create relevant and meaningful messages. Did they donate $500 two months ago? Mention this amount in the message.
Thanking donors should not be something you do out of courtesy. It’s a chance to strengthen the relationship you have with them so they become loyal. Also, use “you” or “your” in your messages. They should not read “our organization managed to plant 1 million trees in [location]. Rather, they should say “your donation helped us plant a million trees in [location]”
No one can guarantee the success of an online charitable fundraiser. But with sufficient planning you can easily supercharge your gaming-based fundraisers and ensure that you maximize your results.