Is internal resistance to DIY keeping you from your next revenue stream?

Blog April 14, 2016 By Kevin Wolfe

Many DonorDrive clients are generating substantial income through Personal Campaigns or complete Do It Yourself fundraising  programs. But we’re hearing that some organizations (maybe yours included?) are facing resistance from within that’s keeping them from starting a program. If you’re finding this opposition inside your organization, we thought it might be helpful for your plea if you had some straightforward answers to the most common questions from boards and executive staff.

Will a DIY Program generate income?
Yes. The average DIY campaign generates five times more than an event participant does in DonorDrive. And organizations are finding it a great way to keep lapsed event donors involved.

Will it cannibalize our existing events?
Unlikely. We're seeing event participants create their own Personal Campaigns and then come back to do events the next year. Your strongest supporters will likely do both. Sometimes staff that owns a signature event can feel threatened by DIY. But this is a new revenue stream and not one designed to cannibalize their event.

Will it require extra staff?
Not necessarily, but that depends on your budget. The success of DIY depends on how many resources you’re willing to put into it. You can set up DIY, promote it well and your supporters will start using it.  But organizations that raise over a million dollars annually through DIY in DonorDrive have dedicated staff to it.

 The average DIY campaign generates five times more than an event participant.

Why is DIY so successful right now?
Your supporters live in a world where they have so many choices. They expect that same freedom with their fundraising. Given the opportunity to set up a wedding campaign and take donations for your organization in lieu of gifts, they can generate substantial revenue and feel they’ve personally had a big impact on the cause.

Are there better options than DIY right now?
Every major nonprofit has a DIY program or is in the process of setting one up. There’s an understanding that DIY is the next wave in fundraising. Perhaps more importantly, not embracing DIY will certainly result in dollars lost, especially as it becomes an expected part of every organization’s fundraising options.

What if it fails?
As a rule, a well-planned, well-run DIY program has the potential to become a succesful new revenue stream for your organization. Making a strong effort to let your supporters know they can create their own DIY campaigns is often all you need to do to get them up, running and a resounding success.

There’s really no valid reason that a nonprofit doing peer-to-peer fundraisng should not be offering DIY fundraising to their supporters. Compared to starting a new signature event, DIY will cost much less and can take off much faster.


So what's DIY?
Do It Yourself fundraising allows your supporters to create their own campaign around a life event like their wedding, their participation in a marathon, or riding their bike across the country. They then fundraise through a fundraising page just as an event participant would. Since they initiated this campaign (as opposed to joining in with a campaign initiated by your organization) they typically raise a lot more. DIY requires minimal effort from the organization and can be quite successful like Ray’s ride which generated $77,000 for MDA. Need more information on DIY? The links below will take you to some great articles:

• Great stats on the success of DIY with DonorDrive clients.

• Why DIY is not crowdfunding.

• Consultant Lin MacMaster explains why DIY is vital for revenue.