Personal Campaigns engage supporters you're yet to meet.

Cookout with Millennials

Over the last few years, we’ve seen many changes at the very core of giving that are seriously affecting non-profits. Giving patterns are dramatically different today than what they were just a few years ago. Where non-profits used to depend on a few fat checks, they’re finding themselves more dependent on the extended networks of advocates and a larger group of smaller donors. While this is happening across the board, it’s most obvious with younger generations.

According to Zac Johnson, Head of Youth Marketing at Children’s Miracle Network, the commitment of the Millennial supporter looks like this:


“They need ownership of what they’re doing. They need to be empowered to manage their event. With Millennials you just can’t give them credit for something. They need to know what they’ve put into it and what they got back in return.”

In order to help our customers reach more of these supporters, we built Personal Campaigns right into our DonorDrive Social Fundraising software. We just released new features that make it even easier for non-profits to get more people involved. Personal Campaigns can attract these younger supporters and help turn them into life-long advocates, donors, and fundraisers for a cause.

The concept is simple and it works like this: Your supporters create and promote their own personal fundraising campaign on behalf of your cause. These campaigns can center around celebration events like weddings or graduation, training for an endurance event, dinner parties, car washes, or whatever your supporter wants to do to raise money for you.


Meet your new constituents.

There are many reasons why Personal Campaigns are not only popular, but also very viable for today’s non-profit organizations. These might not be the same people who are already participating in your signature events. These participants and donors are often new supporters who are becoming involved with your cause for the first time.  Consultant Jenn Fishkind has raised more that $1.5 million through Personal Campaigns and third-party events in DonorDrive and confirms this:

“They’re not involved in our other events, like our walk. To me this is an opportunity for people who haven’t been involved with us only because they haven’t found their niche. These are people who want to do something for your organization.”

Personal Campaigns provide additional fundraising opportunities for non-profits and don’t divert donations from larger programs like walk-a-thons. They provide organizations a chance to introduce the cause to new supporters, get them even more involved and become longer-term advocates.


Keep the buzz going all year long.

Since Personal Campaigns can occur at any time of the year, non-profits are finding that they help fill in the gaps between events and bring in funds year-round. An added bonus is that Personal Campaigns generate more word-of-mouth supporters than a typical event or annual campaign might.

The list of fundraising campaigns that your constituents can create on behalf of your cause is endless. Here are a few:

  • Life events are an opportunity for supporters to ask for donations in lieu of gifts. They include birthdays, holidays, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, pet birthdays, graduations, celebrations for losing weight, retirement, and memorials.

  • Endurance events are a popular choice for Personal Campaigns. Endurance athletes can easily turn a training event or non-charity race into a fundraiser for your cause.

  • Parties with a purpose let a supporter turn any party or get together with friends and family into a fundraiser. Dinner parties, game night, trivia night and wine tastings are just a few suggestions.

  • Traditional grassroots fundraisers can really get a boost when they become Personal Campaigns. A few we’ve seen since the beginning of giving are car washes, dog washes, bake sales, lemonade stands, and garage sales.

Get the word out.

There’s little work on the backend for non-profit staff once Personal Campaigns are live; all you really have to do is let your supporters know that they exist. Here are a few ways you can promote the idea:

  • Send an email blast to your constituent base letting them know what Personal Campaigns are and how they can use them to turn their passion for your cause into donations and awareness.

  • Clue in the local media on this “new” fundraising idea. It’s great material for TV morning shows. Once they’ve done a story on your Personal Campaigns, suggest that the reporter or a personality at the station try their own. They will usually already have a large base of followers they can call on to donate.

  • Start a conversation about Personal Campaigns on your organization blog, Facebook page, or on Twitter. Ask for suggestions for creative ideas for Personal Campaigns. It may lead to some good ideas and help raise awareness of all that Personal Campaigns can be used for.

DonorDrive customers who are fundraising with Personal Campaigns are telling us it’s a no-brainer. For many of them, Personal Campaigns are annually totaling up to what they’d raise from a major fundraising event. And all that is with minimal effort from your team.


Show them their impact and don’t forget to say “Thank You.”

As we’ve said before, people give when they see that money can make a difference. Show your supporters the impact their Personal Campaigns have on your organization and who they are helping. Share your stories and your data through Thank You emails, an impact section on your website, in blog posts, or on your social media channels. Here are some tips on how to effectively say Thank You while sharing this information with your supporters.