It’s hard to balance all the tasks of running a nonprofit. On top of all your normal demands, it’s time consuming to find ways to be creative in your fundraising requests. Thankfully, DonorSee is a platform designed for creative projects – and we’ve made a list of 17 out-of-the-box examples to help!
Our best Partners keep 10 projects open on their DonorSee profile at all times. This gives donors many options and helps you capture donors who want to give large gifts. If you need inspiration for more projects, check out some of these great strategies:
1. Let Someone Else Pick the Project
Give your camera to a volunteer, a staff member, or a participant and let them find a need. Some of the girls from When the Saints Malawi tried this and filmed a video all on their own. The need? Snacks and juice to take to school. It was funded within hours.
You can also ask someone in your community what sort of project they know about that everyone else might be overlooking. Margot reached out to a nurse at her hospital and learned that there was a great need for glucose test strips and insulin. A quick project later, and funds were able to be raised for the life saving supplies!
2. Dream a Little
A great way to get into “dreaming mode” with projects is to think: “what would I do if I had the money? Well, let’s go get the money!”
David Peterka is brilliant at this. I’m talking about projects ranging from Oprah-style “groceries for a month” for a staff member, surprising someone with a bike to start his own business, visiting alumni to ask them for their needs, to surprising a girl in a refugee camp with her own guitar.
Georgina Hill used a similar approach to bless a volunteer by surprising her with food, clothes, a phone voucher, and other gifts as a token of their appreciation. The reactions to these sort of projects are priceless.
3. Think Practically
Donor’s hearts are moved by all sorts of projects. If you have a need, no matter how small, just upload it. If we never ask, the answer is always “no”.
While DonorSee is designed for projects that feature individual people as the recipients, it also works great on administrative projects like building fencing, buying flashlights, or providing for puppy medications, and travel expenses. While some of these may not be Staff Picks eligible, just ask Jacob Aluong, who regularly has all his available projects funded, if he’s glad to have just posted his needs.
4. Think Big
Have you been thinking about paying for a new building or an addition to your facility? Do you want to buy a vehicle, provide a well for a community, or get your students laptops? With good planning, a large project can be a great way to help fund your work. It might take some patience, but as Jennie Schwartz will tell you, having a large project available means the right donor can come in out of the blue and fully fund it with a click. See the project, her patience, and her excellent follow-ups here.
5. Ask an Expert
Your Partner Coordinator’s job is to provide support in all sorts of ways, including watching lots and lots of videos. We’ve seen lots of ways to do projects (some more successful than others!) and are happy to provide an outside perspective; or just brainstorm with you! Sometimes that’s all you need for inspiration. Click on the link in your DonorSee profile to schedule a call with your Partner Coordinator if you need more inspiration for creative projects.