You just have to read about Dan Martin and his 18 month round the world triathalon plan that will see him swimming the Atlantic just as a starter. What used to be a challenge for many is now seen as old hat. An ascent of Everest or a trek to the South Pole? Nah! Been there done that or rather too many have been there and done that! And I guess the point is that we need to make fundraising more exciting and relevant too.
In Jeff Brooks - The curse of unremarkable fundraising post he quite rightly laments at the lack of imagination in some fundraising and indeed the apparent desire of many organisations to remain attached to fundraising models that in some cases aren't even yielding growth.
For me, though a great start, it isn't good enough to just give people a choice in what they support but we should also be looking at giving supporters a choice in how they choose to support that work, cause or project.
So why for example can't someone sit in a bath of beans if they want to and raise money for their monthly committed giving? I am sure if asked, many organisations would accept the income but is it actively promoted and encouraged and more importantly supported?
Now that isn't to say that our supporters aren't doing this kind of thing all the time but such fundraising is usually confined to incremental support of events that require thousands of pounds of sponsorship such as a marathon place or an overseas trek.
Now whether or not an approach like this is or isn't suitable for smaller products and offers would need to be tested - but broadening the horizon to how we enable supporters to give to your cause could and should be explored.
The benefits for example of an approach like this could include:
- Inherent multiplier effects - friends of friends of friends all getting exposure to your cause
- Positive ways to engage supporters in an active way
- Different and varied ways to acknowledge what the supporter has done and to share this with other supporters (I can imagine the great content being generated)
- To offer an opportunity to engage supporters who may feel they can't afford a regular gift the standard way - but could be inspired to be creative to fundraise in other ways and have some fun in doing so
This is just one example of what I am talking about i.e. giving people choices and support to raise and give money their way - and of course there are downsides. My point is we need to just be a little more adventurous about what we offer that will appeal to the fundraising adventurers out there - and possibly attract a new breed of supporters entirely.