The old saying goes that many hands make light work. Team fundraising takes this proverb and turns it into money. You probably already know how it works. Team fundraising uses the power of personal relationships to bring more people in touch with your organization. It’s also called ‘peer to peer’ fundraising.
How does it work?
The head fundraiser, or chairman, should be a person who knows a lot of people and has a passion for your mission. This person then reaches out to their network and recruits a number of captains, who should also be the kind of people who know lots of people. These captains then go out and recruit team members, who will actually solicit donations.
Think about the math here. Say your chairman recruits 10 captains, who each recruit 10 team members. If each of these team members ask 10 to donate, you’ve just reached more than a 1,000 potential donors. (1 chairman + 10 captains + 100 team members = 111 people x 10 personal solicitations = 1,110 personal asks). I’ve said it elsewhere, but it bears repeating… the best ask is the personal ask.
You limit the number of asks team members make to make it manageable. Asking people for money makes many people uncomfortable. By giving them a small and specific number of asks to make, the task becomes less intimidating and more doable.
You can spice this up by letting your teams challenge one another to get a top prize. Sales people are often great at asking for donations and thrive on competition. Pitting teams against each other for the number one spot, and then giving a trophy for the best overall solicitor provides fun incentive to perform.
A couple of considerations:
Make it brief – Give people a limited time window to get their requests done. There is nothing worse than a campaign that drags on and on.
Make it real – Connect your fundraising with your mission so your teams have a strong sense of what the donations will accomplish. Provide them with good quality materials to use when they are making ‘the ask.’
Make it fun – Have a celebration at the end and announce the winners. If you’re doing this right, the people should be willing to come back year after year. Raising money to do something good is FUN, and celebrating the good that you’re doing should also be fun.