Our organizations’ brands represent the noblest causes. But, as fundraisers, we all know that our organizations do more than just what we’re known for. Colleges, universities, and independent schools do more than provide scholarships for students in need. Nonprofit organizations do more than provide services, shelter, or mentorship for at-risk people in their communities. Healthcare organizations do more than buy expensive medical equipment that saves lives. There are a plethora of giving opportunities for donors when they understand that your organization does more.
However, the general public, and far too often our donors, don’t realize there are philanthropic opportunities beyond the boilerplate mission. By expanding the understanding of how your organization impacts the community, not only can you attract new donors, but you can inspire more giving from the donors you already have.
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For example, hunger and food insecurity affect some 38 million people, including 12 million children, in the United States, according to the USDA. As Feeding America reports, the pandemic increased food insecurity among families with children, those living in rural areas, and communities of color, who already faced hunger before 2020. These communities are likely to be some that your organization already or could serve under the scope of your existing mission – and one your donors would support if you were to tell them.
A number of organizations used Giving Tuesday to do exactly that, tell their donors about food insecurity issues in their communities and focus their campaigns on these needs.
CSU, Chico, for example, runs a collaborative effort between campus and community groups called Chico State Basic Needs. The initiative is aimed at improving student success and positive community engagement by helping students experiencing food insecurity, hunger, displacement, homelessness, and poverty. While you may not associate these needs with that of the typical college student, a 2018 report showed that 50% of Chico State students experience food insecurity
On Giving Tuesday, Chico State saw 172 supporters raise $26,925 for Chico State Basic Needs. Also, it was clear that this was a cause close to the heart of one anonymous and large donor, who unlocked $15,000 in support of the effort for food insecurity.
There are a plethora of giving opportunities for donors when they understand that your organization does more.
Rutgers University also chose to address food insecurity for students on Giving Tuesday, raising $58,090 from 813 donors towards the cause. Meanwhile, similar storylines played out at Southern Adventist University and Manchester University, as well.
For the general public and donors, each of these organizations appeared to expand their mission. However, it’s likely that these initiatives have been core or connected to the core mission for quite some time. What the attention of Giving Tuesday brought was a newly invigorated energy to giving to a specific cause that existed within the community.
It’s likely that your organization serves micro causes within its larger mission. Whether it is food insecurity or something else, it’s likely that you could highlight these stories to motivate donors and inspire giving in unlikely ways.
What does your organization do that donors don’t know about? You might find a mini-campaign that attracts donors in ways you never thought possible.
Looking for some inspiration? Learn how The University of Massachusetts Amherst took winning culture in sports and translated it into an impactful mini fundraising campaign with the help of Gravyty. Check out the webinar here ➡️