This type of direct mail campaign is perfect for a general fund that is otherwise not ‘glamorous’ or endearing to many people. Often, a charity will focus on raising money for specific funds, such as Trap/ Neuter/ Release for feral cats, or medical funds for injured animals, but forget about regular operating expenses that are a major budget drain. This challenge is a perfect opportunity to raise much needed funds for the nonprofit’s overall budget.
By asking people to give according to their own budget, no one feels overwhelmed or put off by the donation request. Be sure to emphasize that this campaign is also for regular salaried employees, retirees, stay at home parents, and others who do not have an hourly pay rate, allowing the entire community to unite for a great fundraising challenge. This is a chance to host a campaign that will incorporate every giver in your community, at whatever level they most feel comfortable giving. It’s a great opportunity to combine many smaller donations into a powerful amount that can do wonders for any organization. The compounding of multiple donations can really send your donation amounts to a higher level while allowing every individual to feel a part of something huge, to sense ownership in the campaign.
Describe what various donation levels can accomplish through your group. Note the smaller amounts for bags of food up to the larger expenses such as expensive heartworm treatment or the amount needed for new kennels or surgical equipment. People will be shocked to see how expensive medical care for a large number of animals or the many kennel supplies can be for a shelter or foster group. Help people to grasp the concept that it takes quite a bit of money to care for these homeless animals who had no say in their current situations.
Couple this campaign with a list of ideas and activities that busy work people can do to help your organization in their spare time. Oftentimes, people are so overwhelmed with their daily life that they feel they don’t have time to donate to a charity. Showcase several opportunities that will allow people to help your charity during their regular work day. This could range from dropping off fliers while they’re doing their weekly shopping to making a few phone calls after dinner or while children are napping.
This is an ideal campaign for at-work giving, too. Employees of a larger company can elect to have one hour’s pay be set aside for a charity on a monthly basis. The program can be done through the Human Resource’s Department in most larger companies. And, for smaller businesses, the bookkeeper who does payroll can help set aside allotments to be sent to charity using the same system currently in place for private insurance or child support payments.
This could be done in lieu of an annual campaign, or at another time of year from when you regularly host an annual campaign or membership drive. As with all fundraising, timing is important. You don’t want people to donate just $15 when you’re hoping to ask them a few weeks later to donate $50 or buy $100 tickets for your gala. They will consider that they’ve already given to your group in the recent past, and you will have missed out on a much larger donation.
Other Possible Titles
Hour of Power
Your Finest Hour
Time for Change
Just a minute, to donate an hour, to change their forever.
Publicizing the Campaign
Use this as a direct mail campaign with a public twist by having fliers and displays around town for the entire month of May.
- Send fliers and donation slips to individual homes in your community announcing the campaign. This can be done through envelope stuffing with the municipal water bill, or by purchasing a mailing list from the city.
- Announce the campaign in your e-newsletter, printed newsletter, and on your website. Your regular members and donors should be some of the first to know about and participate in the campaign.
- Send out press releases to media members announcing the upcoming campaign.
- Contact the Chamber of Commerce to ask for their support with local businesses.
- Work with a local media outlet to help showcase various businesses and individuals around town who are actively participating.
- Use a thermometer publicly displayed to update the community on the progress.
- Take the campaign to the streets by hosting a live remote with a radio station in front of various restaurants, stores and other popular locations around town to catch people on the go and ask for a donation.
- Offer to work with local businesses directly to send fliers to be posted in break rooms and donation forms available.
- Create a contest for most participation (based on total number of employees) for businesses to compete against one another for bragging rights and a special clock plaque.
- Be sure to send a follow-up to the media members after the campaign ends to show the outcome and remind people how the money will make a difference in the lives of animals in your care.
This direct mail campaign allows donors from all economic backgrounds to give at a level where they feel most comfortable! This makes the donors feel good that they’re able to make a difference, no matter how much they give. It creates a sense of ownership in the both the campaign and the organization.