Have you ever been to a horse race?  The air practically cracks with an excitement to the point where it almost takes on a life of its own.  Then, just when it seems like the race is over, a horse comes from behind to streak past the winner and claim the win.

It is truly a thrilling experience!

Well, what if you could take that same feeling and bridge it into your nonprofit fundraising efforts?  No, we are not talking about hosting an actual horse race as your next special event, but we are talking about capturing the excitement and the spirit of competition.  Doing so would help you to create excitement around your events and stimulate donors to action.

This idea of a fundraising “horse race” is one that has shown strong success at recent events.  Here is an example from one of our top fundraisers in the Twin Cities.

Before the event started, we announced that we would be changing the recognition process of the event to include a phone call two weeks out.  The phone call would let the top five teams and individuals know their standing in relation to the other teams.

The main message points shared in the in the call included:

  • Letting each of the teams know where they stood in relation to the other teams
  • Encouraging them to continue fundraising
  • Asking them to come to the stage on Friday night for the announcement/awards
  • Asking them to bring a bio with their connection to the cause for display at the event

The goal of this call was to stimulate the teams into action and create a renewed life for the last stretch of the event.

When the calls went out and the second place team, Catwalking Solesisters, learned how close they were to the leaders, it revitalized them and gave their efforts a second wind.  They quickly sprang into action, sending out renewed calls to their donors and securing over $4000 additional fundraising dollars in the last few days of the competition.  The fundraising customer service team was inundated with calls on deadline day, with each team member begging to know the exact collection count and what time the event would officially close.

The result?

At the end of the event both the first and second places teams each raised over $71,000.  Catwalking Solesisters ended up the winner, but when the final numbers were tallied, only $47 separated the two teams! 

This example shows how building a sense of excitement and a spirit of competition around your event can lead to enhanced results and increased donations.  So the next time you sit down to plan a fundraiser walk or other type of special events fundraiser, look at ways to turn it into your very own horse race.  It might just turn into the most thrilling event that you have ever hosted!

 

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