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What Is Pledge Fundraising? 5 Regularly Requested Questions


Let’s discover two fundraising situations. Faculty A and Faculty B are each holding month-long read-a-thon fundraising campaigns to cap off the tip of the college yr. Faculty A asks college students to gather flat donations of $10 from their family and friends. Faculty B makes use of the pledge fundraising mannequin and asks college students to gather $3 pledges for every hour spent studying from their sponsors.

Ultimately, each colleges are profitable—however Faculty B raises extra money and has higher participation from college students. It is because the scholars knew that they might increase extra to help their faculty just by spending extra time studying.

This information will discover how your faculty or nonprofit can use pledge fundraising to increase its influence by breaking down a few of the prime often requested questions (FAQs). Let’s start.

1. What’s pledge fundraising?

A pledge happens when a donor guarantees to make a present of cash, items, or providers that will probably be delivered to the group at a later date. Donations, however, are paid instantly. Generally donors use pledges to stagger bigger funds, breaking them into extra manageable funds (e.g., pledging to offer $1,000 over six months).

However how does this course of work in observe? 99Pledges’ information to kid-friendly fundraising concepts illustrates how your group can weave this fundraising technique into your subsequent marketing campaign:

These are the five steps involved in the pledge fundraising process.These are the five steps involved in the pledge fundraising process.

  1. Work with a pledge fundraising software program supplier to arrange donation pages for individuals.
  2. Encourage your individuals to share the donation pages on-line.
  3. Individuals acquire pledge donations from family and friends, normally corresponding with a unit of distance, time, or amount (e.g., $1 per automotive washed throughout a automotive wash or $3 per mile jogged throughout a jog-a-thon).
  4. Monitor pledges utilizing your fundraising software program.
  5. Accumulate proceeds as soon as the occasion wraps up. Your software program ought to routinely ship reminders and acquire funds from donors.

Understand that pledges are completely different from month-to-month giving initiatives. Month-to-month or recurring giving signifies that the donor has enrolled in your sustainer program and agrees to donate a selected greenback quantity every month (e.g., $25 every month, on repeat). Whereas a donor could pay some pledged donations in installments, this doesn’t make them part of your month-to-month giving initiative.

2. Why settle for pledges?

Pledge fundraising is an efficient technique for nonprofits, colleges, and different fundraising organizations as a result of it:

  • Is extra versatile. Improve your donors’ experiences and safe extra donations by providing them other ways to donate. For instance, throughout a walk-a-thon they might select between giving pledged donations for every mile walked or donating a flat charge. Flat charges attraction to donors who know what they wish to donate whereas pledges will be higher for many who can not or don’t want to donate instantly.
  • Can improve donors’ capability to offer. Not your whole supporters can afford to offer giant quantities at one time. Nevertheless, pledge donations give them the choice to pay towards a bigger sum over a number of months. Whereas your group gained’t obtain an instantaneous main present, these small donations add up.
  • Gives extra alternatives to steward supporters. With pledged donations, you’ll have at the very least two alternatives to attach with them: once they make the pledge and once they donate. In the event that they plan to meet the pledge in a number of funds, you might have much more possibilities to indicate your gratitude. Ship donors heartfelt thank-you messages and share the influence that their contributions must steward the connection.

Pledges are additionally a good way for donors to offer focused help to the causes or tasks they care about most. For instance, an afterschool program would possibly use a sports activities staff fundraising concept like a baseball hit-a-thon to lift cash for its staff sports activities program. When donors pledge to donate to this marketing campaign, they’ll know precisely the place their funds are going.

3. How are pledges collected and processed?

There are lots of other ways to handle pledged donations, and it’s as much as your group to resolve what works greatest. Nevertheless, there are some suggestions and greatest practices to observe that may preserve the method working easily:

  • Use pledge fundraising software program that can monitor pledges and fundraising progress throughout your marketing campaign.
  • Settle for quite a lot of cost strategies like bank cards, PayPal, ApplePay, and GooglePay to make donating versatile and handy for donors.
  • Leverage on-line donation pages. Since pledges are sometimes collected by way of peer-to-peer fundraising, contemplate making a donation web page for the entire marketing campaign and permitting individuals to create particular person pages.
  • Select a cost processor or fundraising platform that’s protected and safe. Sometimes, these suppliers are PCI compliant and make use of safety measures like information encryption and two-factor authentication.

Moreover, you’ll must ensure you’re asking for these donations in an efficient method. As a result of some donors is probably not acquainted with pledge fundraising, clarify how the tactic works in your asks. In case your group is holding a peer-to-peer marketing campaign, share some primary fundraising suggestions and advertising and marketing supplies with individuals.

4. What occurs if a donor doesn’t fulfill their pledge?

Sadly, pledge attrition can occur in virtually any marketing campaign. Nevertheless, a mean of 84% of occasion fundraising pledges are fulfilled, so you’ll be able to relaxation assured that this isn’t a rampant concern that can severely influence your success. To offset any anticipated losses, set the expectation that you just gained’t obtain roughly 10% of the entire quantity pledged.

In lots of instances, pledging to donate shouldn’t be legally binding. Which means one of the best ways to curb pledge attrition is thru preventative measures. Begin with clear communication—make sure that donors perceive what pledging to donate means, inform them once they might want to make the cost, and ship out reminders. 

Moreover, some fundraising platforms require a donor’s card data to course of the pledge. This manner, your nonprofit can routinely acquire the agreed-upon quantity on a selected date (and neither you nor the donor will neglect about it).

5. How can your group encourage donors to pledge once more?

You’ll must make efforts to steward your group’s relationship with donors to make sure they pledge once more sooner or later. To take action, arrange a gratitude system that features components like:

  • Sending donors thank-you messages. Share an e mail or handwritten letter expressing your gratitude for his or her help. eCardWidget’s information to thanking donors recommends including private particulars like the quantity donated, centering the donors’ influence, and guaranteeing your message suits the present quantity.
  • Creating donor recognition partitions. Recognition partitions are mounted, public shows in your facility that function the names of your prime, most loyal donors. These partitions honor the donors’ contributions, bodily symbolize your group of supporters, and make these featured really feel deeply linked to your trigger.
  • Giving prime donors public shout-outs. Determine the donors that pledged the biggest quantity, contributed for the primary time, or have joined in on probably the most pledge campaigns. Then, ask in the event that they’d wish to be featured in your web site or social media. Contemplate asking them a couple of temporary questions on why they help your trigger. You possibly can function their solutions within the submit.

In case your nonprofit or different group shares an influence or annual report, contemplate including a bit that acknowledges impactful donors. Unfold consciousness of your pledge fundraisers and increase supporter retention by including a particular part to focus on the influence of pledge-based fundraisers.

Pledge fundraising permits your group to offer its supporters a distinct method to contribute to your trigger. The flexibility to make smaller donations over time or sooner or later can increase your donors’ capability to offer. Unit-based pledges can empower individuals in charity races, dance-a-thons, and different occasions to go the additional mile in the course of the marketing campaign.

To encourage each your donors and individuals to do extra to additional your mission, contemplate implementing pledge fundraising into your subsequent marketing campaign.

In regards to the Creator

Rodrigo Ramos

Rodrigo Ramos is the Supervisor of Buyer Success at 99Pledges, the #1 on-line fundraising platform for colleges, sports activities groups, music teams, and extra. 99Pledges gives organizations with an easy-to-use, web-based resolution to handle and drive success in fundraising. The platform’s strong performance can help easy pledge drives in addition to performance-based campaigns (e.g. enjoyable runs, walk-a-thons, read-a-thons, and so on.).




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