Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in October 2016 and has since been updated to incorporate 2021 nonprofit fundraising statistics plus fundraising gift ideas.
Create a knockout nonprofit fundraiser by including fundraising gifts to enhance the power of your message. Not only are fundraising giveaways fun, but they also help spread your organization’s mission, share your success and show your supporters the love. And fundraising works: overall giving grew 4.1% this past year (that’s the 6th consecutive year of growth). What’s more, 69% of Americans give to charity.
Short-term, the goal of a nonprofit fundraiser is to generate donations. But building partnerships with sponsors and deepening donor relations are important, future-focused objectives too. Learn how to use fundraising gifts to strengthen relationships, build brand awareness, show gratitude, and generate additional revenue.
Fundraising gifts that show recognition
As all fundraising pros know, donor relations are the key to a successful development program. Treat your donors and sponsors well, and they’ll be more likely to stick around for the long haul. At fundraising events, honor top supporters with a token of gratitude. For corporate sponsors, an award or plaque that can be displayed in the office is a nice gift. For individual donors, consider presenting tiered promotional gifts—perhaps an attractive desk clock, logoed jacket or photo frame, depending on the donation and tenure.
Though you may be tempted to go all out for your most generous sponsors and donors, practice some restraint. Many donors would rather receive a small token of appreciation along with the knowledge that their funds are being used to support the cause that moves them.
Raffle gifts that go above and beyond
At nonprofit fundraising events, attendees look for multiple ways to contribute. While some will take part in a silent or live auction, others prefer to make a charitable contribution. Still, others enjoy a game of chance. If your organization’s supporters are looking forward to a raffle or auction, don’t disappoint. (Be sure you have the proper license to operate a raffle or drawing in your location.)
Keep the fun going with prize drawings and raffles. Consider raffling a personal espresso set—complete with beans, flavored syrups, cups and more. Or maybe an outdoor grill accompanied by spice rubs, sauces and handy BBQ tools. Your guests will love these fun raffle ideas.
Fundraising gift ideas that’ll boost your brand
Fundraising events provide the opportunity to introduce your organization to new audiences. Logoed lunch bags, totes and drinkware are nice, inexpensive ways to thank new and existing supporters as they leave your fundraising event. Best of all: These gifts serve a dual purpose. When carried by donors, these items broadcast a message of support while getting your brand in front of countless eyes.
When choosing fundraising gifts to boost brand awareness, usefulness is key. Choose an item your audience is likely to use and will proudly carry. Lunch bags, totes and drinkware double as literature holders, too. Consider stuffing them with a success story, your fundraising progress or a note of thanks.
Show gratitude with thank-you gifts for volunteers
If your fundraising event was made successful by a team of volunteers who went above and beyond, build teamwork and pride with a nice thank-you gift recognizing their contributions to the event. Try gifts that align with your mission. For instance, an organization focused on trail preservation could give a logoed backpack while an animal shelter may send a branded pet first-aid kit.
When done tastefully, these types of fundraising gift ideas will encourage volunteers to return for next year’s event.
Fundraising gift ideas for the win
Fundraising gifts are the perfect accompaniment to your nonprofit fundraising event. Use them to strengthen sponsor and donor relations, boost brand awareness, show gratitude, and generate additional funds. And the best part is this: After the event, fundraising giveaways allow your supporters to take your message with them. If you’d like to read more about fundraising, check out Fundraising Trends to Connect with Donors.