Winter Fundraising Ideas To Heat Up Your Campaigns

Fundraisers are a great way to not only raise money to help fund your campaign but also to get the word out there about your campaign. During the cold winter months, a creative and engaging fundraiser can be just what your campaign needs to heat up the cold season. Even though there is still a looming Pandemic, your campaign can still spice things up with a virtual fundraiser. In 2020 there was roughly a 12% increase for online giving, which means 2021 has even more fundraising potential.

Create an Online Donation Page

Having an online donation page can be the base of your fundraiser. It can also allow those who might not want to participate in the fundraiser itself with the ability to give back to your campaign.

Some of the key things you can include on your donation page:

  • Your donation page can be as simple as a donation form that includes: name, email, donation amount, etc.
  • A mission statement, or a statement of your campaign's purpose, motto, etc.
  • Various methods of payment, i.e. credit/debit cards, PayPal, etc.
  • A picture of the campaign team, a special campaign moment, or the candidate him/herself

The best part of the donation page is that you can have a go-to link for when you send out mass texts, to post on social media, and to share with others.

Virtual Fundraiser Tips

Not only is P2P texting a powerful tool for political campaigns, but it is a powerful tool for fundraising as well. You can set up a P2P fundraiser the same way you would do any peer to peer texting campaign. You can choose to use your own agents/volunteers or the agents provided by Robocent. In the initial fundraising stages, P2P will be your smartest tool. This will allow voters to reply and ask questions about the fundraisers, and get replies to their answers.

Here is an example of what this might look like:

“Hi Amy, this is Mary from [insert candidates name] campaign. We are holding a fundraiser on [insert date] and would love to see you there. Can we count you in? Click the link to RSVP and make a donation today!”

On your donation page, or campaign landing page, keep people up to date with the progress of the fundraiser. If you are solely running a virtual fundraising event, include your goal and your progress. Just because it is virtual does not mean you don’t have to keep people informed.

Utilize social media, creating daily posts reminding people about the fundraiser and your goal donation amount. Example: “Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the [name of fundraiser/campaign]! We are halfway to our goal of $5,000! There is still one week left to get your donations in. Help us [insert cause/reason for the fundraiser] and click the link to make a donation. We wouldn’t be this far without all of your support!” Posts like this will help get people excited about the fundraiser, and will encourage them to help meet your goal.

Movie Night Fundraiser

Who doesn’t love a good movie? Especially during the winter. Promote a virtual movie night where people can cuddle up on their couch at home, enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate, and watch a family movie. Today’s virtual technology allows us to create a virtual Netflix Party, where all those who attend the fundraiser can chat about the movie in a chatbox and more.

This is just one of the many ways you can fundraise safely in 2021. Robocent's text message marketing can help facilitate the organization of your fundraiser through our mass texting services. Simply craft a text, include the link to sign up and/or your donation page, and you’re all set! Fundraisers are a really great way to raise money because those who spend money with you also get something in return, like a virtual movie night.

There are many different ways that you can set up the movie night fundraiser too. Perhaps require a minimum $5.00 donation to be a part of the movie night, or instead you can make donations up to personal discretion but include the link to donate readily available. Another idea is to create a poll with four or so different movie options and send out a link to the poll for voters to choose from. This will get people more interested and involved if they feel like they have a hand in choosing the movie.

It is also important to include how this fundraiser will help your campaign and why individuals should join/participate. How will their contribution make a difference and how will you as an elected official make a difference?

Bake Sale Fundraiser

Almost everyone loves a sweet treat, and selling cakes and pastry items is a great way to raise money. Of course, this has to be done carefully due to the Pandemic, but it is still possible. Here are some tips if you choose to do a bake sale:

  • Make it virtual if possible. You can do this by uploading all the items available for purchase online, and once someone orders a pastry item, have it available for curbside pick up or delivery if you have volunteers who are able to deliver items.
  • Focus on individually wrapped items. In the past, you could just have a whole display of cupcakes out in the open to hand off to purchasers. Instead, once baked items are ready, individually pack them and don’t allow any onsite consumption.
  • Don’t accept cash payment, but utilize contactless payments and online pre-orders.

You can even do a bake sale raffle as a fundraiser. Have a bunch of more decadent cakes and pastries, and allow people to buy raffle tickets. Perhaps sell every raffle ticket for $5, and each ticket gets you one entry into the raffle.

Hot Chocolate Stand

Since it's a winter fundraiser, you might want to try a good old fashioned hot chocolate stand. Again, with all of the safety protocols and measures in place. One thing you can try looking into is hot chocolate bombs. These are little chocolate balls filled with all the makings of hot chocolate, and COVID-19 friendly because people can buy them prepackaged and then throw them in a hot cup of milk at home.

A hot chocolate fundraiser can be done anywhere in the community that gets a lot of foot traffic. Remember to avoid cash payments, putting online payment options in place. Also, try to keep everything pre-wrapped/packaged when applicable. Keep cups and lids in a storage container, and prepare little bags with marshmallows, stir sticks and napkins.

Create Your Own Winter Apparel

With various online platforms that allow for custom sweatshirt/clothing prints, your campaign can easily create its own apparel for sale. Your campaign can create its own sweaters, long sleeved shirts, hoodies, beanies, and more. Here are some reasons how custom apparel can benefit your campaign:

  • It is easier to ask for/acquire donations and funds when you are providing a physical item that people can touch and use.
  • Allows your campaign to promote awareness and use as a marketing tool. Perhaps you have a slogan, or something unique about your city that you can include in the design.

However, you want to try not to make the design too specific to your campaign. For example, a giant picture of the candidate's face might not be the way to go, as not everyone will be able to relate to this. Try to appeal to the masses when designing your clothing. This is not to say you cannot add your logo, but do so subtly. Maybe put it in the top or bottom corner, or on the side of the main design. The goal is to create something that people will actually purchase for one, and secondly that they will actually wear out in public.

Don’t Forget to Send Thank You Notes

You can never go wrong with a personalized thank you note. No matter what kind of fundraiser you put on, always thank those who participated and donated. Be sure to keep all donors contact information that they provided at the time of donation. This is why it is so important to acquire each person's name, phone number, email, and address if they choose to provide. At the same time, you can gain their consent to use these to send them campaign information and a thank you note at the end of the fundraising event. Here are some things to include in your thank you:

  • Express your thanks and appreciation, and acknowledge their participation in your event. Remember, every donation matters, no matter how small.
  • If you know the specific donation, include this in your thank you. If not, then be sure to thank them for their participation and contribution anyways.
  • For larger donations, you can even feature them on your website or give them a shout out on social media. This would be more so for businesses and establishments that supported your campaign, and is highly appreciated because it is like free marketing for them. Plus, those that support that business will be more likely to support your campaign as well.

Fundraising requires a lot of brainstorming, but it can be a fun and great way to get to know your voters on a personal level! Sit down with your campaign team and think of practical and safe ways you can start a winter fundraiser to kick off 2021.