As children, many of us probably grew up with a fascination for unicorns. I certainly did. I loved pink, and I loved unicorns. Pink unicorns were the bee’s knees.
Unicorns are mythical and beautiful beasts, and also incredibly fun – often draped in dazzling sparkles with multi-colored manes.
Even into adulthood, we often continue to be mesmerized by unicorns. Unicorns are unique; they are magical. They can be quite humorous and perhaps even connect us to our childhood imagination.
So what do unicorns have to do with fundraising?
In the ever-changing fundraising landscape, with new technologies bubbling to the surface at a rapid pace and the need for innovation in our fundraising campaigns, essentially we are all on the hunt for a unicorn.
One of the things that I love so much about the work that I do at Kimbia is that I get to witness fundraising unicorns on a regular basis. Our team collaborates with amazing nonprofit organizations, and in all of the campaigns or events we help power through our online fundraising platform, there are a few common elements among the unicorns:
#1: A magical donor experience.
In today’s world, the donor experience can make or break you. With our attention spans pulled in so many different directions, it is challenging to keep your donors focused on the task at hand — to make the gift. Making the donation process as easy as possible is what makes the magic. The easier you make it, the more magical it is. The more your donors will want to continue to engage and support you again. I love the example of Caring Bridge, who has a clean and modern form. The organization utilizes split-testing tools and Kimbia reporting to regularly measure and optimize donation form performance, while also making it incredibly simple for donors to give again with our Simple Pay functionality.
If you want to stand out, be unique and make your donors grin with delight about you, focus on creating a unicorn-like, magical experience for them on their first visit AND every returning visit.
#2: Innovation, agility, and speed
In addition to a creating a magical donor experience, as fundraisers, we can no longer get away with doing things “the way we always have.” Innovation, being agile and adapting to where your donors are (online), and finding new ways to raise money, is setting the unicorns apart from everyone else. Giving days and peer-to-peer campaigns, which harness the power of crowdfunding, create opportunities to innovate and bring into the fold new ways for supporters to engage with your nonprofit. I love this example of WBUR who traditionally raises a lot of their money through pledge drives. While continuing to do pledge, the organization also decided to do something a little different by hosting a single-day giving day. By using the power of Kimbia’s crowdfunding capabilities, they are able to push their message out to reach potential new donors in the online environment. And, when it comes to speed, a giving day can raise a lot of money in a short amount of time.
#3: A spirit of fun and delightfulness
Your cause may not be “rainbows and butterflies” all day long. What drives your mission may be a sensitive topic, a great societal pain or a yet-to-be-cured disease. However, what I see from the fundraising unicorns is they can take a complicated issue and create a spirit of togetherness, fun, and delight in doing something for the greater good. I love the fun nature of the CASA Superhero Run which creates an environment of fun (and support) even despite the fact that the organization’s mission is devoted to a topic that’s hard to discuss.
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Let’s get out there and create some fundraising magic together.