Team fundraising mistakes and how to avoid them

Team fundraising is a no-brainer — it can significantly boost your next fundraising appeal and increase engagement among your supporters. Just take a look at this infographic that breaks down team fundraising success in more detail, which was made in collaboration with Venngage Infographic Maker:

Venngage and Razoo infographic on team fundraising success

However, there are still ways for your team fundraiser to go awry, so let’s take a look at some of the common pitfalls of team fundraising and how to avoid them:

Problem #1: Focusing on event planning over fundraising

Event organizers wear many hats – you have to focus on logistics, marketing and a bit of development, too. Plus, you may be seeking sponsors, prizes and more to help your organization have a great event. And, do your volunteers know their roles for the event yet? Did you remember to send that memo to your planning committee? We know it’s difficult to manage all the aspects of your event.

There are a lot of elements to planning and organizing an event, and all areas deserve equal attention. You may be tempted to promote your event and encourage people to attend instead of focusing on raising much-needed funds. Or, you may be caught up in securing big sponsors and forget to secure funds from individual attendees.

Solution: Make your messaging inclusive

Try framing your messaging to include both your fundraiser and your event. A message framed with a call to action, such as, “We’re running a 5K to support our school. Help us by visiting our team page and donate to a fundraiser” provides a clear action for the donor. Provide details to attend the race in your thank you email and on your fundraiser page as a follow-up call-to-action (CTA). Send an update to remind donors prior to the start of the event. This will ensure all the elements of your event work well together, from fundraising to event attendance.

team of people standing in a circle making a star with their hands for fundraising

Plus, platforms like Razoo allow you to add event details right on the page and customize your thank you for your team’s donors. This way, you’re including the elements of your event throughout your fundraising campaign and the two pieces of the project fit together in an organic way, rather than bombarding the donor with all the information at once.

Problem #2: Not maximizing marketing opportunities

As the team organizer, it may be easy to rely on your team members to do all the work promoting their page and forget to market the team’s efforts as a whole. Plus, if you are hosting an event, promoting the online fundraiser can take away from that, right?

Solution: Make your team fundraising page your “hub”

Use your fundraising page as your central website for prospective donors and attendees to learn more about your cause. The prominence of the team’s total displayed and the prompts to donate will help you passively encourage them to give, while also providing them crucial details about the project itself.

So, next time you do a radio show or article for a local newspaper to promote your nonprofit’s big initiative or next big event, remember to share the link to your team page in lieu of the link to your nonprofit’s website (or in addition to the main site). This will ensure that donors get to the right place as quick as possible to take action!

Plus, platforms like Razoo allow you to recognize sponsors on your team fundraising page, meaning you’ll give sponsors some extra love and promotion, too!

Problem #3: Managing a large team with various nuances

Let’s take events out of the picture and consider a team campaign with 20 fundraisers on the team. Plus, 5 of those fundraisers receive checks and cash. Plus, you have a General Fund donors can give to instead of donating to a specific fundraiser on the leaderboard. Then, a donor calls and says they may have donated to the wrong page – can you track it down for them?

Solution: Use software that makes it easy to avoid team fundraising mistakes

Stop and take a deep breath. This where it pays to do your due diligence to make sure you’ve chosen the right tool for your team’s campaign so you can avoid team fundraising mistakes. Here are some things to consider about managing a team before you get started:

  • Will the team organizer be the same person who is managing fundraising activity for the fundraisers on your team?
  • Are your fundraisers familiar with how to fundraise online, or do you need to provide extra training and resources?
  • When will the team start, and do your goals align with the team’s timeline?
  • Will you allow fundraisers to add their own offline donations to account for cash and checks?
  • Is this a competition that requires meticulous attention to detail for fundraiser donations?
  • Does the platform allow you track fundraising activity in one place for all fundraisers?
  • Does the platform provide support for donors, fundraisers and the team organizer?
  • Can you include branding and marketing materials on the platform to incorporate your organization?
  • Are you able to message team members within the platform and track where they are in the setup process?
  • Can you invite team members to fundraise on your team in an easy way?

Think through the answers to these questions, and others, to help you determine the best platform for your needs. At Razoo, we’re proud to provide customer support to donors, fundraisers and team organizers, as well as tools that make team management easy for teams on the platform.

team of ruby player fundraisers playing on a muddy field

Preparation is the key to success

There’s no way to eliminate all team fundraising mistakes (or any type of fundraising!) for your first fundraiser. But, a key piece of preparation is recognizing problems and ways to avoid them. Remember: your team’s pitfalls may be drastically different from this list. This is especially true if you’re team fundraising takes on various other components from a traditional team fundraiser!

A good way to recognize obstacles your team had and ways to improve or avoid them for next year is to have a debrief at the end of your team’s campaign. List all of your “lessons learned” to help you recognize what worked well and what didn’t to help you re-evaluate how to make this an easy process for next year’s campaign. Be sure to take into account fundraiser turnover and staff turnover and ways to avoid gaps in communication.

Next Steps

Now that you’ve learned how to avoid team fundraising mistakes, you’re ready to start your next team fundraiser on Razoo! Or, you can contact our support team at support@razoo.com for more information about team fundraising on Razoo and how you can use it for your next fundraiser.

About Ashley Hieb

Ashley began her career in journalism working at a local newspaper. From there she transitioned into the nonprofit sector to share her passion with causes that were making a difference. She specializes in storytelling and crowdfunding strategy.

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