Definition of Grassroots Fundraising
The term “grassroots” is a term used to denote any kind of effort that derives most of its power and reason for being from a community and from common ordinary people. The term “grassroots fundraising” was coined in the world of politics, when a common ordinary person mobilized supporters in a non-traditional manner to raise funds. Grassroots fundraising means that an organization uses a wide variety of strategies to invite as many people as possible to give donations of widely varying amounts. It also means that many people are involved in raising the money needed.
GrassrootGive Fundraising Programs
Grassroots fundraising programs allow non-profit organizations to extend their fundraising staff, cultivate young donors, and capture the fundraising power of their philanthropic-minded members and supporters. GrassrootGive programs mobilize a non-profit organization’s constituents to “do good.” They challenge an organization’s members to achieve a personal goal of their choice and raise money in the process. A determined percentage of the money raised goes back to the sponsoring organization while the other percentage goes to their philanthropic partners, strengthening this relationship.
Corporations continue to look for ways to make a positive impact on their communities. Those who succeed provide their employees with opportunities and tools to do good. Mobilizing employees to achieve a personal goal and raise money for a philanthropic partner in the process has many positive effects on the bottom line. Turnover decreases as loyalty is built and the public becomes more aware of the good things a company does when its network of employees is raising money for causes. Further, health insurance premiums can be reduced when a company can prove that its employees are healthier through sponsored wellness programs.
GrassrootGive Concepts (Click to Enlarge)
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Trends That Are Fueling Grassroots Fundraising Programs
A Slow Economy
I think we can all agree that a slow economy can be infuriating. Having said that, slow economies make us smarter and more efficient as a whole as we question actions, expenses and decisions that were easily made in a great economy. Business functions begin to merge, we cut the fat off of the meat and we create and innovate.
Empowerment and teamwork become vital as we ask those around us to do as much as they can with as little as possible. Grassroots fundraising programs empower others and build teamwork on the way to helping you achieve your missions and goals. As Bill Gates said, "As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others."
Social Media and The Groundswell
A groundswell can be defined as a buildup of opinion or feeling in a large section of the population. We've seen groundswells emerge across the world to express their views and work together to make positive change. These groundswells are being fueled by social media. Social media gives every individual a voice to make a difference in the things that are important to him/her.
Your organization or company should be embracing this and providing your people with an opportunity to utilize their networks. Odds are, your people greatly enjoy the relationship(s) you have with your philanthropic partner. Grassroots fundraising programs allow you to equip them with the opportunity to show that they believe in and support you and your philanthropic partners.
By the way, read this book, it's fantastic.
Characteristics of Millennials (Generation Y)
Generations, like people, have personalities, and Millennials -- the American teens and twenty-somethings who are making the passage into adulthood at the start of a new millennium -- have begun to forge theirs: confident, self-expressive, philanthropic, upbeat and open to change. Gen Y’s also tend to be technologically savvy, achievement-oriented, creative, and impressive multi-taskers.
The characteristics of these individuals are challenging our organizations and companies to think outside of the box in order to keep them engaged. Experience-based learning is important to the younger generation and grassroots fundraising programs are keeping the palates of these individuals wet. Such programs allow Millennials to be self-expressive and philanthropic, using technology to help them support the causes that are important to them.
A few books about millennials:
Popularity of Organized Athletic Races
You probably see firsthand an ever increasing option of athletic races (running, cycling, swimming, etc.) in your own communities. From a macro level, the number of athletic races for individuals to participate in continues to grow at a fast past each year. The number of marathons (26.2 mile running races) alone has seen double digit growth annually over the past three years. Along with these races have come goal-setting opportunities to make a positive difference in the process. Charity athletics is booming and races are attracting philanthropically-minded individuals to participate.
While grassroots fundraising programs do not have to be solely focused around athletics, these races are great venues for grassroots fundraising to thrive.
A few articles on charity athletics: