As an organization that relies on donations, you want to ensure that your funds are contributing to the cause as much as possible. Seeing the impact of their donation can be a powerful motivator for donors. However, in order to raise funds, you need funds. This is why Return on Investment (ROI) is important—it allows an organization to ensure that it is not wasting money on fundraising activities with poor ROI.
Usually, when a nonprofit hosts an event and there is a huge turnout, it’s common to call the event a success. But is this usually the case? Knowing the ROI of the event eliminates guessing. There are a few ways nonprofits can aim to increase their ROI. In this article, we will focus on increasing ROI through online charitable gaming.
What is fundraising ROI?
Fundraising ROI refers to how much it costs you to raise money. For instance, if you want to raise $1, you need to spend less than $1 on that activity or you will be losing money. This means that the less you spend, the better the returns.
It's important that for each fundraising activity you do in your nonprofit, you calculate the ROI. This is how you will be able to know which activities are the best. For example, if a walk-a-thon raises $5 for every $1 spent. And an online charity raffle brings $10 for every $1 spent, then it's clear you are better off focusing on online raffles.
How to measure fundraising ROI
To calculate ROI, make sure you consider all the costs associated with the fundraising method. Make sure you include staff time as well.
So, as an example, let's say the amount raised was $100,000. And you spent $30,000 on that fundraising event, it means your ROI is:
= [($100,000 - $30,000)/$30,000] x 100
= [$70,000/$30,000] x 100
Types of fundraisers
While there are plenty of fundraising ideas, they are usually grouped into two—online and offline. The one you choose depends on your goals and resources. Let’s look at some of the most popular fundraising ideas.
- Virtual auctions: These are probably among the most popular virtual fundraising methods. You can sell just about anything at the auction. The success of a virtual auction is dependent on how well you define the rules for your participants, promote your auction items online, and set up competitive bidding options.
- Online charitable gaming: This type of fundraiser has become very popular in recent years. Some of the key reasons being that they are easy to organize and have great ROI. Examples include Catch the Ace and 50/50 draws. In an online 50/50, ticket sales are held through a dedicated website. The concept is similar to that of a normal raffle but instead of a pre-decided prize, the nonprofit organization or charity equally splits the total amount collected from the sale of tickets (which are a form of donation) with the winner. The donors earn a chance to win large sums of money which makes 50/50 draws very appealing. This simple, easy, and cost-effective method of raising funds far outpaces traditional fundraising efforts, making it the smarter choice for savvy nonprofits.
- Direct solicitations through mail and phone: Although not as popular as before, you can send letters or emails to your donors asking for donations. If you have a team with great sales skills, phone solicitations can also be a great way to get donations.
- In-person events like galas, marathons or talent shows: These are the conventional, go-to options for most nonprofits. Unfortunately, they are costly to organize. And as witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns can make this form of fundraising very challenging to execute.