FUNDRAISING WITH MASCOTS
20 Fundraising Tips
Whether you’re a school, organisation, individual or a burgeoning fundraiser, here are some tips for fundraising with self-wear mascots costumes
1. Make a Plan
Think about how much you need to raise and how much you hope to raise. Having something to aim for will help you stay motivated, but it’s also an important storyline for donors that can make an ask feel more concrete. Can you tie in a mascot or character to your cause, eg Fireman sam for fire-figher causes.
2. Make a Timeline
Your timeline will help you build your structure, a campaign calendar. Are you fundraising for an event, in response to something?
Also, think about how much of your time you can dedicate to this campaign. Different structures and ideas take different amounts of time.
3. Build a Budget
Once you have an idea of how much you want and need to raise, start thinking about how much you can spend to get there.
While it may seem counterintuitive to spend money when you’re trying to raise money, and it may feel like all funds should go directly towards your mission, you can often make a bigger impact by putting a percentage of your proceeds towards fundraising endeavors.
For example hiring a mascot will help to raise far more money than you spend on the hire.
Ads in newspapers, on social media, and on radio or tv can go a long way in reaching a broader audience, and new potential donors and create interest in your cause if it includes a character.
4. Know Your Audience
Before you can successfully reach out to people, you need to know who you’re communicating with and who you’re targeting. What is the typical gender, age, and locality of your audience? Who is most likely to give, and how much? Where do they consume content: on their phone, over email, through physical mail, or in person? For example, if they have very small children, perhaps iggle piggle or Peppa pig may bring in a wider audience, or perhaps Minions or Lego mascots for an older audience
5. Use a Variety of Strategies
Your audience is probably pretty diverse. T
Physical mail and email are other important ways to reach out to people, particularly your dedicated audience AND this medium can be accompanied by photos of your chosen mascot to help the impact. You can share more information with these methods, too, and get creative with your content and design.
6. Be Consistent
A successful fundraising campaign will use several different mediums and strategies, but the language, message, and imagery should be consistent across platforms.
Be clear on what you’re fundraising for, where the money’s going, why people should give, and what your goals are. A descriptive and catchy slogan, as well as an image of the hero mascot that will be involved for perhaps a MEET AND GREET , are great ways to tie your outreach methods together.
7. Invest in a Fundraising Platform
One of the most important parts of any non-profit fundraising strategy is the donation landing page on your website.
you can then book advance meet and greet / photo slots online to plan your fundraising with a mascot and ensure you maximise the time you have the mascot raising money
8. Ask for Help
You are not alone when it comes to fundraising. When you look around your network, you’re sure to find seasoned fundraisers who can help you get started. Ensure you get a few back ups for mascot wearers. Ensure they are over 18 years old. Read the hints and tips we provide on how to perform in the costumes
9. Make it Easy
The easier it is to donate, the more likely someone who is interested in donating will actually give. Make the donation process take as few steps as possible- take cash and card - you can do this easily by PayPal on your phone. Ensure less barriers to pay eg. when their child is tugging on their arm to meet the mascot and have a photo - you want it to be easy to allow them to pay.
10. Make it Personal
Why are you doing this? The best way to sell your organization and mission to donors is to remember why it’s important to you in the first place.
How can they help? Tell them about your organization and what a difference it’s making.
11. Be Specific and Direct
When you’re asking people to donate, don’t be vague about how it will help your organization, be specific and ask them directly.
What will a £1 donation pay for, as opposed to a £3 one? Where is the money going and who is it helping?
12. Use Positive Language
The language that you use in your fundraising campaign is incredibly important. You want to let people know who, and how, they’re helping. You also want them to know that they’ll be making a difference.
Use positive language telling them about positive outcomes, instead of negative situations.
13. Show Impact
Encourage potential donors to give, or give more, by showing them how you’ve used previous donations, or how your last fundraiser went - if you used a mascot last time, circulate the photos
14. Create a Sense of Urgency
If you have someone’s attention with a donation plea, they are most likely to follow through. Ease is one way of encouraging people to donate when they first consider it, but another is urgency.
Why should someone donate today? Is there a specific goal with a deadline, like a new building?
15. Use Compelling Imagery
Many people respond better to images and video than language. It creates an immediate, visceral reaction to actually see what your organization does. Mascots are colourful and make great video content - you can create your own images and videos for future promotions and future call to actions for your cause
16. Follow Up
One of the most important fundraising tips is to follow up with your donors. Whenever you send personal letters or emails, you should always follow up.
17. Offer Recurring Donation Options
If a person has donated once, they’re likely to donate again. Make recurring donations easy and affordable so that donors only have to fill their information out once and don’t have to remember to donate again.
18. Track Donations
Keeping track of donations is important on a few levels. It will help you remember who donated, when, and how much, which will help you with personalized outreach in the future.
19. Show Your Appreciation
Fundraising is about relationships. You want to make people feel like their donation was special and made a unique difference because it did.
Send thank-you letters out after campaigns and fundraising events, and pictures of people showing what a great time they had meeting the mascot, and how next time they could meet another mascot
20. Engage Your Volunteer Base
Volunteers are one of the most important assets of fundraising. They not only help you on the ground but also enable you to raise funds in more than one way. Don't forget to ask your donors to share their mascot images, make them your hidden arm of advertising volunteers for your cause!