Welcome back side-kicks!  In case you missed it, here is what happened in last week’s episode (Part 1: The Making of a Superhero). We talked about:

  • the importance of building a strong superhero base (your digital platform)
  • the making of (or recruiting) your superheroes
  • branding your superheroes to give them credibility instantly while they are off saving the world

This week we are going to focus on the role of the “side-kick” (that’s you, the nonprofit, BTW) because superheroes can’t be super without you! The greatest fallacy of hosting a DIY fundraising program is that you (the organization) can create a DIY platform and it will run itself;  in essence you can “set-it and forget it”. I mean, your participants are doing their own thing right? And you created this super cool base for them with all the gadgets they need – so why do they need you?

  • SIDE-KICKS to the rescue – The number 1 rule of fundraising? Nothing replaces the personal touch and even superheroes need help and encouragement to stay on the path of justice. Identify the key touch-points that will enable your superhero to meet their goal. From a welcome call or email to including them in your social influencer list so you can see what and where they post (helps to determine if and when they might need additional support from you). There are amazing reporting tools available to help identify individuals that haven’t updated their personal fundraising page or accessed the wealth of tools you have made available to support them. They can also tell you who may be struggling to get their fundraising off the ground, or get down the “home stretch” to reach their fundraising goal. And don’t forget to check-in with your high dollar fundraisers to let them know you are there to support them! Your superheroes are super for a reason – they are self-motivated and passionate about your cause. But don’t forget the lesson from last week – fundraising is hard! It is important that your superheroes feel supported. Use all of the tools available to you to save you time by identifying when, what kind and exactly which superheroes need your support.
  • RECOGNIZE their achievements – Superman and Spider-man didn’t become household names overnight. It took repeated coverage in the local news to get them known.  They may not have been looking for accolades, but it sure made their jobs easier when the general public knew who they were and that they were the good guys. Be your superhero’s Daily Planet (that’s the local newspaper from Superman comics)! Acknowledge their participation, promote their success and thank them for their efforts. Help them utilize milestones to keep motivation levels high. And most of all, help make the connection between their activity and their impact on your mission and your super hero will come back time and time again to champion your cause.  Recognition is a critical tool in the creation of strong personal connections between your Superhero and your organization, not just to the mission and ensures your superheroes will be fundraising superstars for many years to come!
  • ANALYZE & OPTIMIZE – In the first Iron Man movie we got introduced to the man and the suit. In subsequent movies his suits got more intricate. And who doesn’t love Q from the James Bond series, always dreaming up gadgets and toys? It’s a superhero standard to introduce new technology and basic improvements based on the heroes experiences and learnings. Think of your DIY program as the Iron Man suit or the Bat-mobile. Make sure you are using reporting and analytics tools to evaluate opportunities to optimize the event experience and add new high-value program features over time. You can learn a lot from your superheroes too! Don’t be afraid to ask for their feedback on everything from the Bat Cave to your customer service.

Just like superhero movies, DIY events are growing in popularity. The public appeal is the ability for individuals and groups to choose what they want to do, when and for what cause. With so many organizations to choose from the deciding factor is YOU! Help them see the amazing benefits of becoming your superhero and don’t hide the value you will provide as their side-kick. Help them believe they can save the world…and they will.

I’m also speaking in a DIY Fundraising focused webinar in late March, so register today and tune in on March 29th!