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Generate More Fundraising Revenue With Simple But Impactful Virtual Challenges

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As the year comes to a close and your nonprofit considers what fundraising initiatives to add to next year’s pipeline, hosting a virtual challenge is a low-effort way to elevate your mission while simultaneously increasing your fundraising revenue. The best part about virtual challenges is that they are inclusive and very flexible: You have the ability to host a virtual challenge over an extended period of time, and anyone from around the world can participate in the challenge! 

GiveSignup | RunSignup lets you create your own virtual challenges with ease by offering tools and features, like simple activity submissions, leaderboards, progress milestones, participant photo uploads, shipping address verification, and more! Plus, if you’re anticipating a tight budget next year and you’re hesitant to invest in a new technology, the beauty of our technology is that it’s absolutely free — giving you the opportunity to create as many challenges as you want. 

Read on to learn about different types of virtual challenges and see live examples of how GiveSignup | RunSignup customers are using virtual challenges to increase their fundraising revenue.

Increase Brand Awareness With a Fitness Challenge

A virtual fitness challenge is a simple way to spread more awareness about your mission while giving people an activity to have fun with and feel good about. And, with the new year right around the corner, people will be looking for more ways to get more physically active and burn off those extra holiday calories. 

Fitness challenges are also a great way for your supporters to engage with your nonprofit and with their network of friends and family — which makes them feel more connected to their community through a shared experience. An added bonus: With GiveSignup | RunSignup, you can add a “Donate” call-to-action button and even a donation form to your event website, which encourages people to also give to a worthy cause while they sign up for your challenge! 

Customer Example: Kaiser Permanente Get Fit 30 Day Step Challenge

Kaiser Permanente hosted a month-long virtual fitness challenge that encouraged people to get up and moving, and earn points as part of a team. What’s unique about this virtual challenge is that participants had the option of logging in their points through various types of physical exercises: walking, running, cycling, swimming, or paddling/rowing. With an entire month to participate in this challenge, Kaiser Permanente had 263 individual participants spread out into 34 teams — with the top team logging in a total of 14,515 miles!  

Screenshot of Kaiser Permanente Get Fit 30 Day Step Challenge's activity leaderboard

Using GiveSignup | RunSignup, Kaiser Permanente created an intuitive challenge website that housed important information about the fitness challenge, a call-to-action button for people to sign up for the challenge, a leaderboard page that kept participants up to date with live performance results, and a page for participants to log in their results whenever they wanted from a web browser — no app downloads required! 

Kaiser Permanente's challenge website included multiple pages of important information.

Inspire Supporters With a Mission-Driven Challenge

For a super simple virtual challenge, consider one that primarily focuses on your mission and immediate need. It could be a general fundraising challenge (e.g., Help us raise $5,000 before December 31!), or it could be asking supporters to provide much-need supplies (e.g., Donate new toys this holiday season for children who are less fortunate). Especially right now when people are feeling more generous than normal, your supporters are looking for opportunities to give back to their communities in a variety of ways — so get creative with your messaging! 

To further help you connect and engage with your supporters, promote generosity, and drive fundraising revenue, GiveSignup | RunSignup has a free email marketing tool that lets you send unlimited emails to an unlimited number of contacts, helping you broadcast your mission and message to your biggest supporters. Our email tool also allows you to personalize each communication in mere seconds with the insertion of unlimited data replacement tags. 

Customer Example: Marketing Research Education Foundation

The Marketing Research Education Foundation used GiveSignup | RunSignup to create its 2021 U.S. Backpack Challenge, which urged supporters to help the organization send 2,000 backpacks filled with essential school supplies to at-risk students in the U.S. The organization gave its supporters two options: to fill a backpack with school supplies for $25 or to provide a teacher with a semester’s worth of school supplies for a class of 24 for $250. 

With the opportunity to create a free donation website for its challenge, MREF featured a cover page that showcased compelling, mission-driven, carousel photos, along with clear call-to-action buttons, and additional content sections to highlight important information about its challenge. 

The Marketing Research Education Foundation's challenge cover page

Activate Supporters With a Physical Activity and Donation Goal

What better way to motivate your supporters to take immediate action than by setting time-based goals? Whether you’re challenging your supporters with a physical goal, a fundraising goal, or both, the collaborative experience will drive people to work together and reach those goals as a team. Plus, we highly encourage you to use gamification tactics to enrich the experience with your organization and give your supporters more to look forward to. 

A recommendation for event organizers: Pick a meaningful number for your challenge, like 25 miles to celebrate your organization’s 25th anniversary, for example. 

Further encourage fundraisers and challenge participants to keep up with the activity by offering milestones and badges. A milestone for both fundraisers and challenge participants can be getting halfway to their goal (e.g., raising $500 or running five miles). GiveSignup | RunSignup also offers customizable milestones and badges for virtual challenges that allow nonprofits to track their participant progress. 

When you award badges to your fundraisers for reaching milestones, GiveSignup | RunSignup lets you display those unique badges in an achievements showcase on the fundraiser’s fundraising page within GiveSignup’s fundraising campaigns. Who doesn’t want to show off their achievements? Plus, before badges are earned, fundraisers can view upcoming badges that they can achieve — giving them an extra incentive to hit those milestones. 

In addition to giving participants badges for each milestone achieved, nonprofits can even award milestone certificates. For fundraisers, we offer nonprofits the ability to celebrate milestones with confetti notifications every time a participant hits a fundraising milestone.

With GiveSignup | RunSignup, nonprofits have a range of activity gamification features at their fingertips, further increasing their engagement with supporters: 

  • Set up unique, custom activity milestones for your event participants (e.g., number of miles run or number of minutes participating in an activity). For event organizers, we recommend picking a meaningful number (e.g., “You’ve completed three miles. Did you know that we opened our second chapter on the West Coast during our third year as an organization?).
  • Trigger notifications to congratulate participants on reaching those milestones. 
  • Enable live map tracking, which displays progress toward participants’ activity goal on a physical geographical map. We recommend creating a virtual map that relates to your organization or cause (e.g., 60 Good Deeds in 60 Days uses a map that travels the 60 miles between all active job sites). 

Customer Example: Sonic Endurance

Sonic Endurance held the Planks and Thanks Challenge this past November to promote physical exercise and to raise funds to go toward three nonprofits — Knox, Manna on Main, and Houston Food Bank.

With free and easy-to-use tools from GiveSignup | RunSignup, Sonic Endurance was able to create an intuitive challenge website that featured important information about the two-week challenge, clear call-to-action buttons, and a donation form that gave donors the power to choose which nonprofit they wanted to donate to and the option to give on behalf of someone else. The best part? With a challenge that was easy to execute and didn’t require elaborate planning, it exceeded its goal and raised a total of $1,435.

Sonic Endurance's donate form

Excite Supporters With a Seasonal Challenge

Take advantage of the time of the year with a seasonal challenge. Depending on the time of the year, seize the opportunity to tie your virtual challenge with any upcoming holidays. A few examples could be an Easter theme for spring, a Fourth of July theme for summer, a pumpkin/harvest theme for fall, and a Hanukkah or Christmas theme for winter. 

Customer Example: Northern Arizona Trail Runners Association

With a creative way to connect its virtual challenge with a seasonal theme, the Northern Arizona Trail Runners Association hosted the Chanukah Chustle Challenge, which took place November 28, 2021 to December 6, 2021. With this challenge, participants were challenged to complete a minimum goal of walking or running 1K on the first day, 2K on the second day, 3K on the third day — all the way through an 8K on the final day.

On top of having basic elements on its event website — like information about the event and call-to-action buttons to sign up for the event and donate to the organization’s charity of choice (Flagstaff Shelter Services) — Northern Arizona Trail Runners Association also included a playful video about Hanukkah and a leaderboard that showcased all 37 of its participants’ progress. 

Chanukah Chustle Challenge's website elements

GiveSignup | RunSignup has a variety of free and next-generation fundraising tools to make your nonprofit’s next virtual challenge, ticket event, or fundraising campaign a huge success — with even more ways to raise more and do more for its mission. Click here to learn more.

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