Bright Idea: Create Competition with Teams

Fundraising Ideas

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Who they are

City Year New Hampshire is a nonprofit organization focused on supporting the development, growth, and success of students in systemically under-resourced schools, while preparing our AmeriCorps members to be leaders in their communities and careers.

City Year uses Americorps members to serve students who lack access to learning environments and resources they need to thrive in school and in life, due to systemic inequities that disproportionately affect students of color and students growing up in low-income households. In doing this, they not only help students, but also transform their Americorps members into civic leaders.

What they did

City Year New Hampshire recently celebrated its 20th anniversary as a nonprofit organization. To celebrate, they hosted a major fundraising competition called the Idealism Cup.

City Year New Hampshire Idealism Cup Event Header Image

They sorted their program alumni into four fundraising teams based on a range of graudating years. Then, their alumni were tasked with fundraising to earn points so that their team could claim the Idealism Cup at City Year’s anniversary celebration.

Fundraising teams earned points by fundraising and by completing challenges created by the event organizers.

Creating healthy competition by creating teams and pitting them against one another to win the top prize motivated fundraisers to raise more funds for their team before the fundraising deadline.

The results? City Year New Hampshire beat their $5,000 fundraising goal. In fact, they raised 32% more than their goal!

City Year New Hampshire's Idealism Cup Fundraising Thermometer.

What you can do

City Year New Hampshire did a great job of creating competition with their event. Its entire purpose was to inspire four fundraising teams to compete to become the top fundraising team. You can find the same fundraising success by inspiring healthy competition at your next event.

Incentivize competing

City Year created the Idealism Cup as a prize for one of their four fundraising teams to win. Offering a prize for outfundraising the other teams was an effective strategy for motivating their alumni to fundraise on their behalf.

Offer a prize for the top fundraising team at your next fundraising event. To save on costs, treat the prize like the Stanley Cup. Each team will be expected to return the prize before the next competition so it can be passed on to next year’s top fundraising team.

Build the competition around team fundraising

City Year took individual fundraising participants out of the equation for their event. Instead, each of their alumni was assigned a team based on their graduation year and they worked together to raise as much as possible and complete event challenges.

Creating teams helped get fundraisers in the competitive spirit while also inspiring collaboration and teamwork to boost fundraising efforts. Building a peer-to-peer event that relies on fundraising teams rather than individual fundraisers can help increase the number of donations made to your event.

Display a leaderboard to keep the competition going

City Year New Hampshire made use of Qgiv’s leaderboard widget on their event page so each team knew when they won or lost the lead. The leaderboard displayed how much had been raised by each team so team members could set new goals and outfundraise the other teams.

CIty Year New Hampshire Fundraising Leaderboard Widget

Displaying a leaderboard on your event website can drive competition between fundraising teams and earn your organization more in donations.

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