“Do-It-Yourself” Fundraising Model: How it helps Non-profits to raise more funds?

The Non-Profits, who are working hard on the ground need support from the donors to sustain its services and be able to scale-up the services to reach out to more beneficiaries. We all know for a fact that the financial support required to sustain a Non-Profit is critical and it does decide the number of beneficiaries a non-profit can reach and bring about a social change.

The Non-Profits practice different methods to raise funds to support their causes. These are CSR funds from big corporates, grants from foundations and high net worth families, endowment funds, and more importantly from individual donors. A small study by the Non-Profit Tech for Good, a non-profit research organization, found that more than 50% of donations a non-profit receives is coming from the individual retail donor. 

There are many challenges Non-Profits face in raising funds from the retail donor like:

  1. Most of the Non-Profits depend on the Project Development Director to raise funds
  2. Lack of both human and time resources, which hampers the reaching out process to new donors
  3. Not getting recurring donations
  4. Ability to provide progress reports and details on the fund utilization
  5. Staying motivated throughout the fundraising campaign.

To overcome and mitigate the above challenges the Non-Profits can employ a new fund-raising model called as the “Do-It-Yourself”, which is widely popular in America and Europe.

What is the Do-It-Yourself fund-raising model? It is a method, where non-profits empower its existing stakeholders and donors with tools and platforms to raise funds on its behalf both online and offline. It is like the traditional peer-to-peer fundraising model.  

DIY model provides the flexibility to a fundraiser to be creative with the type of campaign he or she runs based on the individuals interest and passion. The fundraiser can submit their campaign proposal to the Non-Profit. After the required checks and balances, the Non-Profit can approve and publish the campaign on its digital platforms like website, social media channels, etc. Upon publishing of the campaign, the fundraiser can share the campaign within their network of family, friends, and peers and request their network influence to contribute to the cause which is personal to them.

You might be wondering about how the DIY model is different from Non-Profit itself running the fundraising campaign? The secret lies in the reach and personal trust of the fundraiser here. If the Non-Profit wants to reach new donors, it will take a lot of effort and time in convincing and establishing the confidence and trust with a potential donor. Whereas in the DIY model, the fundraiser has his credibility and trust factor established among his/her network of influence. This will help the donor to make the decision swiftly  as he/she need not go through all the pain which needs in understanding and getting required details about the Non-Profit with which they never worked or engaged before. This model provides a win-win situation for fundraiser with personal satisfaction and non-profit in getting a new donor without much hassle. The beauty here is that the donations are directly credited to the Non-Profit account and there is no need for them to collect and manage the fund physically from donors.

The fundraiser can run these campaigns on occasions like their birthday, their family member’s birthday and on special occasions like anniversaries, festivals. These occasions will inspire the individuals to do something good for society and give it back in whatever form and scale an individual is willing.

To make these DIY successful the Non-Profits would need to support the fundraiser in two ways:

i) Make it easy to run the campaign:

Non-Profits can give guidance and step-by-step instructions on their website or social media channels about the campaign. It can be about how a supporter can submit campaign request, how they can share the campaign with their network of influence through email and social media channels, etc. Non-Profits also can educate and train its support base using webinars and conference calls so that more and more of its support base comes forward to extend a helping hand.

ii) Provide backend support to the fundraiser

Employing DIY fundraising model would not add much stress to Non-Profit’s staff. However, it would be great to have a dedicated resource available to assist any request and query.

With these guidelines and with the help of its community supporters, Non-Profits can utilize DIY fundraising model effectively. These campaigns should inspire the community of supporters to run their own campaigns and help the cause of their interest at their own time and way.


Umesh Shilvant

(Co-Founder, SociallyGood)

Reference – Fundraising challenges faced by nonprofits


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