Kissing a Pig
You may not have heard about it before but the 158th Indiana County Fair this August will feature a pretty unique fundraiser, Kiss a Pig. And the Evergreen After School Club (EASC) will hopefully raise even more than the $20,000 that it raised in the last event in 2019.
It is a pretty normal fundraiser, as participants are “recruited” and they will compete for top fundraising honors; the top fundraising having the “honor” of kissing Olivia, a prize pig from the fair. But it is a pretty great fundraiser for a small program in a small town of a little over 13,000 citizens. If you’re curious, you can read more or learn how to join in the recent Indiana Gazette article.
How does it have that much success? Let’s take a look at what makes a simple event like “Kiss a Pig” a success for local nonprofits.
Keep it local
This kind of fundraiser reflects the community. Indiana, PA. Is a rural community known for being the “Christmas Tree Capital of the World” due to the large numbers of Christmas trees grown in the area.
And of course, the venue, the Indiana County Fair, is like most other rural county fairs that offer a variety of agricultural contests and events showcasing the county’s best livestock, garden products, and more.
So highlighting a prize pig by featuring Olivia makes a fantastic tie-in that’s sure to gather grassrooted interest. Playing to local strengths at big local events helps ensure that local people will want to get involved and take interest.
It’s just not about the pig, but the fact that someone is winning a chance to “kiss” it. Which of course is both hilarious and a little odd. But that “fun” factor makes people want to be involved in the process.
This kind of lighthearted feature will be sure to spread the word locally about your fundraiser as people will want to learn more about who is involved and if they may know the person that will have to kiss the pig. It often also improves the chance that someone will donate to your fundraisers as they will then get to see their friend or colleague be the one in the unenviable position.
Many people donating will not be concerned at all about the after-school program this supports, or even be aware of what charity is being supported. The draw is in the “fun” of it.
And it doesn’t have to be kissing a pig, but you should consider the equivalent of “kissing a pig” in your community. What would the general public respond to? Not just people in your nonprofit community, but the general public overall. This is the opportunity to expand your donor base – we want to include everyone!
It could be a high-stakes trivia game featuring local celebrities, or a softball tournament in an area that loves softball. Use your local gifts to your advantage. Watch your community, see what draws a crowd, and then think about how you can create a fun, but respectable twist on one of the popular passions.
Look to tradition
You may not have to look far to find inspiration as you don’t always have to recreate the wheel. Look to the past, to old events and fundraisers from the past that are no longer held. Of course, not every idea from the past was a good idea, but sometimes a revival will often have a healthy dose of nostalgia that can drive donations and interest.
And you don’t even have to revive the exact same idea, but you can borrow pieces of the ideas to create a familiar, yet new or more modern take on the fundraising event. By putting a twist on an old idea, you can generate interest and even perhaps a little local controversy, which can also be a great way to spread the word.
Getting the word out
An event that no one hears about won’t be a success, even if you have that amazing event. Make sure you contact everyone in your nonprofit community to help you spread the word. One great option is utilizing the Giveffect software. This all-in-one system featuring Smart Automation allows you to quickly reach out to all of your groups with customized messages via email, text and direct mail. . Volunteers, fundraisers, event participants, major donors, members and more, all in one CRM.
Giveffect an incredibly robust event system with the ability to create and host any type of event you can dream up. All user-friendly, all with professional templates that allow you to get the marketing done right, quickly. And it is all directly tied to your full CRM. With a few clicks, everyone you know will know.
Learn more about Giveffect and what they could do to make your next nonprofit fundraiser or event a huge success: bit.ly/3yAhkkN
Don’t forget the private sector
One last quick tip: While creating or retooling a fundraiser don’t forget to include the private sector in your efforts. Of course, these fundraisers should reflect the local community and oftentimes major elements of the community are the businesses that make up key sectors. If your fundraiser is highlighting one of those sectors, like agriculture for example for the “Kiss a Pig” event, make sure you reach out to those businesses and let them know that they have a great advertising opportunity that’s fun and “on brand” for them.