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Does your organization provide a platform, supplies, or support for gift card fundraisers? Consider sponsoring this fundraising idea to expand your reach!

4 Steps to Launch a Gift Card Fundraiser

Your organization can get started with gift card fundraising in four easy steps:

1. Secure Gift Cards to Sell

There are two main ways you can acquire gift cards for your fundraiser. First, you could approach individual businesses yourself and ask them to contribute gift cards as part of a sponsorship agreement. The main advantage to this method is that you can tailor the gift card offerings to your supporters’ preferences. However, the negotiations can require a lot of time and effort.

Your other option is to partner with a gift card fundraising platform, which will provide both the gift cards and the webpage or app that your supporters will use to buy them. This method is often more convenient because the platform will handle business relations and deliver the gift cards to supporters for you. Just make sure to do your research before choosing a platform–compare several platforms’ offerings, user experiences, and commission rates to decide which one is right for your organization.

2. Spread the Word About Your Fundraiser

Marketing is essential to a successful gift card fundraiser, particularly because many of your supporters likely won’t have participated in one before. Announce your fundraiser and provide instructions for how to buy gift cards using the following communication channels:

In each of these marketing materials, include a link or QR code to the site where supporters can purchase gift cards, whether it’s on your website or through a third-party platform. This way, supporters can immediately participate!

3. Deliver the Gift Cards

Some gift card fundraising platforms will take care of this step for you, while in other cases, you’ll need to distribute the gift cards yourself. If you’re selling physical gift cards, remember to collect supporters’ mailing addresses so you can ship their purchases to them. However, digital gift cards tend to be more convenient–you can send them to supporters’ emails within seconds, and then they can forward the email to the intended recipient.

Either way, make sure you have a system in place to collect data on your fundraiser as it progresses. Also, continue your marketing efforts to remind supporters to continue contributing through their gift card purchases.

4. Follow up With Your Supporters

As with any fundraiser, make sure to thank your supporters for participating in your gift card sale. After they buy a gift card, direct them to a “Thank you for your purchase!” screen and send them an automatic confirmation email to start the follow-up process.

Especially for your top participants, you should also send a personalized thank-you message. Including their name, fundraising total, and concrete examples of what their gift card purchases will help your organization accomplish shows supporters that you value them as individuals and builds your relationship with them.

How to Boost Gift Card Fundraiser Sales

As you plan your gift card fundraiser, keep in mind that there are a few things you can do to boost your sales and get your supporters more involved. Try these tips to get started:

  • Offer gift cards that appeal to your unique supporter base. Consider sending out a survey to ask supporters what their favorite retailers are and what verticals (food, clothing, home goods, etc.) they’d prefer to choose from when purchasing gift cards.
  • Launch your fundraiser at the right time of year. Two of the best months to start a gift card fundraiser are November (to prepare for the holiday season) and April (to get ready for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, peak wedding season, and upcoming graduations). You’ll still make sales in between these months for birthday presents, though!
  • Pair gift card sales with other fundraising campaigns. Charity eCards complement gift card fundraisers especially well, since a supporter can send both a card and a gift to their intended recipient. If you launch in November, your gift card sale may also coordinate with your organization’s GivingTuesday efforts.

Additionally, it’s no secret that data-driven fundraising strategies tend to be the most successful. Leverage the data you collect throughout your fundraiser to adjust your sales approach and outreach over time.

Organizations That Run Gift Card Fundraisers

Part of the versatility of gift card fundraisers is that they work for a variety of organizations, including:

  • Nonprofits
  • Schools
  • Companies
  • Clubs and community organizations

If you go through a gift card fundraising platform, make sure to choose one that supports your organization type.