“Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

One of the best ways to increase the success of fundraiser campaigns is to motivate fundraising teams.  Motivation is like the gasoline that a well-oiled fundraising team runs off of in the nonprofit space. According to a recent study, 77% of the US workforce is willing to work harder in exchange for more appreciation. Did you know that 71% of American workers are not engaged in their work? How do these statistics apply in the nonprofit world?

Are your fundraising teams doing all that they can to create new opportunities for your organization? How does your nonprofit motivate fundraising teams in an effort to create a productive workforce and hit goals? These are all questions that a nonprofit must answer if they want to develop a sustainable fundraising process for their organization.  Here are five ways that you can motivate fundraising teams and promote optimal performance.

Prefer seeing this content in a visual format? Download a visual recap of this post.


Motivate Fundraising Teams with Gamification


Gamification is the process of implementing game style tactics into serious business activities. Incorporating gamification into your organization’s strategy is a great way to motivate fundraising teams and volunteers through friendly competition.  70% of business transformation efforts fail due to lack of engagement.  Your nonprofit can use gamification to motivate fundraising teams and increase engagement to new levels.  There are many different ways that your nonprofit can leverage gamification including a point system (prizes), fundraising leaderboard, issuing badges based on goals, and much more. Gamification makes the process of fundraising competitive and fun for both the fundraiser and the donor.


Motivate Fundraising Teams by Setting Clear Goals


Setting goals is another great way to motivate fundraising teams.  Your organization should set both team goals and help member’s craft individual goals.  A Harvard Business study found that people with goals are 10 times more successful than those without goals.  The study also found that people who have written goals are 30 times more successful than their counterparts.  These numbers prove the value of goal setting at both a team and individual contributor level.  When setting goals for your fundraising team it is also important to make sure they are clear, obtainable, and measurable.  Use goal setting as another opportunity to motivate fundraising teams. Make the process fun.


Motivate Fundraising Teams by Reminding Them of the Mission


Your organization’s mission is what inspired many on your fundraising team to become involved with your organization, to begin with.  Use your mission and organizational values to continue to motivate fundraising teams. One of the best ways that you can accomplish this goal is by providing your fundraising teams with organizational success stories.  How have your fundraiser’s efforts made a difference in the community? How will your fundraiser’s contributions change the community tomorrow? Providing fundraisers with stories of change in the community also gives them additional collateral that can complement their fundraising efforts.  Never forget that your fundraisers are often times your nonprofits super supporters.


“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give” Winston Churchill


Motivate Fundraising Teams by Recognizing Achievements


Recognizing your fundraising team for their group and individual contributions towards the success of your nonprofit organization is a must.  Recognition is one of the most important ways to motivate fundraising teams and keep them on course.  A recent study found that companies using strategic recognition are 48% more likely to report high engagement.  Another study found that only 14% of organizations provide managers with the tools that they need to provide rewards and recognition.  Providing your fundraising team with recognition can also have an impact on retention rates.  Many studies have shown the direct correlation between recognition and retention rates.

Check out this article on npEngage that provides ideas on how to recognize top fundraisers.


Motivate Fundraising Teams Through Effective Communication


Communication is not just key.  It is a requirement to motivate fundraising teams to the highest degree possible.  Communication is also more than just verbal.  Non-verbal communication is equally important in relaying messages.  The McKinsey Global Institute found that productivity improves by between 20-25% when an organization is comprised of connected employees.  The same can be said about nonprofits and fundraising teams.   Here are a few tips to communicate effectively with your team:

  • Communicate one on one when you have opportunities to do so
  • Use presentations to convey messages (use visuals)
  • Present a clear message to your team (Don’t overdo it)
  • Make sure you convey your messages in an articulate manner
  • Ask your team to provide feedback (make adjustments based on it)
  • Ask your team how they like to communicate
  • Keep your communication style consistent


The process that your nonprofit takes to motivate fundraising teams can make a substantial impact on year-round campaign success for your organization.  Motivate your teams by making fundraising fun, setting clear objectives, reinforcing your organization’s mission, recognizing achievements, and communicating effectively.

New call-to-action