TLDR: Fundraising is tougher this Ramadan but LaunchGood's got your back, schedule free consult here if you need it.
You're not crazy, fundraising is down
At LaunchGood we're fortunate to have a LOT of data to look at when it comes to industry-wide fundraising (9,418 active campaigns at time of this article!), and the numbers are very clear this Ramadan: fundraising is down.
Interestingly it's not the number of donations (that's steady), but the amount - the average donation is 17% less than last Ramadan.
And this is true globally - from North America to Europe to Asia Pacific.
Fundraising down both online & offline
Of course with the world moving on from COVID-19, fundraisers have returned in-person, maybe that's where donations went?
So I talked to the CEO's of leading Muslim charities as well as consultants in the space (and even my own local masjid), and it's clear this phenomenon is both online & offline. Oh, and email is especially terrible!
At best, some charities are raising what they raised last year. At worst, about half as much.
So if you're struggling this Ramadan, don't feel bad - you're not alone.
Why? Economic fears + Earthquake response
It's always difficult to pinpoint a precise reason why, but through all my conversations 2 possible explanations emerge:
- Economic fears - There's inflation, bank runs, stagnant stock market, layoffs, etc. As any economist will tell you, people are scared to spend in the face of uncertainty.
- Earthquake relief - just 2 months ago we saw a devastating earthquake in Turkey & Syria, with an incredible response from the Muslim community (on LaunchGood alone over $8 million was raised). People could be tapped out a bit from that.
There's hope: 3 winning strategies this Ramadan - Z.I.P.
Although it's good to know you're not alone, that doesn't help you.
What does is knowing how to reach your fundraising goals, despite the challenges.
So we've scoured through thousands of fundraisers, and identified 3 unique strategies that are actually bucking the trend and doing great this Ramadan: Z.I.P.
- Zakat - low hanging fruit (where applicable)
- Influencers - best but hardest
- Peer-to-peer - everyone can do it!
1. Zakat: double your donations
The lowest-hanging fruit: ask for Zakat if you're eligible.
Zakat donations are more than double non-Zakat donations.
Recently my friend & teacher Haroon Sugich reached out to me wanting to help an unsung hero in South Africa, Aunty Rashieda, go for Hajj with her elderly husband. We quickly crafted a campaign to raise $5,000, and almost as an after thought we had it reviewed and approved for Zakat by the LaunchGood Zakat scholars.
Within one day of going live he hit his goal!
When I looked at the donations, I was struck how many of the donations were marked off as Zakat: 75%.
Would those same people have supported if it wasn't Zakat eligible? Probably.
Would've they given hundreds and thousands of dollars as their donation? Probably not.
Even in a down economy, zakat is owed and it's paid from accumulated wealth, not that year's income. So there's always plenty to go around.
Just make sure to ask for it!
Read more about how Zakat can enhance your fundraising here.
2. Influencers: the biggest mover
Undoubtedly the biggest trend in fundraising is the use of influencers, because it works.
We live in a time where people trust a social media celebrity more than their president or prime minister.
Fortunately, there are a lot of Muslim influencers who want to use their following for good!
Influencers this Ramadan have raised over $1 million on LaunchGood, and have dominated our daily leaderboards (usually winning about 50% of the prizes). We even launched an Influencer Hub to help influencers and charities to connect (launchgoodhub.com).
However, it's not as simple as just finding any influencer. You need:
- A strategy
- Clear brand-alignment
- Support for the influencer
- Incentives - for the influencer & their followers
Finding and effectively partnering with an influencer with only a little over 2 weeks left in Ramadan is not easy! But it may very well be worth it.
Read more about using influencers to boost your Ramadan fundraising here.
3. Peer-to-peer: activate your community
Peer-to-peer fundraising is something everyone can benefit from.
Not zakat-eligible? Can't find an influencer?
Fret not! We can all find volunteers to support our fundraising, that's what peer-to-peer is all about.
Ask yourself: are you more likely to donate if your masjid sends a newsletter out, or your best friend sends you a DM?
There's an awesome success story of a madrasah in the UK, Madrasah Zeenatul Quran, using peer-to-peer fundraising this Ramadan to raise triple their normal amounts - and we're not even halfway through Ramadan!
Maulana Faruk, Principal of the madrasah, fundraises every Ramadan for a worthy cause overseas.
Normally he stands up during taraweeh, begs the community for support, and by the end of Ramadan collects around £7,000 ($8700 USD).
This Ramadan they decided to create a peer-to-peer campaign, and have each student at the madrasah create their own micro-fundraiser (91 in total).
These are only kids (ages 8-13), yet by reaching out to their parents, uncles, aunties etc. they've been able to raise collectively over £20,000 ($25,000 USD).
This is further fueled by an internal leaderboard to get the competitive juices flowing!
It's really quite simple to leverage peer-to-peer fundraising:
- Gather your army of volunteers
- Have a clear and simple ask
- Keep engaged with your fundraisers
Read more about using peer-to-peer fundraising & Maulana Faruk's story here.
The BEST is yet to come: Last 10 Nights
In spite of the slow start to Ramadan, there's a lot of confidence within LaunchGood and Muslim charities that fundraising will pick up significantly, because we still have the last 10 nights of Ramadan.
Historically, 60% of your donations - the majority - will come in the last 10 nights!
Hurry up! There's still time, and you've got to prepare now.
Conclusion: You can do this, and we're here to help!
Ramadan fundraising is down, but don't lose hope - there are proven strategies others are using to raise more this Ramadan than ever before, and you can be one of them!
Need help? That's what we're here for.
We're passionate about the Muslim community and believe there's so much potential within us.
We'd be honored to help you maximize your fundraising this Ramadan, feel welcomed to reach out and schedule a free consultation here to:
- Create a Last 10 Nights of Ramadan strategy
- Craft the most compelling story/fundraising pitch for donors
- Set up peer-to-peer page for your community
ps - Oh and just by fundraising on LaunchGood you have the chance to win donations boosts of up to $5,000 every day. Click here to find out how.
Chris Blauvelt is the CEO & founder of LaunchGood.com, a passionate Muslim American entrepreneur committed to building up the global Muslim community to reach its full potential.