In the last post, I outlined a model for cohesive collaboration between nonprofits their supporters and sponsors, which can significantly enhance community-based fundraising. In this post, I want to walk through a typical community fundraising example and contrast it with digital fundraising.


Parents of school-age children can easily relate to the “spirit night.” A school collaborates with a specific business establishment in the area to raise funds for the school. When parents or other supporters from the community shop there a particular night, a certain percentage of the proceeds go to the school. As a parent, I have experienced that everyone in the community wants to support the school and could spend quite a bit to help the school, but often
the proceeds are not as promising. For example, if the community generates up to a $1000 sales for the establishment, the school may only get less than $100. There’s also a pressure to spend at that particular night, even if otherwise parents would instead have spent that money at their leisure.

(a) 12% of Pizza sales go to the PTO of a public school

Let’s consider such an example of a specific pizza place partnering with a school, offering a generous 12% of the sales generated during the campaign donated to the school. The table below shows how this campaign will fare.

Average Spending/Customer No. of Customer Proceeds Campaign Earns Contribution/Customer
$20 30 $600 $72.00 $2.40

As you can see with the participation of 30 families and average family spending $20, the campaign will generate $72 in funds, while the business will make $600 in sales.

(b) 12% Discount (Max $2.40) For $5 Contribution to PTO of a public school

The table below shows how the campaign will fare if this campaign was run using the digital fundraising model I have proposed in my last post.

Average Spending/Family No. of Families Proceeds Campaign Earns Contribution/Customer
$22.60 30 $600 $150 $5

By incentivizing donors with the discount coupon of their favorite products/services we can provide them with more reasons to give. Extending these incentives beyond the traditional limitations of time and space, the donors will have more freedom and flexibility, resulting in a higher number of donors and higher amount of donations.

The vendor and the nonprofit can work together to devise ways to raise even more funds by offering even more attractive discounts for a higher level of contributions.

This gets even more powerful if we add multiple vendors to the mix; if I don’t feel like eating pizza maybe I can go for a Kabob place across the street or that Chinese restaurant in the old town, more choices for the supporters of the campaign which can result in more funds raised for the nonprofit.