When it comes to fundraising for Mother’s Day, let’s start with some facts. Mother’s Day is the highest spending day of the year outside of the busy holiday and end of year giving seasons. Americans are estimated to spend a whopping $25 billion dollars to celebrate their mothers and the other important women in their lives for Mother’s Day. These dollars are spent on everything from jewelry and cards, to consumer electronics and personal experiences. The biggest spenders each year are on jewelry and special outings.
And yet, Mother’s Day is often an untapped day of giving when it comes to annual fundraising. Unlike Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF on Halloween or the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots at Christmas, there is not a ubiquitous association of Mother’s Day to any particular cause or organization. That means there is ample opportunity to leverage this day of gift-giving to bring joy to mothers around the world AND make an even greater impact for your organization.
We recognize that in the age of coronavirus, many traditional fundraisers and in-person events are difficult to execute safely. As much as possible, we encourage you to consider how you can replicate your fundraising ideas online, promote digital giving, or adjust to provide individually-delivered experiences and prizes for donors. Ensure that any necessary in-person elements of your fundraising efforts comply with your local health regulations and allow for safe social distancing.
9 Mother’s Day Fundraising Ideas
So how can you make Mother’s Day work for your organization? Here are a few easy ideas to inspire your supporters to make an impact this Mother’s Day for both moms AND your cause.
1. Jewelry for a Cause
Help supporters say “I love you, Mom” with some shiny, new bling. Partner with a local jewelry store, franchise, or online retailer to allocate a portion of sales to support your cause in the lead up to Mother’s Day. In 2019, Art in Action partnered with a local outpost of popular national jewelry retainer Kendra Scott to host a local shopping day where 20% of proceeds went to AiA (including online sales through a custom link!). They also held a student art contest to design a special Art in Action necklace that could be purchased on the day, with an even higher percentage of proceeds going to the org.
2. Card Service
Take a page from the playbook of online services like Postable.com and help remove some of the friction from buying and mailing a Mother’s Day card to your loved ones. Have your staff, supporters, beneficiaries, or volunteers design some special Mother’s Day card greetings unique to your cause. Select a few to print using a service like Shutterfly. Hold an online fundraiser to sell the cards along with a service offering to write, address, and mail the cards as requested for a nominal fee. Raise dollars, build awareness, and gain names and addresses for future mailings all-in-one!
3. Count your Peonies
Flowers are a big part of Mother’s Day. But florists and online retailers can have a pretty high mark-up to get flowers in the door at your mom’s. Find ways to cut out the flowery middlemen while making some cash for your cause. Host a flower sale and take pre-orders. Buy flowers wholesale online or partner with a local farm, and use staff and volunteers to create beautiful bouquets that local supporters can pick up for their moms. Include a story with each bunch of how this bouquet helps to combat climate change or support women survivors of domestic violence. If you don’t have the staff or volunteers to do the legwork, look into partnering with a local florist who may be able to donate a portion of proceeds on sales you generate.
4. Sip Sip, Rosé!
Host a Mother’s Day wine-tasting event at the home of a donor or volunteer. Work with local wineries or shops to have wine and refreshments donated for your event, then charge by the tasting. Offer VIP tickets that include a special experience with the winemaker or unlimited tastings. Host a raffle or prizes for who can guess the most expensive wine or differentiate a Cabernet from a Syrah. Don’t forget to sell bottles of wine at the event where a portion of proceeds go to support your org!
5. Wine & Paint Night
Paint night parties have been skyrocketing in popularity since 2014, particularly among women, who are 90% of Paint Nite ticket buyers. In fact, tickets for ladies night out like this go for around $50-$100. Borrow this concept to raise funds for your cause this Mother’s Day. Partner with a local space (such as a coffee shop) that would normally be shut down after hours. Find the artist among you and have fun creating a work of art that all moms might enjoy. Theme the evening to your cause (e.g. Pinot & Paint for Pandas) and sell tickets to participate and extra refreshments during the big event. Offer a prize for the fan favorite painting of the evening!
6. Stories of Strong Moms
Identify 3-5 powerful stories of moms in your network to share with your community. For example, it could be the story of your fearless female founder, a volunteer who has been advocating for change, or a supporter who has overcome great hardship who continues to persevere and inspire others. Share these stories in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day through your email newsletter and social channels. Launch an online peer-to-peer fundraiser—perhaps using the free Facebook donate button—to raise a certain amount of dollars that has personal significance to your organization and the mothers impacted (e.g. $66,000 for the 66,000 women who die from Lung Cancer each year) in the name of one of these wonderful women. Inspire your supporters to create fundraisers of their own sharing the stories of the strong mothers in their lives who they fight for.
7. Victorian Garden Tea Brunch
Nothing says Mother’s Day quite like brunch with the whole family. Instead of heading off to a local restaurant, sell tickets that invite moms and their families out for an old-fashioned tea party at a local park. Secure your spot in advance and use picnic or rented tables to set-up a lovely display of English sandwiches and fragrant teas, like Earl Grey and Darjeeling. Theme your tea and sandwich names to your cause (e.g. “Not Guil-Tea” if you’re fighting for criminal justice reform!). Don’t forget a carafe to keep your tea water piping hot. Encourage people to dress up in their favorite turn-of-the-century or Great Gatsby-style garb. Invite supporters to bake treats like scones and cookies that can also be purchased at the event. Then, make fun use of lawn games for the whole family, like badminton and croquet (e.g. $1 per minute of use)—that way, mom can sit and sip her tea with friends while dad entertains the kids.
8. Mother’s Day Mascot
Create a character that can spread Mother’s Day holiday cheer live on social media, all day long. Have your Mother’s Day mascot “take over” your organization’s Instagram page, sharing Insta stories throughout the day of their Mother’s Day antics. Make use of Instagram Donate Stickers to invite supporters to 1) make a donation to your org, and then 2) share a request for how the mascot should deliver joy to a mom in that supporter’s life—such as singing their favorite tune directly to them. For inspiration, check out DoSomething.org’s Valentine’s Day snapchat campaign that included one of their staff dressed as cupid to support their Love Letters campaign for seniors.
9. Mom’s Day 5K
Organize a “turkey trot” style 5K race to support your cause. Registrations could be individual fees or family packs. Secure sponsors for your event, whose logo could be included in various print and online materials surrounding the event. Theme your race to your organization and include a custom race bib and other branded goodies with every registration. Encourage people to create Facebook fundraisers to gain community support for their race endeavors. You could even consider taking your race virtual, encouraging people to sign-up ahead of time to run the 5K at their own pace and in their own courses, and report back online.
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Spread the Love…
Each of the ideas above can be amplified with strong digital promotion in the lead up to your big Mother’s Day event or activation. For each of the ideas above, consider:
- Social media toolkit for supporters: Activate the power of peer-to-peer fundraising. Prepare and share a packet of information for supporters including any social share graphics, email templates, and other key messages they can use to help you promote your fundraiser.
- Matching gifts: Engage a big donor with the idea of getting them to match the campaign’s efforts with a generous gift. Two times the impact can be two times as compelling to get people to give.
- Make it a recurring gift: Consider adding a recurring gift option when you set up the donation page for the campaign. Catching someone when their wallet and heart are open is a great moment to ask for ongoing support.
For more fundraising fodder, explore the rest of our online fundraising resources 33+ other spring fundraising you (probably) haven’t thought of yet.