Rubber Duck Race For Nonprofits

racewithus@game-group.com

How to Leverage Your Fundraising Expenses Through Sponsorships and In-Kind Donations

Our blog this week discusses some tips on how nonprofits can put as much money as possible back into their organizations to cover fundraising event costs. An event like a Derby Duck Race can be time-consuming and the last thing a nonprofit wants is for all the money raised to go into covering costs and expenses.

The idea is to leverage the expenses associated with hosting your Derby Duck Race. To do this, the best way is to secure as many sponsorships and in-kind donations as possible. Partnerships with sponsors and local business not only benefits your organization but also the donator’s company as well.

Sponsors can underwrite your entire fundraising event or a major portion of it, all while creating enormous exposure for themselves. The key to getting a major presenting sponsor is to find ways to get them as much exposure as possible. Exposure could include press releases, email blasts, signage, logos on marketing collateral, and your Equack website. Another way is to create a new event and have one company be the sole sponsor for it. This not only creates buzz for your fundraising event and creates maximum exposure for your sponsor, but helps leverage your expenses.

Another way to leverage expenses at a fundraising event is by creating relationships with business owners in your community. Securing in-kind sponsorships will help with expenses. In-kind sponsorships are payments of goods or services rather than cash donations for your event. If you run a fundraiser that is tied with an event, getting food or prizes donated allows you to put more money back into your nonprofit. After all, the idea of working hard on a fundraising event is to raise money for a good cause, not to pay for expenses.

Be sure to check out our blog post How to Secure Sponsorships for your Derby Duck Race for more information on securing sponsorships.

Our ducks are ready for another busy race weekend taking on 3 cities between Saturday and Sunday! Collectively, 75,000 ducks will race to raise funds for at-risk youth, bereaved families, and various nonprofits in their community. The first lucky ducks who cross the finish line could win groceries for a year, cash, and more!

1. Reedy River Duck Derby
Ducks Racing: 10,000
Organization: Rotary Club of the Reedy River Greenville
Where: Greenville, SC
Who They Serve: Various local non-profits

Reedy River Duck Derby, Duck Derby, Greenville

2. YESS Duck Derby
Ducks Racing: 30,000
Organization: Youth Emergency Services & Shelter
Where: Des Moines, IA
Who They Serve: At-risk youth who need a safe haven and network of services such as shelter, food, counseling services, etc.

YESS Duck Derby, duck racer, duck derby, Des Moines, Youth Emergency Services & Shelter

3. Hope Floats Duck Race
Ducks Racing: 35,000
Organization:KinderMourn
Where: Charlotte, NC
Who They Serve: Providing support and counseling programs for bereaved parents, children, and teens.

Hope Floats Duck Race, Duck Race, KinderMourn, Duck Race, Charlotte

Our ducks are making quite the splash this weekend with nearly 80,000 ducks hitting the water in 5 cities. From California to Virginia, check out below to see where our ducks are making their appearance and the quacktastic causes they’re racing for!

1. The Graham Duck Derby
Ducks Racing: 10,000
Organization: Rotary Club of Graham
Where: Graham, TX
Who They Serve: All proceeds will benefit local causes such as Backpack Buddies, college scholarships, Teacher Appreciation Breakfast and more.

Graham Duck Derby
Duck derby
Rubber duck race

2. Ken-Ducky Derby
Ducks Racing: 46,000
Organization: Harbor House of Louisville
Where: Louisville, KY
Who They Serve: Individuals with developmental disabilities by providing training and development programs for them and their families.

Rubber duck race, duck race, duck derby

3. Paducky Derby
Ducks Racing: 7,000
Organization:Merryman House
Where: Paducah, KY
Who They Serve: Provide services for individuals and families affected by domestic services.

Rubber duck race, duck race, Paducky Derby, duck derby


4. Pulaski Duck Race
Ducks Racing: 5,000
Organization: YMCA of Pulaski County
Where: Pulaski, VA
Who They Serve: Offer various fitness related activities and child development center to help people grow spiritually, mentally and physically.

Rubber duck race, duck race, Pulaski Duck Race


5. Omega Nu Ducky Derby
Ducks Racing: 12,000
Organization: Omega Nu
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Who They Serve: Local charities and families in the Santa Cruz area.

Rubber duck race, duck derby, duck race

One of the most important components of planning a Derby Duck Race is sponsorships.  Sponsors are the key to success for your duck race.  So, how do you get sponsors for this quacky event? Here are some tips to consider when you are seeking sponsors for your Derby Duck Race and other fundraising efforts.

Quacky at the Austin Duck Derby  Volunteers at the Chicago Ducky Derby

Allow Plenty of Time

We cannot emphasize enough that it takes time to secure sponsorships. We recommend allowing your organization 7-9 months to plan a Duck Race because the majority of this time is going to be spent securing sponsorships. Don’t wait until the last minute. The more time you put into it, the better it will be for your race. When planning your duck race focus on your sponsors first. As a first-year racer, GAME sends you a timeline to follow so that you can stay on track.

Form a Committee

Designate a few people to be a part of a duck race sponsorship committee.  Their sole focus will be partnering with new sponsors in your community as well as maintaining current relationships. Oftentimes one person tries to “wear every hat” and do everything from securing sponsors to logistics to Adopting Ducks which leads to exhaustion.  If you need to be involved in the sponsorships, make sure you have other people assisting in the other areas of your duck race so you can keep focused.  Also, have multiple people in your sponsorship committee. This will lighten the load and bring fresh ideas and new perspectives when approaching new and current sponsorships.

Derby Duck Race Committee  Derby Duck Race Volunteers

Create a Prospect List

Think of all the businesses in your community who may have been involved with your nonprofit in the past as well as those businesses that you would like to partner with.  Create a list. Even if a business has said no in the past, make sure to include them on your list. You never know, they might surprise you and want to be involved with a duck race since it is something different. Look for businesses that attract a lot of families (i.e. grocery stores or restaurants) and businesses that are related to your organization and cause. Also, pay attention to advertising in your community. If businesses are spending money on bus signs, billboards, street banners, etc. they might have some money to donate as a sponsorship too!

Warm Introductions

Before sending out any emails, letters, or duck feathers to your prospect list, ask your board members, staff, and volunteers if they know any owners or employees at one of these businesses. If they do, ask for a warm introduction by phone, email, or in person. Potential sponsors are more likely to open your letter or email if they have met you before through a mutual contact. Always remember, do not ask for money or present sponsorship levels in your first letter to them. Instead, let them know about your duck race and organization and tell them to save the date. Be sure to include that you will follow up with them with more information in the near future date.

Duck Race Banner on a City Bus  Quacky talking about his Derby Duck Race on the News

Find a Media Sponsor First

Media sponsors are great to secure first.  In addition, they can attract other sponsors since they will know your Duck Race will be receiving coverage. You can also include media mentions in your proposals as a sponsorship value. Some media may help you sell sponsorships and/or provide warm introductions as they already have a lot of connections in the community. If available, media can also help assist in the production of a duck race promotional video that you can show other potential sponsor prospects.

Remember to check our blog regularly for more tips on other fun elements for a Derby Duck Race!

This week, over 20,000 ducks will race for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana for the 29th Annual Running of the Ducks! All duck adoptions benefit the numerous programs offered by the club. Each club in the Acadiana area provides age focused programs ranging from 6 to 16 yrs. The goal is to provide “programs designed to empower youth to excel in school, become good citizens and lead healthy, productive lives.”

Such programs include:

  • Sports & Recreation
  • Education
  • Arts
  • Health & Wellness
  • Career Development
  • Character & Leadership

The first lucky duck to cross the finish line will win the grand prize of a 2019 Nissan Altima along with other great prizes!

The Great Brevard Duck Race is celebrating its 21st year on March 30th! For 21 years, the duck race has been a staple fundraiser for Crosswinds Youth Services, who serve vulnerable youth and their families in Brevard County. This year 12,000 ducks will race down the Indian River to win some fantastic prizes such as a 2019 Honda Fit and a 4-Night Bahamian Cruise!

Go to Great Brevard Duck Race to adopt your lucky duck or learn more about how Crosswinds Youth Services helps youth in need in their community!

Since its inception in 2010, Instagram has expanded to 1 billion daily users worldwide. This makes it one of the most powerful social media platforms today! Although it is constantly growing, Instagram is still one of the best places on social media to market your brand, gain followers, and build a community that supports your cause, even if there is more competition now. In this post, you’ll find 5 tips on how to promote your nonprofit organization on Instagram.

Upgrade to a Business Account

If you haven’t done so already, you will want to upgrade your basic Instagram account to a Business Account by connecting it to your Facebook Business page. You can then view your Insights for posts, stories, and promotions,  as well as activity insights and audience demographics. This is an important tool for your organization and will show you where you may need to change your marketing strategy or social media content.

If you choose to run advertisements through Facebook, you will want to have your Instagram account linked so that your ads can also be placed on Instagram and Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is a popular feature that allows users to post photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Instagram stories have 500 million daily users and are predicted to overtake the newsfeed within the next year. A great tool to incorporate with Instagram Stories is Canva. You can use one of their many preformatted templates or create your own from scratch.

Once you start posting to your Stories, you can view your Story Insights.

  • Impressions – The total number of views your story has received
  • Reach – The number of unique accounts who saw your story
  • Taps Forward – The number of times someone taps to skip to the next piece of your story
  • Taps Back – The number of times someone taps to go back to a previous piece of your story
  • Replies – The number of times people send messages through the Send Message option on your story
  • Swipe Away – The number of times someone swipes to skip to the next account’s story
  • Exits – The number of times someone leaves the stories viewer to return to their feed
  • Next Story – The number of taps to the next account’s story

A nonprofit can use Instagram Stories to share race day images, behind the scenes events, tagging parties, adoption events and an inside look at upcoming events. 

Engagement is Key

The current Instagram algorithm prioritizes content by engagement. Why does engagement matter? The better your engagement rate, the higher your ranking from Instagram and the more users your account will be shown to – which means more potential followers!

Ask your followers for feedback and get reactions to your posts by using a shared hashtag. Take advantage of story features, such as the Ask a Question or Poll stickers to create interaction with your followers.

To further increase your engagement be sure to utilize your captions to the fullest extent. Each time you post a photo write an inspiring and relatable caption that your followers will want to read and interact with. And always make sure to respond to comments or questions on your posts!

Incorporate Hashtags

Hashtags are a popular way for users with interests similar to your organization to find your account. Listed below are some favored hashtags to use on your posts:

#Throwback Thursday or #TBT: Post a photo of your Board President at their high school prom or a photo from a past fundraising event. 

#GivingTuesday is a global day for giving back to various causes and falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year. Many organizations and companies often have campaigns centered around this day and post updates to campaign activities and goals using this hashtag.

#TransformationTuesday is intended to show change over time, usually with two pictures side by side. Get creative with this one to show how your organization has grown, project before-and-afters, or progress on your annual goals!

Event Hashtags: Create one or two hashtags that are specific to your event that people can remember. Encourage them to share them on social media to create more traction to your Instagram.

Tell a Story

Connect with your followers by telling a story. Social media users crave an authentic connection to the organizations and businesses they follow, regardless of what the product or service being offered may be. The best way to do this is to tell a personal story or one that your followers can relate to.

Each month, select a donor to highlight and ask them questions about how they first discovered your organization, what made them want to be involved in your organization, and what experiences in their lives shaped them to who they are today. In addition, you can include their picture, use quotes in your caption and be sure to tag them if they have an Instagram account.

Crisis Intervention Services of Coastal Horizons took a fun and different approach in securing new sponsorships for the 2019 duck season. With the focus on securing their $500 Corporate Duck sponsorships, they invited small, local businesses and hosted a wine & cheese night.

A 3-hour event turned into more than $5,000 in sponsorships along with 6 restaurants agreeing to sell ducks!

Duck Derby in Wilmington

The 2nd race of the season happens this Saturday on March 9th! 35,000 rubber ducks will make a splash in Fort Lauderdale, FL for the 13th Annual KID Duck Fest Derby!  The quacktivities happen from 12-3 PM at Esplanade Park for family-friendly activities. Adopt a duck and enter for a chance to win $10,000!

All proceeds benefit Kids In Distress who’s mission is to prevent child abuse, preserve the family, and treat children who have been abused and neglected.

To adopt a duck or learn more about Kids In Distress, check out:  2019 Duck Fest Derby

MENU