How to Make the Most of a Charity Contest

There are many ways of raising money for charities, and one of the most effective is through online contests. People can participate in the contests, and the winners can win things like shopping vouchers or vacation memberships. We are going to look at some of the ways that one can make the most out of these charity contests.

How to Make the Most of a Charity Contest

The tips below on how to succeed with online contests, are from Joe Waters, the accomplished author of the cause marketing blog, Selfish Giving and author of Fundraising with Businesses:

Work inside out

Start the contest with people that you know, your best and most loyal supporters and finally to strangers. Work from warm to cold. Your supporters are most likely to vote for you, and they can also garner you votes from their inner circles.

Social networks are key

Once you’re done with your mailing list, the other most effective way is through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the other social media sites. This works best if you have a strong online presence, meaning you might want to garner a larger following before embarking on social media campaigns.

Ask for one thing

As nonprofit organizations, you shouldn’t make it too complicated for people to help you. Some have as many as 16 steps, while all that people want to do is to vote and probably stand a chance of getting a reward when a winner is determined. They shouldn’t have to mail anything back to you, paste a URL, or give you their mother’s maiden name. Make it quick and easy and the votes will accumulate.

Don’t forget the “fun” in fundraising

Contests are events where people are supposed to have fun. Adding rewards, incentives and prizes to your contest efforts is a good way of showing people that you appreciate their support, making them want to help you.

Beth Kanter, the foremost guru of social media for nonprofits, author of Beth’s Blog and co-author of The Networked Nonprofit, has been a trainer for several charity contests had the following tips to share:

Do the ROI analysis first

Ask and answer if it is worth it before you jump in.

Have your network in place before you need it

Build your team of staff and volunteers, but also a strong social media presence that can act as your brand advocates. You can also work with free agents too.

Use storytelling

Some of the most effective pitches feature real people telling their personal stories about why they care about your cause and what can be done with the money if your organization wins.

Say thanks in creative ways

Thank donors publicly, but also thank people who ask others, make them role models for others.

Charity contests are not a sure bet

You can either win or lose, and you should be prepared for both. In the event that you don’t win, it is not the end of the world, go learn about social media, about your community, and end up being better prepared for the next contest or giving day, and for your other fundraising campaigns.

Occidental Vacation Club

One of the prizes that you can give to people that win after the contests could include memberships to the Occidental Vacation Club. The Occidental Vacation Club is a fully owned subsidiary of Occidental Hotels & Resorts Group from Spain. The OVC aim at providing their members with high quality, hassle free, all-inclusive vacations in as many destinations as possible at a reasonable price. Some of their properties include:

  • Occidental Grand Papagayo (Guanacaste, Costa Rica)
  • Occidental Grand Punta Cana (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)
  • Royal Hideaway Playacar (Riviera Maya, Mexico)
  • Occidental Grand Cozumel (Cozumel, Mexico)
  • Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta (Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico)
  • Occidental Grand Xcaret (Rivera Maya, Mexico)
  • Allegro Cozumel (Cozumel, Mexico)
  • Allegro Playacar (Playa del Carmen, Mexico)

Some of the awards that they have won include:

  • Six of its properties have been awarded the TripAdvisor 2012 Certificate of Excellence.
  • It has received the RCI Gold Crown Rating.
  • The club received the RCI President’s Club Award for 2012.


You now know some of the best ways to make charity contests successful, and what better way of rewarding some of the people that voted for you with an Occidental Vacation Club membership that will enable them to go to any of the properties mentioned above for at least two vacations every year with their families.