Daisy Chain

The Benefits of Daisy Chain Fundraising

What is ‘Daisy Chain’ fundraising?

Daisy chain fundraising is an indirect or passive method of soliciting a donation following a cultivation email, social post, or multichannel campaign. It serves as a targeted strategy for raising funds from your most engaged cohort, directly after an action on their part. 

Why fundraise through this ‘Daisy Chain’ tactic?

Driving folks to a daisy chain donation form, after they’ve already signed a petition, taken a quiz, submitted a survey, etc. allows organizations to fundraise without needing to directly seek out funds from their audience. Yet, this more passive approach can still yield high dividends.

The key to this tactic is providing your supporters and donors with an easy method of completing their donation, at the moment when they’ve already been inspired to take action.

Cases in Point

Pathfinder International: 

In April 2021, in honor of Earth Day, Pathfinder International (PFI) launched a Climate quiz. For every person that tested their knowledge and completed the quiz, an anonymous donor chipped in $1 (up to $5,000 in match funding).  Of the 836 quiz takers who took action in April, 27 people gave to the daisy chain form, raising a total of $1,084 (5 of these donations were recurring gifts that yield further revenue when annualized). 

Meanwhile, later that month Pathfinder executed a flash match campaign, which drove 35 donations totalling $3,741 (1 gift was a sustaining donation). These results again showcase that donors step forward in nearly comparable quantities across daisy chaining efforts compared to direct fundraising campaigns; although these daisy chain givers’ average gifts do tend to be lower.

In June 2021, Pathfinder built upon its most recent success of this daisy chain strategy, leveraging the tactic once again for an advocacy action  in the lead up to its end of fiscal year (EOFY) fundraising campaign. Supporters were prompted to tell President Biden to end the Global Gag Rule forever by urging Congress to pass the Global Her Act in support of women and girls around the world. This advocacy effort resulted in 1,605 action takers, 24 of which made a daisy chain donation. The $1,670 annualized revenue raised from this form represents 9.1% of all EOFY annualized revenue raised between June 8 and July 1, and 17.3% of all campaign gifts. 

Herbalife Nutrition Foundation:

In July 2021, Herbalife Nutrition Foundation (HNF) leveraged $2,000 in match fund availability to promote a Pledge action across its audiences. Email messages, social posts, and website assets drove to the following landing page, requesting that folks add their name and show their support for a world without hunger. In exchange for their submission, participants unlocked $2 for HNF’s shared work. Upon completing the pledge form, action takers were redirected to a daisy chain donation page, prompting all signers to take the next step by chipping in a mission-critical donation that would change the lives of children and families across the globe. 

Upon the campaign’s wrap in early August, HNF reached a total of 390 unique pledge signers. Of those action takers, 50 supporters donated on the daisy chain page, raising a total of $1,604. 

For comparison, a June 2021 flash match campaign that HNF also executed recently across three emails in the final week of the month raised a total of 31 gifts and $7,296 (30 donations and $2,296 when excluding a single $5,000 major gift). Invoking this daisy chain tactic resulted in more conversions than the organization’s most recent direct fundraising asks amid a matching gift challenge. 

A few tips to make passive, daisy-chain fundraising work for your nonprofit: 

  • Ensure your donation form copy is relevant to the action the supporter just took. In other words, your standard donation page copy probably won’t suffice. Form language should thank the supporter for taking a particular action and then transition to a fundraising case for support that makes mention of their recent quiz submission, survey completion, etc.
    • “When you emailed the president, you stood up for health and justice — thank you  … Will you go one step further for the health and freedom of the women we serve across 20+ low-and middle- income countries?”
    • “We’re so grateful you signed our pledge of support, demonstrating your dedication to building a brighter tomorrow for children and families everywhere … Now, will you consider taking your commitment to our shared mission just one step further?”
  • Make certain your ask amounts on the donation form align with your audiences. For example, consider rendering a lower ask amount for non-donors who took action, compared to the ask amount served to existing donors who did the same.
  • Consider making your ask for a monthly, sustaining gift, rather than soliciting a one-time donation. Monthly gifts can be difficult to come by, which is why making the case for monthly support is that much easier when a particular constituent has already been inspired to take action and engage with your organization’s mission.

Daisy chaining is a great way to kick off fundraising earlier on in your relationship with new audience members, establishing at the onset that as a donor, their support is crucial to making your shared work possible.