Let’s Hold a Contest: Crafting Nonprofit Perks that Win, Part 2

Woman with a champion cup pointing her finger at itMany businesses demonstrate their philanthropy by providing nonprofit’s special promotions. Read on to learn the benefits and challenges of contests.

What is it?
You announce a competition for nonprofits. The prize? Free services.


When well-structured, contests provide excellent business opportunities. Smart challenges highlight your generosity. They showcase your expertise. Prospective customers see before and after pictures. You meet tons of prospects such as staff, board members, and volunteers.


If your goal is to convert applicants into long-term customers, successful nonprofits will avoid you. They’ll see the contest as bait and switch. A website design firm received six contest applications. After providing two winners free services, one decided they couldn’t afford to continue. The second? They disappeared.

Create a Corporate Philanthropy Win 

Grab a bigger mindset. Cast your net wide to reach nonprofits and for-profit customers. You might, for instance, solicit nominations from your best current customers. Make successfully landing the nonprofit contest winner as a customer, a bonus, not the reason for your contest.

Thank You Generous You
Contests represent just one corporate philanthropy technique. Each method reflects your generosity and helps fulfill your corporate social responsibility. To learn about the benefits of discounts, read this post.

Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis Consulting guides executive directors and CEOs to generate the resources, boards, and support they need to make remarkable progress on their missions. As the award-winning thought-leader, advisor, and founding principal of Karen Eber Davis Consulting, Karen helps nonprofit leaders get answers, generate revenue, and grow their mission. Davis is known for her innovation and practicality based on her work with or visits to over 1,000 nonprofit organizations and her experience leading board and team events. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.