tips for fundraising success
get the most out of your fundraising campaign with these simple tips
1. get set up with Givio
You’ll want your campaign to get started on the right foot, so make sure you’re using a fundraising tool that allows everyone to give quickly and easily.
Some fundraising platforms (ahem, Facebook and Instagram) require givers to be a signed-in member to make a donation — excluding givers who either don’t have an account, or simply aren’t signed in. On Givio, no one gets left out. ANYONE can donate to your campaign, anywhere, without the need to sign up or sign in to anything.
2. set a goal and deadline
There are lots of reasons to start a fundraising campaign for your favorite nonprofit. Whether you have a personal connection to the cause, it’s your job, or you’re just very passionate about helping, your goal should reflect your motivation and a reasonable outcome for your efforts.
What’s a “reasonable outcome”? Well, if you know you plan on asking ten people to donate, and each one is likely to give $10, you want to pick a goal that makes sense for those ten donors. For example, for this scenario, $200 over a week-long campaign is achievable, but also aspirational. Meaning, you and your donors may have to share the campaign with 10 MORE friends, to get there. Or dig a little deeper. You want your goal to push the boundaries, within reason.
Or maybe you’re running a workplace giving campaign with 100 co-workers. And you can expect an average donation of $75 per person. Consider setting the goal to $10,000 and encouraging your team to not just give, but to share the campaign with their family, friends and partners. You can even run a healthy competition between departments to fuel the fire and promote team-work. You may choose to keep your sense of urgency with a short campaign or give teams time to strategically blow the roof off your goal. But more on campaign sharing in step 7.
3. determine your “ask”
People are more likely to take the action you want them to take when you ask very directly. Example: “We need your help, now. Please donate $10 today to feed a child.”
In this example, you’re not just asking them to give, you’re asking them to give a certain amount, today — now. When you remove the variables like “how much should I give? When do they need it?”, you make it easier for people to respond on the spot.
For those bigger goals, you can ask for “sponsorships”. Here’s an example: “Be a clean water community sponsor with a gift of $2,500. $2,500 pays for the pump system, installation and maintenance for a year. For $2,500 you’ll give the gift of life to an entire community”
Keep in mind, you may have different groups of people you’re appealing to and each group may require a different “ask”. For example, if you’re a student raising funds for your local animal shelter, you’ll probably ask other students to chip in $5 or $10. But when you ask parents, aunts, uncles, neighbors or local businesses, you may ask for $25, $50 or much more.
4. write a personal appeal “why”
You’re about to ask people to donate their money in a tough economy. So you’ll want to give them a very good reason why they should skip that frappacino (or 10) and make a contribution to your campaign instead.
Write something that connects your nonprofit’s cause to real life in a way that your donors can relate to. Facts, faces, personal connections and tangible, life-changing outcomes incorporated into your story all help.
And remember, people give for two reasons: (1) because YOU’RE appealing to them and/or (2) because they feel a connection to the cause. So be sure to give them the information they need to make a personal connection and care. Be clear about the impact their generosity will have on real lives. The more specific you can get, the easier it will be for people to envision a positive impact and be inspired to give.
5. use a compelling image or video
Imagery is powerful. Combined with a strong appeal it can go a long way in making that emotional connection that inspires a giver to give.
Givio’s campaign builder allows you to select any image from your phone’s photo library for your campaign cover image. But just in case you don’t already have a photo for your campaign (or the time, tools or skills to craft a custom graphic), Givio offers a library of carefully curated campaign cover images that you can choose from to keep things simple for yourself, yet effective.
If you’re one of those people that works with Canva, Photoshop or Final Cut to create custom graphics and video, you have a little more flexibility to go the extra mile to make that emotional appeal. Free resources like Unsplash and Pexels have thousands of amazing images and videos you can use — all they ask is that you include a photo credit.
But for those without those professional graphics and video skills, check your nonprofit’s website. Many nonprofits have “press kits” with images, videos and logos ready for you to use to help them raise funds.
6. identify your sphere of givers and helpers
It’s time to take a personal inventory of all the people and networks you’ve come to know throughout your life. Sometimes writing it all down helps.
Starting with those closest to you and your cause, identify all the people and organizations you have a connection to: family, friends, neighbors, classmates, faith-based groups, teammates, co-workers, colleagues, partners, customers, associates, social media friends and followers, etc. You may be surprised just how big your list gets.
Next, think about how you communicate and mingle with these people and groups? Different groups of people tend have different communication preferences, and you’ll want to consider using all of them: phone, text, email, IM, website(s), Slack, Teams, Skype, social media, live and virtual events, etc.
And last, but definitely not least, ask yourself if any of your connections are “influencers” — people or organizations with a large and engaged following that can help you raise awareness of your campaign. Ask them to share your campaign with their networks. Influencers can help you dramatically widen your circle. Bottom line: the more people engaged in giving and helping, the better your results will be.
You’ve taken all the steps so far to create a compelling campaign. You’ve identified your potential givers. Now its time to share the campaign and make the ask.
Remember when earlier in this guide we mentioned the most successful campaigns became successful because they used a variety of methods to communicate about the campaign? Well, it’s worth repeating.
For the life of your campaign, wherever you digitally “go”, your campaign should go too. Think of it as a little buddy that never leaves your digital side — either as a link to your campaign, or with a generated QR code people can scan. Here are some examples of where we like to share our campaigns.
8. share again. and again. (and again)
Sometimes you need to ask more than once. So make a plan, timed across your campaign, for a first, second, and third “ask”.
How often have you seen something that caught your interest, but you were busy and thought “I’ll get back to that later” (but then you forgot). It’s human nature. So keep that in mind when reaching out. Give your contacts multiple opportunities to act on your request. But remember, there’s a fine line between helpful reminders and pestering. Be respectful of your potential donors.
Remember too that a sense of urgency can help people to act. Example: “We’re just $500 short with a few hours left to go in our campaign. 25 dogs and cats left homeless after fire ravaged their communities are waiting for our help. Your kind gift of $25, now, will help make our mission a reality.”
Real deadlines can prompt people to put aside whatever else they were doing and make the gift.
9. express gratitude
Give something back to your givers — a message of appreciation and positive impact.
People give because it makes them feel good to help. Your messages of appreciation can go a long way in strengthening an already positive experience for you and your donors. And when the time comes again to raise funds for another worthy cause, they’ll be more likely to respond to your appeals.
10. remember, your efforts make a real difference
Fundraising for a worthy cause is an act that combines hope with determination. It’s because of people like you, dedicated to making positive change, that makes our world a better place. So thank you for being you. Now, go forth and fundraise!
— Your friends at Givio
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