Running a successful fundraising campaign requires marketing skills. Communicating with potential supporters, explaining your cause and convincing people to donate isn’t always easy. And while sharing your crowdfunding campaign on social media can help get the word out there, you may want to consider other ways to market your fundraiser. It’s important to use your social media accounts to get the word out, and this in and of itself is a form of marketing, but through other measures you can widen your potential audience and increase the likelihood of receiving donations.
Engage With Supporters on Multiple Platforms
The key to market your fundraiser and ensure success is to do so on multiple platforms, from social media, to your crowdfunding campaign page, to in-person efforts. By engaging with those in your local community, you galvanize people you’ve interacted with directly to share your campaign and improve its online reach. And by increasing awareness online, you encourage people from all over to take direct action.
- NP Tech for Good reports that “60% of millennials donate an average of $481 to nonprofits per year.”
- They also report that Facebook was the most accessed social network in the U.S. by a long shot (74%).
- Women make 64% of all charitable gifts, according to the Huffington Post.
Seven Great Ways to Market Your Fundraiser
1. Make a video
This is a major first step in marketing your campaign. Videos are a powerful tool. Fundraisers that feature a video are 50% more likely to be successful, reports Kendall Americo for Entrepreneur, and by publishing your video on YouTube as well as your campaign page, you broaden its potential viewership. Make sure the video is of decent quality, uses compelling imagery and explains why your campaign is unique or compelling. Feel free to show your personality and sense of humor if appropriate, and share it on your social networks.
YouCaring fundraiser Help Fifi get her new dancing legs!
2. Hold a contest on social media
One effective way to promote your fundraiser is by holding a contest on social media related to your cause. For example, if your campaign benefits an animal charity, ask pet owners to upload funny pictures of their pets, or for a campaign that benefits cancer research, ask supporters to upload photos that highlight inspirational stories of courageous cancer patients. Offer a donated prize to incentivize submissions, and allow people to vote online for their favorite posts. Contests like these create a flood of content online that draws attention to your campaign.
3. Plan an event with plenty of photo ops
If you hold a fundraising event such as a barbecue, auction or some other gathering, encourage guests to take and upload photos by offering a makeshift photo booth in which guests can pose behind a painted background or on a patch of “red carpet.” Include a suggested hashtag that relates to your campaign, consider offering funny items for them to play dress-up and pose with and encourage location tagging to spread news about the event—and by extension, your campaign. Hopefully this will encourage guests to produce a stream of images of themselves socializing and having a good time in connection with your fundraiser, which will inspire others to get involved.
4. Write a news release
If your campaign features a particularly unique or inspiring story, consider contacting media in order to raise awareness of your cause. Look up reporters who focus on features or issues related to your campaign, and send them a press release. Your release should be a succinct explanation of who you are and why your fundraiser is newsworthy. If you can’t find an individual reporter’s contact information online, send your release to the general assignment desk listed on a media outlet’s website. For more strategies, check out our Fundraiser Tips pages, How to Write a Press Release for Your Crowdfunding Campaign and How to Get Local Media to Cover Your Fundraiser.
5. Ask a newspaper or local newsletter to donate ad space
Ask a local news source to publish a PSA in their classifieds section about your campaign, and see if they will give you a discount or provide the space for free. Describe your work, outline its specific financial goals, and let people know how to get involved in addition to donating. Or ask for ad space from your city’s newspaper online. If members of the homeless population in your city publish a newsletter, such as Street Roots or Street Spirit, consider advertising there as well. These papers often have a socially engaged readership that may take an interest in your campaign.
6. Make a Facebook event
As of June 2014, Facebook drove 23.3% of all Internet traffic, the IACP reports. While your crowdfunding campaign already takes advantage of social media, creating a Facebook event can help keep people engaged even if your supporters aren’t sharing all of your updates. You can use the events feature to publicize special prizes or contests that you’re running, and to remind people that your campaign hasn’t ended, especially if you decide to extend your deadline. Make sure the link to your campaign page is displayed prominently in the event description, and post status updates and photos to attract attention in people’s newsfeeds. Check out Facebook Fundraising 101 to get all the tips and tricks of how to fundraise on Facebook.
7. Post flyers in conspicuous places around your city
Printing isn’t cheap, so it helps to be discriminating when you choose the locations to post flyers about your fundraiser. Coffee shops, community centers and houses of worship are all great options, but make sure to get authorization from the appropriate people at each location. Consider making flyers with the traditional rip-off tabs at the bottom, which instead of bearing your contact information, contain the URL of your fundraiser and directions for how to search for it. Just like with your online campaign, images are a powerful tool to help you connect with potential donors.
Get Started Today!
By taking one or a few of these steps, you could end up increasing your fundraisers success by hundreds or thousands of dollars. Through creative in-person and online efforts, you can effectively market your fundraiser to people who want to help out. For more strategies, visit our Fundraising Tips page.
If you haven’t created your crowdfunding campaign, feel free to get started today!