A well-built house starts with a thoughtfully drawn blueprint. Crowdfunding is just the same. A thoroughly prepared fundraiser will result in a more powerful campaign. Developing a road map for your fundraiser will help you maneuver around any unforeseen obstacles that arise. We have outlined some key components to pay attention to when creating your fundraising plan.
Emulate Successful Campaigns, Set a Realistic Goal
1. Observing Others
Before jumping head first into your campaign, take a step back and observe what other fundraisers like yours are doing to be successful. Take some time to browse through and make note of the things that are working for them and the things that aren’t. Try to pinpoint trends that you can capitalize on, such as what types of fundraising events are raising both donations and awareness or how fundraisers are using social media to enhance their campaign.
2. Setting a Goal
During your planning process, it is necessary to decide on the amount you intend to raise for the fundraiser’s beneficiary. This amount will come from careful consideration of what the fundraiser’s money will be used for and an anticipation of your needs. For example, if you are raising money for a family member’s necessary medical treatment then calculating the exact costs of transportation, treatment and medication will give you a clear picture of the amount you need to raise.
Strategic Promotion Planning
First it is important to consider how your fundraiser is going to be received by potential donors and how you can make it stick in their memory. There are several ways to brand your fundraiser. For instance, developing a hashtag that you include in all media posts helps create a constant keyword phrase where donors can track your progress as well as add to the conversation. Another way to customize your fundraiser is to create a custom URL, making your fundraiser both easy to share and memorable for those reading it.
2. Social Media
Social media engagement will take your fundraiser to the next level. Take note that social media engagement requires a continuous presence, which means creating content, replying to comments and interacting with other similar fundraisers or communities. Facebook is an essential platform every fundraiser organizer should take advantage of. According to a report by Statista from January 2016, Facebook has 1.55 billion monthly active users, making it a seemingly unending pool of potential donors that you can tap into. Sharing your fundraiser on Facebook is a must, while creating a Facebook page in conjunction with your fundraiser will help boost the number of people who see your story and also will help facilitate communication between you and your supporters. For great tips, see our Creating and Using Social Media to Promote Your Fundraiser page.
3. Visual Content
When promoting your fundraiser, it is crucial to focus on gathering quality photos or videos. Sometimes photos don’t turn out how we want them to. Luckily you can still utilize them if you edit them with free image editing software you can find online. By tweaking some lighting and enhancing the clarity, your image may have the eye-catching potential you are looking for. We found that donors desire multiple images, so try to pick a handful of good images that will make your fundraiser stand out. Producing a quick but stimulating video about your cause can also help illustrate your story. For more details, see our How Images Can Lead to Fundraising Success and Videos Are Powerful Fundraiser Tools pages.
4. Reaching Out to Influencers
Identify individuals who maintain a powerful influence and make a list. This can vary from friends with a significant social media following to other community members keen on propelling your cause to local media sources that may be interested in covering your story. When reaching out to influencers and potential donors alike, make note that asking questions can be more effective than asking for money or help. Instead, try to stimulate a conversation about the topic to offer others a chance to think about your fundraiser and become passionate about it too. These individuals will be key players in getting the word out about your campaign once it is launched.
You want to create some buzz prior to unveiling your fundraiser so that when your fundraiser does go live you will already have a pool of devoted supporters. This is where your outreach to influencers will come into play. Send out an email to these influencers summarizing your fundraiser plans a week or two before it kicks off and ask for their help. On the day your fundraiser launches, send them another quick email asking them to share it via their social media channels. Tactics like a pre-launch will help to propel your fundraiser’s momentum.
Executing Your Fundraising Plan
A careful, strategic approach can help ensure a successful fundraiser. Customize and launch your own campaign today!