What is viral fundraising? It happens when a campaign spreads rapidly throughout the internet. And you benefit because it drives an unparalleled amount of traffic to your campaign.
Viral content leaves a lasting impression. The key is that it evokes an emotion. Crowdfunding is often an emotional experience that can be both heart-breaking and heartwarming. You can use those emotions as a part of your viral fundraising strategy.
How to Go Viral
Although there isn’t one blueprint to make your fundraising campaign go viral, there are a few ways to ensure that it has the potential.
Broken down to its bare essentials, a viral campaign must have:
- A Relatable Story
- Captivating Content
- Channels to Share
Often fundraising campaigns go viral as a result of a powerful piece of content that is shared with it. Outlined below are tips for creating your campaign, matching it will amazing content, and finding the right channels to share it on.
1. Building Your Campaign’s Foundation
Determine Your Audience
First, decide who your target audience is. Choose one that is most likely to resonate with your story. Then, do some research on their likes, dislikes, and values. Once you understand who they are, you can design a powerful message that moves them to engage with your cause.
Keep Your Title Simple
Your title should be a clear introduction to what your campaign is about. Include the beneficiary’s name then add a few keywords that help summarize why you are raising funds. A great strategy is to come up with an unforgettable hashtag to add to the end of your title. Read this for tips on composing a hashtag.
Write Your Campaign Description
There are two goals of viral fundraising. First, you want people to share your fundraiser. Second, you want to invite people to click your campaign link and donate. Once someone lands on your fundraiser they will read your campaign description to gather more context. This is where you should break down why you raising money, who the money is for, and how the money will be used. Download this toolkit for more in-depth advice.
2. Match Your Campaign with Amazing Content
Make Your Message Shareable
The next step is going to be sharing a post on social media that links to your campaign. The goal is for that post to go viral. Viral content must be easy for readers to digest while piquing their interest. People will only share your post if they deem it worthy. So frame your story in such a way that people will want to be a part of the solution.
Create a Viral Video Challenge
People want to be giving. So give them the opportunity to practice their altruism in a new way like a video challenge. Take Finley, for example. She loves to dance, but she has difficulty walking because she has Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy. So her parents made a video for their campaign they called The Dare to Dance Challenge. It invites others to create a video of their own, showcasing their dancing skills. The challenge caught on, and the Los Angeles Fire Department even participated.
Trigger Shares With High-Quality Photos
If you don’t have the time or the resources to create a video, high-quality photos that evoke powerful emotional responses can be used to help your campaign go viral. Get creative and brainstorm photo ideas that will whoa potential donors. An intriguing photo will force people to stop scrolling through their feed to find out more about your campaign.
Be Clear in Your Call To Action
You should always include a call to action at the end of your post. Ask for a donation first, but make your ask manageable. Often asking for a smaller amount like $10 to $25 will get you more donations than a larger ask. And if someone can’t give, then encourage them to help by sharing your campaign with their online network.
3. Strategizing Your Sharing
Leverage social media to build your fundraising community. Reach out to people with large spheres of influence. Try using Klout to discover which of your friends have the biggest influence in their social network. Then ask them if they would be interested in supporting your efforts. Before you share your post to social media, send a message to your influencers reminding them to share your post as soon as you do.
Share On Multiple Platforms
Facebook is a great tool for sharing, but don’t underestimate the power of other platforms like Twitter or Instagram. Plan on posting on several social media platforms to maximize your chances of going viral. And remember to always include a link to your fundraiser in your post.
Know When to Share
The day and time that you share has a lot to do with whether or not your post will be seen, liked, and shared. Many quality posts fall beneath the cracks because they are shared at the wrong times. Use this research to guide your posting.
The best time to post on Facebook:
- From 12 to 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday
- From 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday
- At 3 p.m. on Wednesdays
The best time to post on Twitter:
- 12 to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday Through Fridays
- Noon and from 5 to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays
The best time to post on Instagram:
- Anytime besides 3 to 4 p.m. from Monday through Thursdays
- Videos get more engagement after 9 p.m.