So you’ve decided to set up a YouCaring donation page to raise funds to help yourself, a loved one, or a worthy cause. We’ve put together a few pointers to help you make the most effective page possible and maximize your donations.
Setting the stage with your donation page
First, describe your crowdfunding campaign. Your description needs to be both specific (to your cause) and compelling. We know that you want to get your donation page up and running as quickly as possible, but take some time to craft the most compelling description you can, communicating exactly why people should donate to your cause, and how their donations will help.
In your description, be sure to cover the who, what, when, why, and how of the situation—and make sure that each answer reinforces the others:
- Who is benefiting from your fundraiser? Describe the beneficiary as honestly and completely as you can. Tell people why this person, family, or organization is so wonderful, and why he/she/they deserve donors’ help.
- What is going on? Tell potential donors what problems the beneficiary is facing.
- When does the fundraiser end? You set an end date on your donation page, but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate it in your description. This adds urgency.
- Why does the beneficiary need help? Tell people why their contributions are critically important. Take a cue from public radio stations, which do a great job of answering the “why” in their fundraising drives. Why is this help necessary?
- How can donors help? List specific expenses the beneficiary needs help paying. These details help potential donors understand exactly what impact their donations will have.
Add photos, updates, and more
Spruce up your donation page with photos and updates. Make sure the main photo of your beneficiary is high quality and shows off his or her personality—there’s nothing worse than a tiny, pixelated image that doesn’t bear any likeness to the person you’re raising money for. Take the opportunity to convey who the beneficiary is through quality photos. The same guidelines apply to videos.
Enlist a fundraising team
Get your friends together to form a fundraising team, then divide these tasks and create a powerful fundraiser.
At YouCaring, we’ve noticed that the most successful fundraisers have more than one fundraising team member. When you have a team, you can delegate tasks such as posting updates, sending donation request letters to potential donors, posting on social media, and writing thank-you letters to donors.
Aside from simply cutting down how much time and work it takes to keep up a donation page, having a fundraising team greatly increases the number of potential donors for your fundraiser. The more team members there are, the larger the combined social network you can reach.
Slow your rollout
The first few days of a fundraiser are critical and can greatly influence its success in the long run. Before you promote it widely, share it with a few close friends and ask for their feedback. Then share it on social media.
Since people are more likely to donate if they see that others have already donated, you need a rollout strategy to make sure you have a few solid donations before you blast your fundraiser to everyone over social media.
Start your fundraiser by sending personal fundraising letters to the beneficiary’s closest friends and family. That way you can have a healthy fundraiser even before you share it on social media.
Show your gratitude
Don’t forget to say thank you. As only one of a million things you need to do when you set up a donation page, saying thanks to donors can sometimes get forgotten. But it’s important to show gratitude—without the kindness and generosity of your donors, this fundraiser wouldn’t be possible.
Thanking your donors is not only the polite thing to do, it’s also key to building a passionate community that remains engaged and dedicated to the cause. Sometimes it can even inspire repeat donations.
Write an automatic thank you letter to each donor; try also to send handwritten notes or individual emails if you have time. Human kindness is a beautiful thing, especially when it’s repaid with more human kindness. Try these 20 affordable ways to say thank you to donors.