How to Get Local Media to Cover Your Fundraiser

A crowdfunding cause that draws media attention and gains coverage will significantly heighten awareness of your campaign and can exponentially expand donation potential. Members of your community who may not have known about your cause will likely want to contribute, especially if they are familiar with the beneficiary. Before considering whether you want to reach out to media, realize that you and the beneficiary will be put in the spotlight, so make sure that all parties involved are comfortable both being interviewed and having the story broadcast. In addition to using social media to ensure your fundraiser reaches as many people as possible, utilize the following tips to promote your campaign to local media. 

  1. Research Media Outlets

    Stories that appeal to the local demographic are more likely to be picked up by newspapers, magazines, bloggers and T.V. stations in the area where the beneficiary or organizer lives or where the incident occurred.

    • Create a list of local media outlets and their specialty.
    • Find the reporter or editor in charge of reviewing story pitches for certain specialties, such as cause-related topics, sports, human- or animal-interest topics, and disasters. Create a contact list with all of the sources.
    • Reach out to friends, colleagues and anyone you are connected to via LinkedIn or other channels to see if they know any local influencers or people in the press, and ask for an introduction.
  2. Create a Press Release

    Journalists expect to receive information that follows a specific structure, which they can evaluate at a glance to see if it meets their initial news criteria.

    • Be honest and candid about your story so the reporter can both understand and verify the accuracy of your story, and see that your story matters to their audience.
    • Focus on news value. What is newsworthy about your situation? Mention any specifics that make your cause relevant to current or unusual news topics, such as rare health conditions or your situation’s connection to a news event such as a fire or other disaster.
    • Talk about the importance of your fundraising campaign. Be clear about how the funds will be used and the difference it will make in your life, to your family or in your community.
    • Include the URL link to your donation page
    • Talk about your ties to the community. Make a list of the ways through which people in your area know you or know groups in which you participate. It’s good to show you are active in the community.
    • Be positive. Describe how hopeful you are in your outlook and how you and your family are copying daily in dealing with the challenge. Show you are working hard to overcome your obstacle. Perhaps you are an unsung hero or an underdog who inspires the community.
  3. Reach Out and Follow Up

    Sending your press release via email is the first step to possible media coverage but there’s more work ahead.

    • Follow up with an email or phone call a few days to a week after you send the initial release to be certain the reporter or editor received it. Ask if there is any other info you can provide.
    • If you have a favorite reporter or news segment, call them directly and tell them how much you enjoy their reports, and that you think your story would be a good fit.
    • Post your story and link to your fundraiser on the newspaper or TV station’s Facebook page to generate interest.

Following Through

With persistence, you just may land a spot on the evening news or the daily edition of your local paper. Above all, constant follow-up is key.