How to Launch a Great Fundraising Campaign

January 26, 2016

2:20 pm

So, you have a cause that you want to raise money for, but you have no idea how to go about it. What do you do now? These days, it is easier than ever to launch fundraising campaigns, thanks to the Internet. In order to create a fundraising campaign that is going to be successful, there are a few tips that you need to keep in mind.

Get the Word Out

Obviously, the most important goal is to raise money, and the more people who know about your campaign, the easier it is going to be to reach that goal. Use all of the resources at hand, including traditional media (print, television, radio), email campaigns, and social media. Use whatever channels you can to get the message out there.
Useful Tools: BuzzSumo, Oktopost, Socedo

Show the Urgency

It is always best to keep fundraising campaigns short. The shorter the deadline for raising funds, the greater the sense of urgency, and the more likely people are going to be to donate. Show that there will be consequences for not raising enough money in a certain period of time, such as contributor backing out because you couldn’t match their donation.

Call-to-Action

Don’t hide the point of your fundraiser in a bunch of gobbledygook. The call to action should be front and center, so people see it immediately. For instance, you may have something like “Donate a Dollar, Save a Kitten”. People will know right away what the money is for. You may even offer a special gift for donations over certain amounts, such as free campaign buttons, mugs or t-shirts.
Useful Tools: CafePress, Custom Button Company, Zazzle

Make the Goals Realistic

If you need $5,000, don’t try fundraising for greater amounts. Stick with what you need, and keep your goals realistic. Yes, you need to be ambitious, but you don’t want to overwhelm people with unrealistic fundraising goals. You may end up with less donations than you need, because people may not donate as they don’t think you will make it anyway.

Create a Donation Page

You need to have a donation page that is branded to your cause. People are going to tend to trust a branded page rather than a generic one. Each page should branded to the organization you are working with. Potential donors will feel better knowing that they are working with a recognized organization.
Useful Tools: Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Indiegogo

Make It Easy to Donate

People do want to donate, but they don’t want to have to jump through hoops to do it. The entire process should be easy, and your donation page should be easy to use from all types of devices, including mobile. Joining the YouTube for Nonprofits program is a great way to keep things simple. People can click from the video to get to your donation page. If you are sending emails, add an embedded “Donate” button that takes people to the donation page.

Create a Campaign Video

One of the best ways to get your story out there is to create a video for your fundraising campaign. You can air the video on YouTube and other sites, including your own campaign website and donation page. A video really helps people to see why you need to raise funds, and they will connect better with the cause.
Useful Tools: Dummies, Wideo

Celebrate

Fundraising can be a tiresome effort, and there will likely be stages where people don’t feel like the campaign is working. It is a good idea to set small goals throughout the fundraising campaign, and celebrate when these goals are met. For example, for every $500 raised, you can have a small pizza party, or even bring in a cake and have a small celebration. Not only will this keep spirits high, it will also keep volunteers updated on the progress of the campaign.

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Jane Hurst is a freelance writer from San Francisco. She contributes to Lifehack and Thought Catalog.

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