Once you’ve launched an online fundraiser, you might be tempted to just blast it to everyone and anyone you know. While you’ll probably still get some donations in, based on our analysis of online fundraising strategies, this won’t bring in the most money.
As with offline fundraising, your online campaign needs to be planned from start to finish and you need to have a good idea how you’ll spread the message. These four tips will help ensure you successfully promote your campaign and raise more money from more people online:
1)Get the support of your inner circle
Before you’ve even created your fundraising campaign, speak to your closest friends and family. Don’t ask for a donation but simply tell them about your fundraising plans, how important it is to you and if they have any tips. It’s likely that they’ll feel honored for being contacted like this as opposed to just stumbling upon that campaign once it’s live.
This inner circle will be the ones to seed your campaign with its largest donations, help spread the word and provide tips on how you can make it better.
2)Create a strong momentum
Once your fundraiser has launched, start it off by making a large donation to it yourself. This will make it much more likely that others will follow suit and make similarly large donations.
Once you’ve donated, share your page with your inner circle. Send the link via private message or email – you still want to keep things quiet for now.
As these people have been involved since the beginning, and as the page has been started with a large donation form yourself, it will encourage them to also donate generously.
Once you have this momentum going, it’s time to reach out to your wider network of friends and family.
3)Methodically reach out to your network
Begin by sending a personal email to your extended network of friends and family. Don’t pressure them to donate but simply explain the importance of the cause and how much you’d appreciate their donation.
The reason why we start with email is because it’s has a very good conversion rate of visitors to donors. It’s also a lot harder to ignore than a Facebook status, for example.
Give those that you’ve emailed 2 to 3 days to make a donation. Once that time is up, share your campaign on the social networks that you’re a part of – sites such as Facebook are an excellent medium to help spread the word far and wide.
4) Remind and thank
By now, most of your contacts should be aware of your fundraiser but there will be some people that’ll still be sitting on the fence. They might not have had time to donate, they might not be able to or they just don’t want to – yet.
You should periodically remind your contacts that they still have the opportunity to donate; a deadline helps to increase the associated urgency.
Individual preference on how many times one is happy to be asked for donations before getting annoyed varies. But just to give you a feel, you should email your contacts no more that three times during your campaign duration and send the message via social networks no more than five times.
In addition, don’t just spend your time asking. Thank those that have already donated. For example, on Facebook you can tag people in a status update and this is a great way to get more exposure and entice others to be a part of your campaign.
I hope this gives you a good foundation on how to get your fundraiser off to the best possible start. Do you have any other tips? Leave them in the comments below.