Online fundraising might seem like a daunting task. With a huge number of worthy causes vying for attention online, how can you promote your brand and its message to users? And then, how can you convince them that your cause is worth donating to?
By EMILY HENRY
Luckily, we have some answers. While there is no sure-fire formula for success in marketing fundraising campaigns — every scenario, company and cause is unique — there are basic elements that go into making a notable campaign. Follow this framework and you’ll be well on your way to generating those all-important donations.
Start any fundraising campaign with a clear and specific goal encompassing what you are raising money for and why. A campaign with a clearly stated intention will come across as thought-out and worthwhile, and be much more likely to generate donations. A donor is also much more likely to share a campaign with a snappy and concise goal with their friends, further encouraging donations.
Much like the mission statement of a company, a clear goal will also help you organise your own planning. The more general your goal, the more vague your fundraising plan can be, and a vague plan will lead to lazy and inconsequential fundraising.
The most important element here is the call-to-action. Don’t just say “help support our fundraiser”, be specific about what the donor’s money will go towards. Depending on the campaign, you might also ask for specific donations or highlight a specific cause — “Give $10” or “Save the Rainforest” rather than “Donate now”.
There’s no use putting all your effort into one day of promotion because chances are, no one will see it. You should think of your fundraising as a marathon, not a sprint: maintain a regular online presence, consistent across social media platforms. These are the essentials of branding, and good fundraising practice is no different.
“Make sure you use all the tools at your disposal to maintain a consistent and regular promotion presence. Social media platforms are an obvious and easy way to get your campaign out to the masses, but not all social networks are created equal. Tailor your campaign to each platform’s content style whilst maintaining an overarching brand familiarity to keep your fundraising on user’s minds,” says Nat Turner, a communications manager at Rated Writing and Academized.
Also, don’t forget the classic mediums of brand marketing. Make sure you have a solid, attractive website that is easy to use and funnels all visitors towards the donation page. Email is still a great way to market, not least for the detailed analytics most hosts provide, allowing you to tweak the content and design of your outreach to find out what is most engaging.
Even the most well-intentioned and eager donor can be turned off if the process to give money is too complicated or takes too long. This is 2020, our attention spans have long since been shorn to a sharp point, and we all want as few steps to get to where we need to be as possible. Especially when we’re expected to part with our hard-earned cash.
When designing a donations page, stick to a clean and clear design that centres on donations buttons. Provide suggested amounts so that donors can give with just a few clicks of the mouse. For longer running campaigns, recommend a recurring donation that donors can set and forget.
Learn and grow
“Treat any campaign as one leg of a relay race. The current part might seem like the most important, but the hand-off is where the work really pays off. Fumble that and you might as well not have run at all,” says Todrick Ball, a business writer at Australianreviewer and Dissertation Help.
Don’t let everything you’ve learned on your fundraising campaign disappear at the end. Keep track of the metrics and analytics to identify what worked and, perhaps more importantly, what didn’t. Maintain contact with your donors with personalised thank-yous and updates on the impact of their donations, and keep a log of generous donors to approach for the next campaign. You’ve already done the hard work of finding them, don’t let them slip through the net!
Emily Henry is an experienced marketing strategist at Student Writing Services and Write My Essay. She works with marketing teams to create fully-functional sites that accurately portray the company and generate user engagement. To do so, Emily presents this information through a series of marketing proposals. You can also find her work at Resume Writing Service.