The landscape for charities and nonprofits is thriving and fundraising continues to rise in popularity year after year. In fact, online giving increased by 4.1% last year. Fundraising has been on the rise consecutively over the last six years with no signs of slowing down. Why the gradual increase in giving? Are people more inclined to share the love or has online marketing made fundraising more accessible to the masses? Most importantly, how can you ensure your budding fundraiser is a success?
As a new nonprofit or charity organisation, you know firsthand what it’s like to be constrained by limited funds, time and manpower. The strain of tackling a fundraiser is a massive undertaking but the good news is that your resources don’t have to be limited. In the beginning it might feel like an uphill battle, but the key is to work smarter, not harder. How can you simplify the planning process and employ trusted strategies to market your budding fundraiser?
There are a myriad of free and affordable resources readily available. The key is to get organised and choose your efforts wisely so that you can save time and money.
Here’s how to market your fundraiser, build your audience and get generous donors involved with your cause.
Organise your promotion goals
First thing’s first: successful events rely on excellent organisation. This means creating tasks, delegating them and completing them efficiently. When approaching fundraiser marketing, it’s easy to look at it as a mountain. How can you get to the top when there are so many different paths you could take? Ultimately, you want to be strategic about your promotional efforts. Focus on a few effective goals and organise them from start to finish.
Not sure where to start? Consider your cause. Are you raising funds to educate children in impoverished areas? Then you’ll want to appeal to the hearts of parents who can sympathise with your cause. Are you part of a literary society or book club? Raise funds from avid readers at your local bookstore or library. Are you hosting a food drive for the needy? Partner with local grocery stores to garner food donations from customers.
Your cause is going to dictate who you want to target as prospective donors. Once you’ve got them in mind, start organising your promotional goals. A fundraiser is a monumental effort which is why staying organised is crucial. Are you overwhelmed by a growing list of tasks? Your first step is to get organised, then start assigning tasks and focusing on outreach.
Keep all your fundraising tasks organised in a free online content calendar. Asana is a free platform for creating tasks and coordinating with your team to ensure smooth execution every step of the way.
Craft a compelling narrative
Who is this fundraiser helping? Whose lives are you working to change? These are vital details that serve as the lifeblood of your organisation. For people to take out their wallets and donate, they need to empathise with your cause. Which means you need to tell them a story they can’t refuse. To tell your story in the most heartfelt way you’ll need a voice that appeals to your prospective donors.
How can you translate the heart of your campaign into a marketable story that gets donations?
The first step is to humanise your cause into a bite-sized, digestible form. To do this, use donor-centric words that create inclusivity. Instead of saying “your donation will make an impact,” reframe it to say “together we can buy enough supplies to end hunger in our borough.”
Once they feel like a partner to your cause, compel them further with a strong call to action. Don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you need. Are you collecting cash donations? Ask for the exact amount. Do you need food or clothing? Ask donors for those items. Make your needs explicit and clear to avoid confusion.
Not a wordsmith? You don’t need to be a professional copywriter or editor to craft a compelling story. There are plenty of free online tools to help you tell your story in the best way possible.
Use the Hemingway App to write bold, clear and active sentences. You’ll get free input on which sentences are wordy or hard to understand. After you’ve written your story, use the free Grammarly app to check for grammar, spelling, style, and tone.
Even with the most articulate words, nothing can paint a picture as vivid as strong imagery and videos. With PosterMyWall, you have complete creative control to make affordable and resonant videos that bring your powerful story to life. Create customised videos created from scratch or build on professionally designed video templates to engage and enliven viewers to donate to your cause.
You’re organised and you’ve got a great story, now what? Time to incentivise prospective donors with prizes!
Fundraise with raffles
With limited funds, one of the most strategic things you can do is get the local community involved. Marketing locally provides the potential to spread news like wildfire.
A great idea is to host a raffle where community members contribute their services or products as prizes. Use a free flyer maker online to create a promotional raffle flyer. Think you need to hire an expensive graphic designer to create stunning visuals? Think again. With PosterMyWall, you can create compelling graphics from thousands of professionally designed templates. With these free poster templates, you can customise any graphics to align with your cause.
This is your opportunity to ask community members to donate their goods or services. Here are some ways you can spread the news and generate interest:
- Post the fundraiser banner on your social channels
- Visit the local shops in your community and leave charity posters at hair salons, travel agencies, car washes, restaurants, and spas.
- Promote at a city council meeting
- Pitch your event to the city’s community calendar
- Advertise in the local paper
The goal is to get the local community to jump in and get involved with your cause. Not only will you entice donors with excellent prizes, but you’ll harness the power of word of mouth.
Use online crowdfunding
How can you grab the attention of people who want to make the world a better place but don’t know how to help? With online crowdfunding. How was $1,007,106 raised for Save The Children USA East Africa? Crowdfunding.
The average nonprofit crowdfunding campaign raises $9,000, according to Non-Profit Source.
If you’ve been wanting to bring your cause online to raise funds, there’s no better time than now. Where can you start? The first thing you can do is find a crowdfunding platform that fits with your cause. Each of these crowdfunding websites has hundreds of nonprofit campaigns. But how can you make an impression to stand out from the rest of the crowdfunding crowd?
Combine your narrative with compelling visuals. Why? Visuals bring your cause to life and engage prospective donors. Images tug on heartstrings where words sometimes fall short. You can tell someone how to feel, but showing them will have a greater impact. Take a look at the Ray of Hope campaign for disabled children in India. This campaign has generated almost $300,000 in donations. A slideshow of images is the first thing viewers see when they’ve landed on the page. This highlights how images support a narrative.
With PosterMyWall, you can add your images to social media templates to create stunning graphics that articulate your cause. Then, you can share these branding assets on your crowdfunding page to bring your organisation’s story to life.
Promote your fundraiser on social media
Social media offers your organisation the chance to capitalise on the fundraising movement. On social media, millions of users are donating to charitable causes and sharing about it with #givingtuesday, which officially takes place on 3rd December this year. Facebook rolled out its fundraising feature in 2016, and millions of people have since created fundraising pages and raised money for their birthdays. To date, Facebook fundraisers have raised over $300,000 million for non-profits. Ready to raise funds on social media?
Create an event on Facebook and invite your community members to attend. Share a Facebook Live video about your fundraiser with tips on how the community can get involved. Post updates on the event page with details about your event and engaging promotional graphics.
And that’s not the only way you can harness the power of social media to promote your non-profit. Feeling strained of both time and money? With PosterMyWall’s auto-publishing and scheduling feature, you can easily create social media posts and publish them directly to all of your organisation’s social channels. Don’t forget about the resizing feature, which allows you to repurpose the same visuals to fit the dimensions of all social media outlets. This means that you can create an Instagram post and resize it to Pinterest dimensions, all within one tab.
Worried about what content to create? Hit a creativity block? Look for inspiration on PosterMyWall by browsing through thousands of professionally designed templates!
Get ready for donations!
The key to a successful fundraiser? A strong narrative combined with compelling visuals. The great news is that all of these tools are free and at your fingertips. So try out these strategies and get ready for the donations to start rolling in!
Christina Lyon is a writer and musician from Southern California. She’s passionate about writing engaging content that enlivens readers and grows online businesses. Christina is an avid reader, fiction writer, storyteller, songwriter and beach bum.
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