Admit it, your fundraiser needs a little boost.
Whether you just need new fundraising ideas or you want to push a campaign over the finish line, there are some things that you can do to motivate donors ASAP. Combining a sense of urgency with social proof can help donors who haven’t clicked “donate” finally commit to your cause.
Here are three things you can do this weekend to help your fundraiser get a little boost.
Send a Campaign Email to Raise Money
A direct ask is one of the most surefire-tactics when it comes to spurring donations. Send a campaign email to create an immediate boost in giving.
For new campaigns, the email may be a version of your fundraising letter that you will send to everyone on your distribution list – past donors, newsletter subscribers, or partners. For a first send, the email should explain the campaign, benefits of donation, and where the funds will go with a clickable call-to-action that takes them to a donation page.
That’s pretty simple and should be the starting point for every online fundraising effort.
Past the initial send, campaign emails can still be highly effective with the right messaging and timing. An email on a weekend day might be the unexpected communication that reminds a potential donor about a campaign when they are less busy. (Plus, weekend emails often don’t have as much competition in the inbox.)
Make the most of this email message by playing on the idea that you are communicating during an off-peak time. Lighter communication methods and messaging can appeal to on-the fence donors, younger demographics, and first-time givers who are just getting to know your organization.
Personalize the email when you can. Use a donor’s name in the email or tailor messaging to different audience segments, such as donor level, so that every person gets an email that seems just right for them. For emails that are segmented at the donor level, you can use the call-to-action to make a direct ask, such as “Donate $100.”
The deeper you can segment donor email campaigns, the more effective they will be (even in a pinch). Remember to segment out (exclude) donors who have already contributed to your fundraiser. Unwanted and unopened emails can result in your messages going to spam later on, so it is better to send fewer emails than blanket your list with each send.
Not sure what type of email to send? Consider these options:
- Story email with a case study of a donor or how a donation helped your organization
- Reminder email that reinforces your nonprofit’s core mission and goals.
- Event email with an invitation to join a live or virtual gala, ceremony, or information session.
- Thank you email that goes a step further than a standard tax receipt letter; make it personal and encourage sharing.
- Proof of performance email that shows the work you have done recently; list completed goals, projects, and accolades.
Boost It on Social Media
Boost your fundraising – literally – on Facebook.
If you don’t have a budget for paid promotion, there are plenty of other things you can do to push your campaign forward on social media as well. For the best results, pick a couple of tactics from this list and deploy them at the same time.
Paid promotion, or “boosts,” can help push a post about your fundraising campaign to more people on social media. While most nonprofits already understand how to boost posts to their page followers, getting in front of potential donors might be a little different. When you create an audience for the boost, add an interest category for charitable donations. Then include your cause or click all charitable donations to help show information to the right people on the social network.
Post about your fundraising campaign. Don’t assume that people know you are looking for donations, make an ask! Use social media to help create a sense of urgency for donations and social proof that others in their network support your cause.
Invite friends to like social media pages or posts by your nonprofit. Expand the reach of your network to show posts about a fundraising campaign.
For posts and calls to donate on Facebook, share in groups related to your nonprofit or cause. Groups are often actively engaged, and don’t forget to ask group members to share.
Add photos or video to every post. Photos that show your organization or people impacted by your work will resonate more than stock images. Consider adding a “donate now” message to images.
Tag partners – this is a great way to highlight corporate support or donors – and share stories of why they donated, how they benefit from your organization, or how corporate matching works.
Update your cover photo to include an image or information about current fundraising efforts. When you switch a cover photo, followers see this in their feeds. Don’t forget to include information about the campaign and how to donate online as a link in the comments.
If your nonprofit is verified on Facebook and Instagram, you can add a donate button to posts. This click-to-donate right from social media makes donating easy. The easier it is to donate, the more likely it is that you can generate additional funds. This type of donation option appeals to younger audiences that will often give small amounts over time because they see that friends or family have also done so.
Having verified nonprofit status also allows people on social media to support and post while generating funds for your nonprofit. This is an action they can take on their own, or you can ask key supporters to start mini campaigns on your nonprofit’s behalf.
Create an online fundraising event. This type of post, which is timed to a certain day or days, creates a sense of urgency that can spur action. An event post also allows you to invite participants, share, and boost as a paid promotion. Tie an event to an in-person or virtual kickoff that get potential donors hyped about your nonprofit. Ask donors to post about their donation or reason for giving in the event discussion to help push interaction and fundraising potential.
Use a hashtag that helps get the campaign in front of more people interested in your nonprofit. Find one or two hashtags that relate to your work, or national giving initiatives — #GivingTuesday, #NationalNonprofitDay, #donation – and incorporate them into posts with a call-to-action.
Thank Donors Publicly
A thank you can go a long way toward maintaining your donor base and making them feel important. A public thank you can accomplish the same goal while encouraging others to donate as well.
There are a variety of ways to incorporate public thank yous into a giving effort.
- Keep a running list of donors on your website or giving app. GiveWP has a donor wall feature that makes this easy to do.
- Publish names of donors on social media with thank you messages. Keep these posts short and stick to smaller groups of names so you can tag donors with the thank you.
- Run an ad that thanks donors. Remember to include individual and corporate donors and list names in donation tiers if they are part of the campaign.
- Host an appreciation event and name donors while thanking them for their support. This might be an actual reading of names or printed programs or materials with donors listed.
- Send an email to your entire list that thanks donors for their support by name.
- Create a thank you confirmation for online gifts that donors can share on their own. While you have provided the initial thank you, their share might encourage others in their networks to do the same. You can do this using the GiveWP multi-step form template or the free Simple Social Shout add-on for legacy form templates.
Get More Fundraising Tips!
Deploying a few of these fundraising tips can go a long way. You can boost the reach and donation potential of your online campaigns this weekend.
Here’s the best thing about many of these tips: They are things you can do fairly quickly and can also be part of a long-term fundraising strategy. Start by acting on a couple of these tactics this weekend and follow up with a few more next weekend. Over time, these fundraising tips can create a lasting impact on your campaigns and create an increase in overall donations.
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