In an age where organizations are more connected to supporters than ever, being able to tell your non-profit’s story in a clear, compelling way is a vital component of a winning fundraising campaign. Your organization’s ability to effectively tell its story will greatly increase your chances of maximizing fundraising efforts. Keep these tips in mind as you begin to create your fundraising strategies for 2019.
Make a specific ask
You’re far more likely to get the attention of donors if you show them exactly what their donation will do for your organization. Are you raising money to fund a specific program? Will money go to a specific group you serve, like children, military veterans or the elderly? People expect to know where their money goes and want to know it will be used responsibly, so be sure to tell them from the start where you’re going to use their contributions.
Plan your campaign around ways to bring the specific fundraiser to life. Use social media to educate your followers on what the money raised will do. Highlight a specific program and how much is needed to continue or grow services in an email or letter. Be sure you use all available channels to educate your supporters on all you’ll be able to accomplish with their help.
Put a face to your fundraising efforts
Your organization can have a great track record showing it’s a good steward of donor funds and stretches those dollars at every chance, but that’s not what’s going to motivate a supporter to give. Most people act from the heart, not from the head.
Giving is a personal act. One of the best ways to create a sense of personal connection with potential supporters is to put a face to your efforts. Sharing the personal stories of those who have benefitted from your organization’s services and support can go a long way to encourage supporters to give. One of the top reasons a donor gives to an organization’s fundraising effort is because they’ve felt emotionally moved by someone’s story. This allows them to feel like although they might not be able to give a lot of support, they’re able to help change another person’s life. Finding a face for your cause will go a long way to connecting with your supporters.
Utilize all methods of communication available
People are now more connected than ever – both to each other, and to organizations they like or care about. Plan to ensure you’re fully utilizing every outlet at your disposal to support a fundraising campaign:
- Social media: Create a content calendar that utilizes photos, video, live streaming, and other opportunities for a variety of posts to support your organization’s fundraising. Create a mix of posts with those personal stories, fundraising updates, information about your organization or the fund you’re raising money for, and other information to keep people informed and engaged. Be sure you’re including a call to action – whether it’s to click to donate, asking for comments and shares to help spread your message or other action, it can add up to amplify your message.
- Email: Study after study confirms that email marketing is still the most effective way to reach an audience. They’ve already opted in to receive communications from you, so be sure you’re telling those stories you’ve identified and use short, direct, visually-compelling email marketing to drive action to give.
- Website: Your website should prominently feature messaging and visual content to amplify your fundraising efforts, as well as making it easy to give online. Consider creating a landing page or section of your site for your campaign, creating news or blog posts to keep people informed of progress, and share updates.
- Media relations: Do you have a good working relationship with a media organization? Finding a media partner could be the difference your fundraising campaign needs. Broadcast journalism is still the most trusted form of news in most media markets, so find ways to tap into that trust and reach current and new potential supporters. Whether it’s a profile of the person behind the face of the campaign for nightly broadcast, a Facebook Live fundraiser via the outlet’s page or interview with a popular anchor/television personality, or going old-school to partner with the station for a telethon, there are many creative ways to utilize the outlet to support your efforts.
Don’t be afraid to get creative in the ways you utilize communications to drive awareness of your non-profit organization and your fundraiser. Find a great story to tell, show people how their donations will make a difference, and make sure those messages find their way to as many channels as possible and you’ll have a successful campaign.
About Scooter Media
Scooter Media is a full-service communications agency in greater Cincinnati specializing in public relations and social media. If you’re a public relations pro looking for more tips, don’t miss our four #GivingTuesday essentials for non-profits, as well as our guide to getting the most out of your non-profit’s Facebook page.