Once you have a fundraising campaign or event established at your organization, you need to get the word out about it through various forms of outreach and promotion.
The following are seven strategies for effectively promoting your fundraising efforts.
- Compelling Visuals
- Local Business Partnerships
- Peer-to-Peer fundraising
- Email outreach
- Social Media Promotions
Whether your promotions are online, through print media, or other avenues, you’ll want to charge your messages with emotion wherever possible. One of the most effective ways to do that is to include emotionally compelling images or graphic assets. Ideally, these should be images from your actual organization or from the work you’ve done or are currently doing.
For example, if you’re fundraising for a building project that’s already underway, why not show a picture of what the construction site currently looks like or how the old building looks in comparison to how you’d like it to be?
For any online campaigns and promotions, utilize video if you have the resources to do so. Including images of people, specifically faces, can be a powerful tool to elicit emotions as well, just be sure that you always secure the appropriate release forms for actors or subjects.
You can easily capture compelling visuals using a smartphone, so there’s no need for expensive equipment. If you don’t have an eye for photography or videography, there’s a good chance someone working at your organization does. Better still is if you make this a volunteer opportunity!
If you’re really strapped for time and resources, use a site that offers free, high-quality stock photos.
Nonprofit storytelling can be done with words, photos, and video. Your best bet is to use a combination of all three modalities if you have the resources. Telling a relevant story to your campaign allows potential donors to make a deeper connection with your cause and therefore makes them more likely to get involved or make a donation.
You’ll want your story to convey a combination of passion behind the cause and urgency for the help still needed to keep your mission alive. It has been estimated that around 68% of nonprofit supporters feel motivated to donate to a cause after reading their compelling story.
You can refer to the stories told by other nonprofits that resonate with your own or start from scratch using a storytelling template, like the one provided in our blog article, How Finding Nemo Can Help Your Nonprofit Tell Its Story.
Let local event organizers do some of the heavy lifting for you. Find events that attract your target demographics. This could be an event at a local brewery or farmers market that you could easily connect your cause to. See if you can have a table there, if appropriate, or have information about your cause readily available in a way that’s also beneficial to the event itself.
You could also launch your own event to boost your campaign efforts. Just make sure you’re confident in your ability to get enough attendance and — most importantly — follow up with those attendees to make the time and financial investment worth your while.
When planning your event, make sure to start early and take strategic steps to ensure it will be successful and memorable to those that attend while creating a pipeline of new supporters for your organization.
Most businesses use sponsorship as a form of marketing, aligning them with worthy and popular causes in order to promote their reputation and woo customers.
Your nonprofit can benefit much the same way from sponsorships. These partnerships can make your marketing efforts easier and more cost-effective while also lending credibility to your organization and exposing your mission to a whole new audience of potential donors.
You can also leverage the common ground you share with a local business, combining your efforts to further serve the members of your shared community.
Here are some ways a local business can help you out:
a. Provide them with a downloadable logo from your organization that they can add to their website with the copy, “Proud support of [nonprofit name]”, and have it link to your website or online fundraising campaign.
b. Request that the business follows you and shares your promotions on social media to help get the word out.
c. Come up with creative ideas tailored to the business you’re working with.
Peer-to-peer fundraising can be your greatest asset. Tap into your most enthusiastic supporters and make it easy for them to raise money for you by providing them with easy-to-use tools and instructions. This is a terrific way for people who are passionate about your cause but don’t necessarily have the funds to donate themselves, to give back to your organization.
Make sure your nonprofit board members are highly engaged and involved in this process as well. Getting them psyched about a campaign is as simple as providing them with the right tools to make them successful in their efforts while assigning them with tasks that adhere to their strengths.
Email marketing is most effective when the content is tailored to the recipient. You already know your donors support your cause, but what messages have the most impact on them? In what ways do they feel most comfortable giving?
Collect metrics that help you understand the differences between your donors and craft your message to reflect their different interests. You can use tools like MailChimp to set up a contact list and carry out targeted email campaigns to drive engagement and donations. Your MailChimp contacts can easily be imported into the GiveGab CRM to continue to improve your communication with and insights about your donor base.
Along with crafting targeted emails, make sure that you use donor-centric language, include a compelling story, keep it short and sweet, and use “the power of 3’s”.
Once your campaign is up and running, make sure to share it on all your social media channels and request that your supporters also share it from their personal accounts to expand your reach. Online platforms such as Hootsuite and Hubspot have tools that can help you schedule your posts in advance and understand the best times to post.
Promoting early will give your followers more time to let the information really sink in and to donate to and share the campaign information with their constituents when it’s most convenient for them to do so. One of the golden rules of marketing is that it takes at least three impressions before someone will act on a piece of advertising. You can safely assume the same is true for the number of times someone is made aware of your fundraising efforts.
Marcy Ogborn is the Marketing Director at GiveGab, the modern online fundraising and supporter engagement platform designed exclusively for nonprofit organizations. Go to www.GiveGab.com to learn more.