Fundraising Marketing

Your next campaign in 5 steps

on October 27, 2017

By now, you’ve probably heard about social fundraising and its importance in keeping your cause relevant, engaged, and growing in today’s online world. Through social fundraising, you can turn your donors into fundraisers, multiplying the impact of their dollars. Doing this allows you to share your mission through their personal lens to help raise awareness and ultimately get more donations than ever before.

So, how can you work this concept of social fundraising into what you’re doing right now? We’re so glad you asked. We’ve broken it down into 5 steps - with real-life examples - to show you just how to get started.

Step 1: Determine what you need
Step 2. Explain why you need it
Step 3: Find people who care about your cause
Step 4: Find an incentive
Step 5: Tell everyone

Let’s break it down:

Step 1: Figure out what you need

This should be the easy part and we expect that you’ve got a long list.

Real-life example: We need an additional $15,000 to hit our end-of-year goal.

Step 2. Explain why you need it

We may sound like a broken record, but it bears repeating-- showing your donors the tangible impact of their donations helps you convey a sense of real urgency and need for support. Think about what you won’t be able to accomplish without their support.

Real-life example: Due to cuts in federal funding, we need your help to fill the gap. A shortfall of $15,000 means that we would have to adjust one of the following elements of our programming in 2018:

  • We would have to provide monthly instead of weekly meals to the public
  • We would have 1 less guidance counselor available to our residents
  • We would have to adjust our available hours to 6 a day, rather than 9
  • We would have one less program officer on staff to help secure long term housing for our residents

Step 3: Find the people who care about your cause

Ask yourself: who are our biggest advocates? These groups of people are the most important components to a successful social fundraising campaign. They are the ones who will spread the word about your need and reach new people that you otherwise couldn’t reach. Odds are, these people have already told their network about your work. With the right message, they’ll be your best advocates. Consider the following:

  • Employees - Your employees care so much about your cause that they show up every day and dedicate their careers to helping your cause. Since they understand the intricacies of your charity, they’ll understand the impact they can have.
  • Board Members or Junior Board Members - This group of tech-savvy and well-connected volunteers is a great group to rally support online and through their social networks.
  • Volunteers - Fundraising is a natural extension of the time your volunteers are already dedicating to your cause. Social fundraising can be a new and fun way to dedicate volunteer hours. 

Step 4: Find an incentive

Helping your cause will surely give your fundraisers the warm-and-fuzzies, but it never hurts to sweeten the pot. You know your fundraisers best--put yourselves in their shoes to think about what will really get them to take action. The best strategy here is to think about experiential and unique prizes that would only be offered to your fundraisers.

  • Double your impact by finding a major donor to match all donations
  • Be a guest social media poster
  • Present a giant check publicly at your annual event
  • Win 2 VIP tickets to your gala
  • Get an extra day of PTO
  • Become the ‘Best Fundraiser of 2017’ or create a fundraising award named after someone special to your cause (complete with a sash or some other form of free public recognition)
  • Get free lunch once a month
  • Wear jeans one Friday a month

Step 5: Tell everyone

This is the single most important step of social fundraising-- sharing your message and engaging your network. Not only will you want to plan out what information you share as a charity on your social channels, but you’ll also want to create sample messaging for your fundraisers to make it as easy as possible to share your message. Provide 2-3 main points you’d like your fundraisers to share, then let them add their personal story.

  • Email - provide your fundraisers with an email that they can edit and send right out to their network.
  • Social media - Be sure that your fundraisers include a link to donate whenever they post.
  • Live events - Make your url short and memorable so it’s easy to share.

While your campaign will be unique to your mission and supporter-base, following these 5 steps will ensure you’ve got the key pieces in place to run a successful campaign and reach your fundraising goal.  

Need a sounding board?

Wondering how to make this happen for your org? Email us! Our Success Team is dedicated to helping you reach your fundraising goals.  We’d love to hear what you’re thinking and provide insight into what we’ve seen work.

Annette Hauswirth

Annette Hauswirth leads the Starter Success team at CrowdRise. She’s a philanthropy nerd who loves helping charities achieve more by creatively sharing their mission with the world. When she’s not working to keep the title of CrowdRise Pizza Queen, you can find her practicing yoga. Ohmmm.