Guest post by Kari Kiel, Marketing , DoJiggy/GolfRegistrations
Fundraising is not just about raising money. A fundraising campaign must also have strategic objectives other than raising funds. Success can be attributed largely to your ability to communicate effectively.
Just like an advertising campaign, your organization or charity must communicate what’s unique about your cause. Then you must create effective communication that speaks to your target audience and send these messages through the appropriate channels. And lastly, you need to provide an easy way for people to engage with your cause.
Here are some helpful communication tips for your fundraising campaign:
Tell your story
Fundraising is about people raising money to accomplish a goal. Explaining your goals and objectives is a key part of fundraising.
Before people are willing to donate they want to clearly understand the need. They also want to know specifically how the money raised will be used. It also helps if you can create a fundraising theme that ties in directly with your mission.
Check out these fundraising event ideas to help determine the best type of fundraiser to help you accomplish your goals.
Break it down for your constituents: show how people can make a difference. Sometimes it’s difficult for an individual to understand how their small contribution can help. Breaking down costs can help demonstrate how each person can help: i.e. each $10 raised will buy 2 new books and a 2-hour tutor with a mentor.
Provide sample communications
You can’t expect each of your fundraisers to be effective communicators. Yet, the success of your fundraiser lies on the success of the participants (especially when hosting a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign).
Create sample messaging that participants can use in their solicitation efforts. These can include:
- overview paragraph of what the fundraiser hopes to accomplish and how funds will be used
- sample donation request letters and thank you letters
- sample mailers, flyers, email templates, and even sample photos they can use
- Short “call-outs” that they can simply copy & paste or modify for their social call-outs.
Communicate effectively on your fundraising website
Remember that people browsing the web are not looking to read a novel. Your fundraising website content needs to be simple, yet effective. The home page should include a compelling headline and a call to action.
You can tell your full story, just create a tab to “learn more about our mission” or make it even easier on your audience by sharing a video that explains how you change the world. Provide visual stimulation. What’s the popular saying – “a picture is worth a thousand words” – well use them!
- If you are raising funds to help at-risk youth, use imagery to show how happy these children are with your help.
- If you have images of people building a community devastated by disaster, show before & after pictures.
- Or perhaps you are fighting for an environmental cause…show a video that shows how things have changed over the past few decades.
Provide instructions (i.e. tell them what to do)
This may seem silly, but it’s very important. People expect it to be very easy when they come to your website.
Post a large “Donate Now” button, so they know exactly where to click. Then walk them through the process. A friendly easy-to-use user interface is key. Be sure to have clear communication with text boxes and instructions.
The same goes for registering participants or signing up sponsors. Make it clear where they should click. Then walk them through the process of signing up, creating their fundraising page or choosing their sponsor level, etc. Provide customer support or “how-to” tutorials in case they get stuck.
Consider fundraising software
Utilizing fundraising software can help you with all your communications efforts. Your fundraising website gives you a place to tell your story, highlight important details about your event, share photos and videos, and provide a place for people to “act” – whether that’s registering for the event or making an online donation.
You can also provide communication tools and templates and motivate donors and participants by highlighting top performers or showing overall progress with a fundraising thermometer.
Fundraising software isn’t only helpful for prospective participants and donors you are driving to your site, but it’s also great for event organizers. It’s a great way to manage event details and communications to participants, donors, sponsors and volunteers (i.e. event reminders, thank yous, etc).