When it comes to raising money for your local charity or needy cause, the traditional way to inspire donations was to walk the pavements with a bucket.
Nowadays, the internet has made fundraising a much more streamlined and efficient process, thanks to social media, online apps and ease of communication.
If you are looking to kick off a fundraising campaign, knowing how to use the internet to your best advantage is where you need to start.
Your budget is the lifeblood of your fundraiser. Spend too much and it will eat into any money you manage to raise. Don’t spend enough and your campaign may not run as smoothly as it should.
Before you even start thinking about planning a fundraiser, you need to know how much you have to spend. There are some fantastic online apps you can use to track your finances, ensuring you stay on top of the money as you go. Both LevelMoney and Mint are nice and easy to use and are available for iOS and Android.
This is an extremely wide subject to delve into so it’s worth doing extra research on the ones you wish to cover. Depending on your type of charity or fundraiser, your campaign will need to be adapted to suit.
Marketing avenues include, but are not limited to;
- Social campaigns (Twitter, Facebook, etc…) – If you don’t at least have a Facebook page for your campaign, get one set up as soon as possible. Keep your followers up to date with all your fundraising news and direct traffic through from Twitter with regular tweets.
- Online banner advertising – If you have the budget, you can buy advertising space on websites. Forums such as mumsnet are great for social events such as fundraising.
- Blogging – Start a blog detailing your fundraising efforts. If you make it fun and engaging to read, people will return again and again and are more likely to recommend it to others.
- Print journalism (Newspapers, advertorials) – even if you are focused on online marketing, don’t dismiss print advertising as well. It can really help you to reach out to your local community and direct people to your website.
- YouTube – If you are performing a stunt or a special feat such as a marathon for your campaign, make videos from behind-the-scenes and post them to YouTube. You can also film the event itself and promote the video through your social pages.
You can also find online communities that are centered around your cause. For example, breast cancer awareness is very prominent at the moment so if you are raising money towards research, there are plenty of forums and Facebook groups that you can join to drum up interest.
Before you start shouting about your event, you need to build up a network of people who are prepared to take your message and run with it. Promoting your event is hard work and it will be a lot easier if you have help.
Enlist staff and volunteers who are working with you on the event to start spreading the word through their own social media networks and via word-of-mouth. Once they are on board, contact local figures within your event interest area and engage with them. For example, if you are planning a charity bake sale, reach out to local bakers, food bloggers, local journalists and magazines and let them know you have an event coming up. As it the date gets closer, feed them information that they can then share with their followers.
As well as marketing before your event, you can also promote your cause during and afterwards as well. Giving out branded gifts is ideal when you want to drive people back to your website or Facebook group. Promotional products such as pens, bags, branded clothing and mugs are particularly popular to hand out at events. People love free stuff!
The great thing is, once the event is over, those people will continue to carry your message back home to their friends, family and work colleagues.
Shout About It!
And finally, once all your hard work is in place – Get Shouting! Schedule tweets, Facebook posts and other marketing updates on a regular basis leading up to the big day.
Once the day arrives, make sure you don’t go silent. Ensure that there is always somebody getting the word out about what’s going on. Post pictures of the day as you go, film videos for later use and get quotes so you can write up an article or blog post review.