Okay, you're ready to launch your online fundraising campaign. Now what? How do you ensure your campaign is appealing and successful? How do you boost awareness and traffic?  Below are 10 crucial best practices you should follow:

  1. Personalize
    • Just do it: Sound familiar? Well, that's NIKE's tag line. How about "We try harder?" That's right, Avis. Now, what's yours? Seriously, for the web, your campaign tag line needs to be boiled down to 3-5 words! Not so easy, but really important. Great examples include: Give them a Second Chance, Remember our Fallen, Feed the Hungry.
    • Call for action: people love being told what to do. That's right - tell your donors what they need to do, they expect you to. After all, they want to know what you are doing with their money. Most people don't read through your campaign page, they skim it and look for that link or button to click (hey, you just did that yourself, right?  Make sure you tell them what change you are trying to achieve in the real world, and how they can help it happen.
    • Tell a story: Donors give to people, not to organizations. Personal stories are much better than general messages. People connect to personal, simple, real life examples with simple explanations. Bring the stories of your community support front and center. Place testimonials (written and recorded) on your campaign page and throughout your marketing efforts; Share an endearing personal success story with your supporters.  Make sure to use close ups of those you help.  
    • A picture is worth a thousand words: Add 3-5 pictures with powerful captions telling the story about the great work you do. You can create this flash file for free in a few moments with your pictures here: http://www.frobee.com/slideshow-maker/
    • Be specific: Try for interesting and unique. You only have 12 seconds to engage your donor. You heard that right - 12!! Use those seconds wisely. Tell your donors What you want, When you need it, and Why. Be as specific. Avoid general terms - instead of "help us save the world" consider "Help Marie save 100 dogs by March 30"
    • BLUF stands for Bottom Line Up Front, Say it, than repeat what you just said. You need the quick, elevator pitch at the start of the campaign page (the blue section)
  2. Treat each fundraising campaign as a separate project: people give more to   specific goals and needs. Having several fundraising campaigns with the same general theme isn't effective. For example, buying a truck for food distributiion or feeding 10,000 hungry souls. Include a Project Breakdown showing you are clear, transparent and measuring the results of your donor's gifts.
  3. Test and re-test your campaign page and message: use a "focus group" to test campaign messaging.  Make it diverse to get as many different angles and views as possible.  Ask them about the your content, pictures, call to action and invitation letters. Your calls to action needs to be specific, appealing and urgent enough to get supporters to act and act now!  
  4. Set clear goals in term of donation amount and time: it's important to define clear and realistic goals for your campaigns. Setting appropriate campaign goals enables  donors to feel their gift is affecting the outcome of your campaign and that they are making a real difference. This is exactly how you want them to feel.
  5. Optimize the subject line of your invitation letters: Your subject line is critical and  directly affects how many people open your email.  It needs to be short, clear, compelling and urgent. Test 2-3 approaches on smaller groups of donors and use  the most successful for your entire list of supporters.
  6. Share campaign progress with your Facebook fans: keep fans and supporters engaged with posts on campaign progress; Update your page each time a substantial contribution comes in. Your main goal is to create a buzz for your campaign and keep it front and center. 
  7. Tweet & Blog: share personal angles regarding fundraising and day-to-day experiences. Don't pitchor sell in tweets or blogs. Share personal experiences for interesting, authentic and fresh angles your community will appreciate. The positive side-effect effect of it will be having them exposed to your organization's fundraising campaign. 
  8. Use an email badge: create a badge that supporters can add to their own email signature. Empower your staff, volunteers and supporters to broadcast your campaigns with every email they send out. Every badge drives new traffic new donors into your campaign.
  9. Thank each and every donor: every donor is someone who cares. Recognizing them is a great way to turn them into champions who bring new donors into your organization. Take the time needed to customize your tank you letter. It makes a real difference and helps donors think positively additional support.  
  10. Track and analyze your results: Analyze key factors such as: donotions/day, campign visitors to donors and donors turning into fundraisers. How are donors getting to your campaign: (i.e. Website, Facebook, Twitter and email). Use your successful messaging in multiple channels. Make your website, Facebook, Twitter and Blogs part of your conversation with your supporters. 


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