- Dr. Dan Kelly speaks at fundraising event to help tilt his campaign to combat the ebola crisis.
Congratulations! You, empathetic reader, are a kind person who cares deeply about a specific foundation or cause, and you’ve decided to hold a fundraiser to reach your financial goal.
Making your fundraiser a success, however, is harder than it seems. While it is technically easy to create an online fundraiser (just two swipes on the Tilt app, for one) and hope that millions will come pouring in overnight, the reality is that fundraisers take serious effort. They require dedication to the cause and active maintenance.
But getting your campaigns to tilt, or reach their stated goals, can be a snap if you follow these simple tips.
1. Set a reasonable goal. While bigger may seem better, the truth is that a super high goal may seem intimidating to potential donors. If they feel as if you’re unlikely to hit your goal, they’ll be less likely to donate, and vice versa. Instead, set an attainable—yet still aspirational—goal to help build momentum.
2. Write a good description. Let your donors know exactly what their money will go towards. Write a clear description of what you are fundraising for and where the money will go. The better your storytelling, the more people will feel compelled to help you.
3. Tap your social networks. Unless your nonprofit is affiliated with an A-list star, top-tier media is unlikely to write about your campaign. The way way to drum up attention is to start with your friends, family and colleagues. Get them to promote your campaign on all of their social channels, like Illuminate the Arts did for their “Save the Bay Lights” campaign, and encourage their friends to do the same. If you want to get really organized, create a catchy hashtag for your supporters to use, so you can measure how far your message is being spread.
4. Keep your donors updated. To keep your campaign top-of-mind, always remembers to send your followers updates about how the campaign is progressing: how close you are, if you receive any particularly big donations, if you’re received any media mentions.
5. Host an event. Another way to keep your campaign relevant and timely for potential donors is to throw an event. You can use the occasion to further teach the uninitiated about your cause and to nudge those that have already donated to give more, if they are able to. Tilter Ariella Laeffer, who started a campaign to raise funds to help combat the ebola crisis, held a cocktail party and talk in her final stretch, and quickly reached her goal.
6. Have fun! In between your tactical promotions and hard work, don’t forget that you’re doing helping a good cause and running a campaign can also be an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable experience. You’ll get to meet new friends and connect with like-minded people, all while supporting something you genuinely care about. Plus: positive emotions become contagious and will make people want to contribute.
Effectively nurturing a nonprofit fundraiser from start to finish can be challenging, but the rewards are worth the effort!
Tilters, what tips do you have for running a successful nonprofit campaign? Let us know in the comments.
Ready to launch a non-profit fundraiser? Start here