How to Promote the Fundraiser
It’s important to remember that just because your fundraising page is up on the web, it doesn’t automatically mean thousands of people are going to open up their wallets and give you money. In reality, the success of your fundraiser depends on two factors: (1) how strategically you promote your fundraiser; and (2) how much effort you put into promoting your page. We’ll just focus on the second factor – fundraising effort.
Promoting your fundraiser is just like promoting anything else. You need to get the word out if you want it to be a success. Think about it like this – if you were to throw yourself a birthday party but you didn’t invite anyone to it, would anyone show up? Probably not. Well, fundraising is no different. You’ve got to tell people about your fundraising page if you want them to show up.
Email is going to be your most effective tool for reaching the masses, but don’t be shy about picking up the telephone to reach out some of your closest friends and family. One of the best fundraising techniques is to first call your friends and family on the phone to let them know about your fundraising efforts. Once you’ve given them a heads up about your fundraiser, follow up by sending them an email with a link to your fundraising page. Even a brief, two-minute phone conversation before you send out the email will translate into higher donations and a quicker response rate from your donors.
Email everyone you know, and by everyone we mean EVERYONE. Just because you haven’t talked to your freshmen year roommate since you got drunk and accidentally spilled a Dr. Pepper on his laptop, doesn’t mean he won’t donate to your campaign. People are generous and you’ll be amazed to find out that some of your biggest donations will come from people you haven’t seen in years. So don’t be bashful. Start sending those emails to anyone and everyone you know. As a general rule of thumb, if you’ve said “hi” to a person in the last 15 years, they’re fair game for an email.
However, if possible, try to avoid sending a mass email to everyone in your contact book. Instead, try sending emails to small groups of 10-15 people. So for example, you might send one email to friends from your study abroad program, while you’d send a separate message to your co-workers, a different one to your cousins in Massachusetts, and another one to the people you know from your Wednesday night softball league. Remember, people are much more generous if they know you took the time to write them a personal email. If you have the time to do so, the extra effort on your part will definitely pay off.
Social Networking Sites
We know that you have about eight million friends on Facebook. Contact them. ALL of them. Even though you may not have seen some of these people since high school, it’s okay to let them know what you are doing and ask them to contribute a small amount to your fundraising effort. However, just like with regular emails, sending out a mass message to everyone is going to be ineffective. Instead, send out separate messages to small sub-groups of friends. Additionally, a lot of our users have had success starting Facebook groups for their fundraisers and inviting all their friends to join. It’s a great way to spread the word. Text Messages. Sometimes you might not have someone’s email address but you have their number in your phone. Send text messages to all these people and make sure to include the URL to your fundraising page in the message.