When I ask Google about fundraising, this is what it tells.
“Fundraising is the process of seeking and gathering voluntary financial contributions by engaging individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, or governmental agencies”
Is it really just the financial contribution that counts?
I have tried to create this guide taking into account my 30 days of fundraising experience and some insights and tips from the Mega achievers of the CEI Covid Response Project Phase-I for which I did my fundraising and marketing internship. I have included insights and tips from my co-interns who have raised in the range of 50k-90k INR individually.
My fundraising summary
|Organisation||Confederation of Empowerment Initiatives (CEI)|
|Cause||CEI Covid Response Project to help Tribals|
|Position||Project Empowerment Intern|
|No. of Donors||45|
So, coming back to the question that if it is only the financial contribution that counts. The answer is NO. Donations can be made in any form. Money is the most commonly perceived notion of donating but extending your help in any which way you can is also a donation and it counts.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Choose a trusted crowdfunding platform where you can collect funds without any hassle.
- Be through with your cause and give an impactful headline to your campaign.
- Get some emotionally appealing pictures of the people whom you want to help.
- Collect some initial data on the number of families or animals you want to serve. The type of community you are helping and their social status along with income status.
- Your fundraising campaign should be backed up with an appropriate marketing campaign on social media like Facebook or Instagram or be it on Whatsapp. Choose your social media platform according to the audience you want to reach.
Importance of Social Media
You must be thinking why do we need social media campaigns when we can just raise funds by personally messaging our contacts?
This is because you have limited contacts. So, we will leverage the contacts of our contacts. This strategy is beautifully implemented by those Mega achievers. Read their experience here.
Social media helps you to reach out to people you don’t know with the help of your connections. Also, if a person who just donated to your campaign shares a post and tag five of his friends, it creates an impact. In the world of marketing it is known as Normative Influence.
It is very helpful in non-profit marketing campaigns as people like to fit-in. So do not forget to tag each and every one of your donors in your campaign and try to ask them to tag as many of their contacts as they can. Social media posts also help to keep your donors and prospects updated with the on-going activity of the NGO and achievements.
Marketing is important but it is not everything. People do not just donate money by watching some emotional video or a creative poster. They may like it, they may share it but that doesn’t mean that they will donate or they should donate.
So, what does it takes to persuade someone to donate to your charity?
It is true that more or less almost all prospected donors want some kind of persuasion or a kick. For ex. out of my 45 supporters, there were only 2 such noble hearts who actually contacted me first to ask about the details, rather than I contacting them. I am not saying that others were not responsive but it is normal human nature to do when asked.
“Personalized messages are the key to raise more funds.”
There are three important points you must keep in mind before personally contacting anyone for a donation.
- Be through with the background of the organization you are working for. For example who are the beneficiaries? How does the NGO work? What is the ideology of your organization? and some facts like the location and the duration of the project along with the number of expected beneficiaries.
- Make a crisp message and do not add more than one link. Use this as an initial conversation starter. Sometimes a message without a link also works. In this way your donor gets curious and asks you for more details.
- Make sure you clear each and every doubt of your prospect and bridge the gap between your organization and the prospect. Only then you will come out as a trusted intern or an employee in the eyes of your donors.
These are some basic things one must keep in mind before starting a fundraising campaign. All the things discussed in this article are taken from the collective experiences of my co-interns and myself.
We will be discussing how and what type of social media campaigns can you create for your fundraiser and how to use them effectively to reach out to more people and collect more funds in the upcoming articles.