The Fundraising Convention took place over three days last week and each year it sees thousands of fundraisers gather at the largest professional fundraising event in Europe.
Whilst cake sales and standing outside collecting money will always be classic and successful ways for charities to fundraise, newer and more modern marketing strategies can maximise your online fundraising revenues in the digital age.
Digital marketing is the term used to describe any activity that promotes your charity’s cause online. This can cover everything from a simple blog post such as this one, to setting up your own website or posting on your social media sites. Digital marketing strategies have the ability to reach more potential fundraisers than traditional fundraising methods, and they are the most cost effective ways to reach a large audience. Obviously, the more you engage with potential fundraisers, the more money your campaign will raise.
This is why we’ve gathered together six digital marketing strategies to help boost your charity’s fundraising.
We can’t stress enough how much of an important role your charity’s website plays in boosting your fundraising. Just think; this is the first point of call for potential fundraisers to find out whether they’d like to raise money for your organisation or not. Make sure that your website makes it very clear what you do, why you do it (your charity’s values), and how people can get involved in fundraising for your important cause. It’s also a good idea to add pop-ups and calls to action on your site so that potential fundraisers can sign up to your newsletters, and even better, to easily sign up to your fundraising campaign.
Almost as important as the website content is ensuring that your website can be easily viewed and accessed on mobile devices. In this digital age, consumers are used to having everything at their fingertips (quite literally) and aren’t prepared to hang around when plenty of other companies, or in this case charities, are competing for their attention.
Social media is the most cost effective digital marketing strategy to reach and engage with a vast number of potential fundraisers. It’s not enough to just post a few generic promotion posts around your campaign; you really need to emotionally engage with your followers to make them want to fundraise for your particular charity.
It’s a great idea to share your fundraisers’ motivational stories on Twitter and engage with conversations surrounding your campaign to add a personal touch, build relationships and to encourage your fundraisers to keep raising more.
Videos and animations are becoming increasingly popular on social media channels, so think about the best ways your organisation can utilise them to create interesting, engaging content. Instagram Stories is a great way to show your organisation’s personality and, even better, ensure that your charity is placed at the top of people’s feeds.
GoFundMe and JustGiving pages
GoFundMe is the biggest crowdfunding platform and allows users to create their own website to help them raise money. Users can describe their fundraising cause and the amount they’d like to raise, as well as upload photos or videos to better demonstrate their cause. When fundraisers signed up for our client Aspire’s Channel Swim, they had a JustGiving page set up for them to make it easy to spread the word and get fundraising.
Users can easily share their fundraising efforts and the link to their fundraising webpage through their social media pages, which as we know, is a great way to spread the word. Donors can then donate to their chosen cause through the website using a debit or credit card and can choose to leave comments on the page to show their support.
As mentioned earlier, it’s really important for your website to be fully accessible on mobile devices, as 45% of consumers say that they will immediately leave a mobile site if they have difficulty accessing it. Enabling fast and easy donations is absolutely essential for the success of your campaign. This is why more and more charities are investing in mobile apps, as most of the time they have faster and easier access than the main website.
For example, The United Nations World Food Programme’s ShareTheMeal app is incredibly user-friendly because it is based on the idea that whenever a user sits down to eat, they can quickly and easily donate and share their meal with someone in need to help fight against child hunger. With a simple click of a button, users are able to donate 35p, which is enough to provide a child with enough nutrition for a day.
Donation via text
Linked to being able to donate easily via mobile apps is donation via text. Watching Children in Need on TV? Easily donate via text without even having to leave your sofa. Donation via text has become increasingly popular over recent years, as people are short on time, often on-the-go and hardly ever carry cash on them. The donation is taken directly from the donor’s phone bill or mobile credit, which makes it really easy and user-friendly, without having to fill out lines and lines of personal details. Plus, even better, every last bit of the donation goes straight to you, the donor’s chosen charity.
While it may seem that people are now moving away from email to social media, that is definitely not the case. While you can tailor your social media posts to particular audiences to some extent, marketing emails can be sent straight to the inboxes of a whole targeted database. Being able to send emails to just this database is important for your organisation to target only those that may actually be interested in fundraising for you.
It’s a good idea to not go too text-heavy and to use engaging images and design instead in order to catch the potential fundraiser’s attention. Personalising the email can also help increase engagement and proved successful when we were promoting Aspire’s annual fundraising event, the Channel Swim.