Online fundraising has grown tremendously in the last decade. Campaigns and nonprofit organizations today can raise money with the click of a mouse or a tap of the phone. But raising money requires planning and skill. It’s not enough to just have a website donation page or a Facebook profile.
Here are some tips and ideas to help you get the most from your online fundraising efforts.
Always the “Ask”. When you send emails or activist alerts to supporters, don’t bury the ask. In other words, state what you want the recipient to do – give money, attend an event, show up at the polls, etc. If you don’t ask for what you want clearly and prominently, you won’t get a great response.
Ask everywhere. Make the ask on your campaign website, in your emails, social media in your email signature – and offline, as well. It’s good for recipients to hear your message from many channels.
Specific monetary requests perform better. It’s easier to raise money for a specific need. They work even better when coupled with urgency. “Please sent $25, $50 or $100 to help us complete our final GOTV mailing. Our printer deadline is in three days!”
Use landing pages that match your request. If you are using email, online advertising or social media to drive traffic, make sure that the landing page corresponds to your message. For example, if you are advertising for GOTV, don’t send visitors to your website home page. Instead, create a new page that explains your GOTV needs and how your visitors can help. A good landing page will reduce exit rates and improve response levels.
The money is in the list, so keep building it. Build your campaign email list both online and offline. Encourage email signups wherever you can. Even use offline events as a way to get people to sign up for your email list.
Tell your story. Combining appeals for support with a strong, compelling (and heartfelt?) story can help bring home your message or appeal. It doesn’t need to be long, just memorable. Done well, voters will associate your stories with your name.
Images and video help influence response. Good visuals attract attention and can help drive home your point. There are many online tools that make it simple to create images for social media and email purposes.
What’s in it for them? Why should someone support you or your campaign? People often act out of self-interest. Give them concrete reasons why their support not only helps you but will help them as well. Micro-targeting your recipients by specific issues can provide those self-serving reasons.
It’s not all online. You still need real life events and you must leverage your personal contacts. Combining online and offline strategies will help you raise more money for your organization.
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