How to market an online fundraiser

You’ve decided to participate in #GivingTuesday… now what?

#GivingTuesday logo from 2016 giving event

The holidays are getting closer and that means that events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and #GivingTuesday are less than two months away! It’s time to consider how to market online fundraisers for these events.

You’ve decided to be generous this year (or the non-profit organization you work for has) and you’ve signed up to run a fundraiser for #GivingTuesday on Razoo (hopefully). With this commitment to help save the world by raising money for causes that matter, you’ve also been tasked with making your fundraiser really successful and what better way to do that than through marketing.

Where do you begin? What message are you trying to get out? Who is your audience and brand? Where do you find them? How do you reach them? And when do you start? Don’t worry, we have a guide to help walk you through the step-by-step processing to market online fundraisers.

WHO

Let’s start with the WHO. Think about these questions:

· Who are you as a brand/organization?

· Who is your competition?

· Who is your target audience?

You’ll want to have a clear definition of these before you start. Think about what makes your #GivingTuesday fundraiser different from your competitors. This will also help you when speaking to your target audience. Don’t worry if you have more than one. Target audiences may range from past donors, referrals/word of mouth and/or new donors.

WHAT?

Okay you’ve defined who you are but what is the purpose of your marketing? What end goal would you or your organization like to achieve? I’m sure you just thought, “it’s obviously raising money for my #GivingTuesday campaign” but think past that. What are you going to do with those funds once you raise them?

AND SO WHAT?

What are the benefits to your target audience? (What impact will the donor have by choosing your #GivingTuesday campaign?) Your core marketing message should be built around the benefits that they will receive as a result of working with you this #GivingTuesday. All of your marketing materials and your core marketing message have to answer the ‘so what?’ test.

WHY?

Why should anyone care about your cause? If you don’t know the answer think about this for a while.

Have you thought about it? This is more than just your mission statement. EVERYONE has a mission statement. Why should people REALLY care about YOUR WORK/MISSION/ORGANIZATION?

If you still don’t know the answer, ask around the office… ask past donors… see what they say. Chances are these people love your cause and will give you some great inspiration.

WHERE?

There are a lot of different places to market and it can be overwhelming. Determine what tools are right for you and which are the best fit for your target market. Don’t forget to consider your budget. More (tools and budget) is not always better.

Your where can come from a mix of things — traditional marketing (TV, radio, print, and direct mail) or from non-traditional marketing (social media, digital ads, paid keyword campaigns, and grassroots efforts.) Decide your ‘where’ by looking at your target audience. If your target audience is over 65 years old, chances are they will respond better to a direct mail marketing campaign. If your target audience is compiled of a broad age range, chances are you can find them through Facebook Advertising.

Facebook Ads are fairly affordable and easy to run. If you can’t figure it out and need some extra help, feel free to comment on this post. (Our marketing director is a bit of an expert.)

For both paid marketing campaigns and building content on your social pages remember not to stretch yourself too thin. It is better to own one ‘where’ really well and reach a smaller amount of people with your ‘what’ enough times for them to take an action rather than hit a large number of people but have them see your ‘what’ very little and gain no trust in your brand or take action to donate to your fundraiser.

HOW?

You figured out your ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘where’; now how do you get everyone’s attention?

Your creative look and feel to market online fundraisers

Use popular hashtags like #GivingTuesday and #RazooGT16 in your marketing materials. You can also create your own!

Create custom art and content for your #GivingTuesday event and marketing materials to help market online fundraisers. These can be still images or videos.

Make sure you have consistency on your website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, Pintrest, LinkedIn, and any other social media profiles you have.

Include your call-to-action (CTA).

Your tone

What is your brand voice? Is it LOUD? Is it soft and passive? Define it and use it.

Your keyword phrases

These will tie into your content strategy to market online fundraisers. What are people searching for on Google in relation to #GivingTuesday? Work on tying these into your website, #GivingTuesday fundraiser or event page, and your social site content. You don’t have to over spend and run a paid keyword search campaign. If you incorporate these keywords into your content, this will help you be found when people are searching.

WHEN?

My initial reaction is to say, “NOW!” and to give you a sense of urgency knowing that #GivingTuesday is under two months away but when creating any marketing plan, it is important to be strategic and to have your plan laid out before you begin.

Make sure your plan to market online fundraisers is consistent. It should go through #GivingTuesday and at a minimum continue after the event by sending donors and participants thank you emails and by sharing the success of your event on your website and social pages.

An example of a social content calendar could look like this:

· Monday — Question/Poll — Example: “What inspires you to give?”

· Tuesday — Share external resource — Example: Post link to https://www.givingtuesday.org/ or to https://givingtuesday.razoo.com

· Wednesday — Promote latest organization news — Example: Share your latest blog updates about what your internal team is doing in the background to get ready for #GivingTuesday

· Thursday — Incorporate other fun social media themes like “#throwbackthursday” — Example: Share pictures and success stories of past #GivingTuesdays or past events your organization has participated in.

· Friday — Share external resource — Example: Link to your website with more details about your #GivingTuesday campaign.

· Weekend — Live updates — Example: Create a countdown clock. This can just be a graphic that says “21 more days until #GivingTuesday!” etc. Get people excited your event is coming!

NEXT STEPS

Hopefully now you have an idea of how to create a successful marketing campaign for #GivingTuesday!

Still need to sign up for a #GivingTuesday campaign? You can sign up for a #GivingTuesday campaign on Razoo here. Check out our 2017 social media guide here.

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