How to Get People to Donate to Your Online Fundraiser

Setting up your Razoo page is easy. Getting donations is harder.

You’ve started a fundraiser on Razoo, set your goal, uploaded images, poured your heart into telling your story and published your page.

Now what?!

Publishing your page is just the first step in making your fundraiser a success. You can create the most beautiful and affecting fundraising page on Razoo, but if you stop there, your fundraiser won’t be successful.

The results you get with your personal fundraiser are proportional to the time and effort you’re willing to invest in promoting it.

Here are steps to take after you publish to spread the word about your fundraiser and start collecting donations:

Step One: Identify your audience

Now that you’ve created your fundraiser and are ready to start asking for help reaching your goal, think about your social networks and identify different groups to reach out to.

Obviously, you will want to ask your family and friends for help, but do you have any other groups of people in your life who would be interested in your fundraiser?

When Heather was looking to raise funds on Razoo to help her DeafBlind son Orion’s intervener, she turned to a community of DeafBlind advocates, parents, and built on the online community she had already built with her parenting blog.

Think about all the social networks you have available to you on social media and beyond. Many people have more connections in their lives than they realize, so make a list of all the different audiences you can try to connect with about your fundraiser.

Step Two: Announce your fundraiser on social media

Your fundraiser’s biggest supporters are people already in your life: Friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances and people from your community.

Social media is the best way to reach all of them at once.

Once your page is published, post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other social media sites you use to let your friends know you’re looking for help. Even if they can’t donate to your fundraiser, ask them to share your page with their friends to help your fundraiser move beyond your own social network and get more exposure.

After helping her daughter Madeline start a fundraiser to help victims of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, Erin posted photos of Madeline and linked to her fundraiser on her Instagram and Twitter accounts.

If you’re not active on social media, you can email people to let them know about your fundraiser and ask them to share your fundraiser on their social media accounts. (Refer back to the list you made for Step One.) You can also do things like write letters to friends and family letting them know about your personal fundraiser and asking for their support.

If you know someone who has a bigger social media presence, we encourage you to ask them for help reaching people on social media.

Step Three: Ask for “seed” donations

It’s a fact of human psychology: People are more likely to do something when they know others are doing it, too. For that reason, getting a few donations to your fundraiser to start off is an important step.

We call these “seed” donations, because they will help the number of donations grow. Approach 2–3 people you are close to and ask them to make a donation to your fundraiser — and we recommend doing this personally, either in-person or over the phone. These donations don’t need to be huge ($5 or $10 is plenty) but having a few donations on your page will help people feel more comfortable donating to you and lend legitimacy to your fundraiser.

Ask these donors to leave a comment and to share your campaign, as well!

Step Four: Come up with a social media strategy

Nearly every successful personal fundraiser uses social media as its main tool to reach donors.

On Razoo, you can set up automatic posts promoting your fundraiser to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. But don’t stop there!

Think about what you can post, where you can post, how often you want to post, and how you can keep your posts fresh and interesting.

You’ll want to tailor your posts for each social media platform.

Something to always keep in mind when posting on social media is a “call to action” — which is marketing jargon for, “Tell people what you want them to do.” Obviously, you want them to donate, but make sure each of your posts has a specific call to action. For instance, in one post, you can ask everyone to donate $10 to your fundraiser. In your next post, you can ask everyone to share your fundraiser with their friends. In another post, you can ask everyone to leave a comment on your fundraising page. General calls to action like “donate” and “support” are generally less effective than more specific calls to action.

Step Five: Set mini-goals and celebrate reaching them

A trick professional fundraisers use is to set smaller goals within their overall fundraising goal.

There are several reasons to do this: Setting mini-goals gives you benchmarks you can use to measure whether your fundraiser is being successful (or if you might need to do more to raise the money you need), plots out how to get to your overall fundraising goal, helps generate content and calls to action, and creates urgency to donate.

Look at the total amount you hope to raise and divide that up into smaller amounts that feel achievable to you. For example, your first week’s goal might be to raise $100, and your first month’s goal might be to raise $500. Be sure to scale your mini-goal to the size of your overall goal!

Once you’ve plotted your course, plan to communicate your smaller goals to your supporters as they approach (“I’m hoping to raise $100 by Friday!”) and plan to post more frequently in the days leading up to your mini-goal.

If you reach your goal, do something special to thank your donors, such as posting a video thanking them for their support on social media or posting an update on your page. If you’re not able to reach your goal, examine what you did to achieve your goal — what successfully inspired people to donate and what wasn’t as successful. Use that information to help you achieve your next mini-goal!

Step Six: Ask Razoo for help!

If you’ve completed all of these steps and just aren’t seeing any results, Razoo has got your back! Reach out to our Crowdfunding Support Specialists — helping you make your fundraiser a success is literally their job!

linda@razoo.com
ashley@razoo.com