Essential Tips to Effective Online Fundraising Campaigns

On April 23, 2010, wrote:

The Internet continues to grow, and more and more organizations are leveraging its power to support not just their own business objectives, but also their causes, advocacies, and social responsibilities. Charities have taken to using websites as their main communication vehicle, while an increasing number of groups and individuals are utilizing the Web to get volunteers, spread information, raise awareness, and raise funds through online donations. A creative and properly implemented fundraising campaign to a broad online community can indeed get more results and raise more money than an offline campaign, and without as much overhead expenses.

Do you represent a group looking to get more results from your online fundraising campaign? Here are some essential tips to help you do that more effectively and make your campaign a success.

Get legal

First things first – make sure you have registered with the right officials and met the requirements for launching your fundraising campaign. Just because it’s being done online doesn’t mean you cannot check in with your state attorneys or secretary of state. Who knows? In the process of getting legal you may even bump into people who believe in what you’re doing and who will go all out to support your cause.

Find the right message

Once you’ve gotten legal, few will doubt the legitimacy of your cause. But will your audience dig your message? It’s important to work hard to come up with something really compelling here. Your message, after all, is going to be the foundation of your campaign. So try to strike a chord you’re your audience’s interests, aspirations, and desires rather than focusing solely on your need for money. Moreover, keep in mind that “Donate Now” isn’t your only option; think of words and phrases – like “Invest Now” or “Help Save the Earth” – that are aligned with your campaign.

Make your call-to-action easy

Explore as many options as you can for raising funds online: do you want to set up your own system? Take donations via credit card? Are you hiring a third party to process everything for you? Will you use another site to collect donations? Whatever your answers to these questions are, make it as easy as possible for people to send in their donations. By a click of the mouse, they should be able to take action and heed your call. Place that donation button in as prominent a position as possible, and make sure they’re in all the website pages.

Network

A “Donate Now” button won’t cut it, not in the age of social media and social networks. That’s why it’s essential to promote your cause via E-mail marketing campaigns and sites like Facebook, Twitter, and even MySpace. Of course, you’re not limited to networks on the Internet. You can reach potential donors through instant messaging and mobile phones, too.

Go viral

So you’ve defined your message – now, spend a lot of time crafting ways how you’re going to get that message across. Be edgy and creative. That’s how content is passed around virally these days by people on social networks and social media sites: when they think that what you’re doing isn’t only charitable, but also something they’ve never seen before. Of course, you’re not limited to a simple one-liner. Maybe you can create that needed buzz by creating a really cool YouTube video, or composing a catchy song.

Track contributions

One of the things that excite donors the most is the ability to track their donations at anytime. For them to see money rolling in for a cause they support is reward in itself. So add a visual element in your campaign that shows people how you’re all working towards a common greater goal.


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