You’ve thought of a great fundraising idea, so you dive right in. You set up your GivenGain page, press publish and wait for the donations to roll in.
You wait a bit. You check if the Wi-Fi is working. You refresh the page. You play with the photo you added and tweak a bit of the text. Finally, you decide to go to bed and check the page again in the morning.
The next day you see that your counter is still saying 0.00 raised. You wonder if the donation button works, so you click it to see what happens, and decide to make the first donation. It works. Your counter ticks over. It’s clearly not the fundraising page, so why aren’t you getting donations?
I’ve been there, as an individual fundraiser, and as a charity fundraiser. What I’ve learnt is that an online fundraising page isn’t a “build it and they will come” activity. After you post your fundraising page, YOU have to drive traffic to the page. YOU have to work hard to get their attention and inspire them to give.
It is not enough to set up a fundraising page or even to have a great fundraising idea. If you want to be a successful fundraiser, you have to know how to drive traffic to your fundraising page.
So how can you do that? Whether you’re an individual fundraising for a charity, or a charity managing an online fundraising campaign on GivenGain, here are five tips to drive traffic to your fundraising page throughout your campaign:
1. Keep it short and sweet
Keep your fundraising campaign timeline short (about two weeks) to create a sense of urgency. Campaigns that last too long grow stale and people become tired of being asked for money all the time.
2. Create early momentum
Most of us don’t want to be the first person to try something new. Speak to five to ten of your closest family and friends (or supporters, if you’re a charity) and ask them to consider being among the first to give. Tell them about your fundraising idea before the page goes live and that you’ll e-mail them with a link when it’s up. Ask them to test that everything is working and to donate in the first few hours of the campaign. Having a few donations when you launch your page creates momentum.
3. Write e-mails
When it comes to asking for support, the more personal you get the better. If you ask a big group, everyone will think someone else will make a donation. This is why personalised e-mails can effectively drive traffic and donations to your fundraising page. Look at your e-mail contact list and choose five people to e-mail. Tell them why you are fundraising right now and about the difference their donation will make. Include a link to your fundraising page and tell them what you want them to do: “Will you help me reach my goal by donating?” The next day, e-mail another five people. Keep doing this daily until your campaign ends. If you’re a charity with a large mailing list, think about how you can segment your list and make the mails more appealing to each audience, rather than sending the same mail to the whole list.
4. Share your fundraising page on social media
I never advise fundraisers to rely on sharing their fundraising message solely on social media. Most people will donate to your fundraising page because you asked them in person or sent them a personal e-mail (see 2 & 3). However, social media can help you reach people who you aren’t in contact with regularly and even friends of friends who might be interested in supporting you. Remember to use images in your social posts, include a link to your fundraising page, and ask people to donate, share and retweet. Make sure to post about your fundraising efforts regularly – social media moves so fast, most of your audience will miss many of your posts.
5. Do a final countdown
In the last few days of your campaign, make sure to e-mail those who said they would donate but haven’t. Remind them that your fundraising campaign will be closing soon. Post regularly to social media, pointing out that time is running out, and ask people to help you reach your goal. Show how close you are to your goal and how a specific number of people donating a specific amount could help you reach that goal.
If you follow these five tips, you’ll see more traffic coming to your online fundraising page, so make sure your page includes copy about why they should donate, the difference their donation will make and some great visuals. After all that, your fundraising target should be within reach!
If you’ve got a cause you care about, I’m here to help you grow and fund it. My name is Wendy van Eyck and I am obsessed with teaching non-profit fundraisers and marketers with few resources, little time and high targets how to generate the funding they need to bring change to a community they care about. Find free resources and ideas at http://www.solofundraiser.com/.
Wendy van Eyck
Non-Profit Communications Expert