How to get the best out of online fundraising

In the last ten years or so, the field of fundraising has been revolutionised by the arrival of the internet. No longer is fundraising the act of knocking on every door in the neighbourhood with a clipboard in hand. Now, thanks to the internet, fundraisers are able to effectively knock on the door of thousands of people every day, via harnessing social media and email, with the proverbial clipboard being transformed into a ‘JustGiving’, ‘Virgin Money Giving’ or ‘EveryClick’ page. There’s no doubt that the internet has made fundraising – and fundraising to a high target – a lot more achievable, but online fundraising is no-one click fix, so read on to find out how to make your online fundraising campaign as successful as it can be!

It’s all about the emails
There are a lot of blogs and articles out there about social media, and what an amazing fundraising tool it is, and they’re not wrong, social media should be the life and soul of any online fundraising campaign. But don’t forget about good old fashioned emails. Due to the accent of social media, emails now tend to be used for more business-like transactions, so to receive a personal email in amongst formal mailings would be a real unexpected pleasure for the recipient, and stand out in their minds much more than a random post that pops up on a Facebook feed.

But make sure to be careful how you put together your recipient lists, and how you word your emails – different strokes for different folks! The type of email you might send to old classmates or parents of friends would be different to the one you send to your work friends. So bear this in mind,

Tell the Story
This is where social media really comes into its own! Don’t just send out one tweet/fb post about your challenge asking for donations, really tell the story of your challenge and your fundraising, tell everyone what you’re most nervous about for your challenge, what events you’re putting on for your fundraising, why the charity you have chosen is so important, etc – don’t forget to always include a link back to your fundraising page so people can donate easily.
Use all the mediums at your disposal to keep things interesting, post photos and videos of your fundraising events and efforts. Set yourself mini goals and build up a buzz on social media. We recently organised ‘The BT Red Nose Challenge: Hell and High Water’ which saw a team of celebrities white water raft down the Zambezi to raise money for Comic Relief. As a final push, Radio 1 DJ Greg James pledged to jump into the Zambezi River naked when a certain fundraising goal was reached, and (thanks to a massive social media buzz and a push by Radio 1) it was…and he did! We hardly recommend you go to such measures, but mini goals and extra forfeits like this, combined with a social media push, can really help tell the story and give people more reasons to donate!

Make use of new online technologies
There is always something new and exciting happening in the world of online fundraising. One of the latest is an easy two minute way to create your own challenge website at a cost of just £20. A website can provide a centralised hub which can host detailed information about yourself, your challenge, your charity, your fundraising page, your blog and pics. This is great as you can use this to engage your local press by sending them a link to your site – the easier it is for them to find info, the more likely they are to give you the coverage you need. You can also offer businesses the opportunity to feature their logo and information on your website in return for corporate sponsorship. To find out more info about setting up your own challenge website, visit thechallengenetwork.com.

Here at Charity Challenge, we’re going to be soon launching our very own new piece of online technology, that we hope is going to have a very big impact on online fundraising, and it going to be of special interest to our charity partners, so watch this space!
We hope you found this article useful! For more top tips, and to see the many other amazing challenges we offer, you can visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com. To keep up to date on all Charity Challenge news, please enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.

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