“Bricks in the wall”
Ask some people close to your organization to make the first donations. They could be your volunteers, existing donors or other supporters that you have a personal relation with and are committed to your cause. Let them know when the campaign site is launched, and once the first donations are in, you can start communicating to your wider audience - they will see that some people have already supported your campaign, and will contribute to it more willingly.
Don’t count on Santa Claus
It might sound banal but people will give if you ask them to do it. It is true both to a fundraising campaign and to the actual messages that you should not wait for donations but ask for them. Instead of passive phrases like “you can donate here” or “we look forward to your support”, ask actively: “please donate / give / contribute”, etc.
Crowdfunding campaigns are typically run in social media, primarily on Facebook. Social media content, however, is consumed very fast, people scroll through posts, so it is crucial whether your campaign post can make them stop. As people sense the pictures while they’re scrolling, make sure you choose an eye-catching photo and add a banner with a message that speaks to people. Only then will they stop to read the actual text of the post. Once you manage to catch their attention, do not divert it elsewhere: avoid adding links to the post, other than the one to your campaign page.
Besides impressive posts, make the best of Facebook’s tools. Change the cover photo of your organization’s page to a relevant creative (and add the campaign page link to the description); pin a campaign post to the top of your page so that that’s the first one visitors will see; and try story posts. Remember that you can only reach a small portion of your followers on Facebook organically, so you will need to use paid ads to increase your reach, even if you can spend only a couple of Euros on it.
And even beyond social media
You might have a large number of Facebook followers, but these are very loose connections. A person could follow you, Oreos and even hundreds of other pages. Newsletter subscribers, however, are much more strongly connected to your organization. Just think of how many Facebook pages you have liked - but how many newsletter have you subscribed to? Of course only some part of your subscribers will open a newsletter (a 25% open rate is considered good), but this is much higher than organic Facebook conversions. Additionally, subscribers are more committed followers of your organization, and will donate more likely. Make the best of your newsletter, and if you don’t have one yet, it’s time to think of it!
A cikk szerzője Scheili Renáta, a NIOK Alapítvány programvezetője.