Truth be told, you’re doing a great thing by helping your local community with services they otherwise could not find. Whether you’re helping people, animals, the planet or any other cause, the first thing you need for your fundraising project is confidence that a) what you’re doing is worth every penny of people’s money and b) they will want to help you out financially – so long as you get the message across in the right way.
Here are some tips to attract donations by marketing your fundraiser:
1) Set a goal and focus your efforts. Find out what it is you need, then figure out the cost. Even if you know you will always need a steady flow of funds to keep your operation running, you’ll need to change your marketing every once in a while to keep it fresh, so people don’t get immune to hearing the same thing over and over. Once you know what you need, even if it is as simple as a year’s worth of operating budget, focus your efforts on that one need and create a campaign specifically for that. Stick to the campaign – it will take a while for it to catch on and gain momentum. Of course, testing is good, so do that often and alternate as needed, but always stay focused and don’t do too much at once.
2) Define a market. As in all marketing, make sure you define a target group of people you know will bring the most return on your investment – even if that is only time and energy. Although your charity is valuable, the truth is that some people will be more receptive to it than others. For example, if you’re fundraising for a medical disease, people who have been affected by the disease, or who have had family members suffer from the disease are more likely to donate, having felt the effects of it first hand. Find out who will resonate more with your cause, and spend time targeting your marketing efforts on them. All your messages, advertising and gimmicks should target this group.
Does that mean you ignore all the rest of the population? No, inevitably they’ll get your message too. But in business, as in charity fundraising, the 80/20 rule applies – 80 per cent of your profit will come from 20 per cent of your doners.
3) Make it easy to donate. This means you have to go to where your audience is. If your audience is mothers, target the grocery stores. If your charity is about children, go to schools where children can learn how privileged they are and will want to help out.
Also, consider the income levels of your target audience. In the example above, children are not likely to have a lot of money, but they will have motivation if you make it fun for them. If they can only sell a chocolate bar for $3, then make the amount that small. If moms are shopping for $100 in groceries, it’s easy to ask for $1 or $2 on top of their grocery bill. In this case volume in sales will make up for price. If your target audience has a high income level, they are probably looking for a tax receipt, so you can make the asked-for donation much higher than a few dollars.
Keep these three tips in mind, and you’ll have a good foundation from where to begin executing your marketing, whatever that may be.