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Before you share your fundraising page with friends, family, and co-workers, you’ll want to personalize your fundraiser page. We have provided some basic information about the Share and Care Foundation™, our programs, important tax deduction information, and an assortment of videos and photos to help communicate your message. From here, you’ll want to personalize your page. Though optional, it will help get your supporters excited about the cause, your goal, and your success. These four easy steps will make a huge difference:
Next, it’s a good idea to make a donation to your own fundraising page! This will show others that you’re serious about this cause, and when others see the donations so far, they’ll be more likely to help you meet your goal.
Once your page is personalized, and you’ve made the first donation, you’ll want to send out some emails to a handful of your closest contacts to get additional donations showing on your page. You can even ask them for some feedback on your page, at this stage you’re working with friends you’re comfortable with and they may have some suggestions to help you.
A good strategy is to start with those closest to you and work outward from there. Your friends and family are the most likely to donate, and those less close to you, the least likely. Momentum and results will work wonders on those less likely to make donations, and who wouldn’t want to be that person or group that made that one donation that put you at or over your goal!
A good starting point plan usually looks something like this:
Email #1: Send to 10 very close contacts (family and your closest friend or two).
Email #2: Send to 10-50 close contacts (your entire circle of good friends).
Email #3: Send to as many other contacts that you feel comfortable sending a message to (co-workers, friends of friends, distant relatives, your entire address book, etc.).
Social Media & Beyond: Promote via Social Media to anyone who will listen.
And, of course, do follow-ups to all of the above, and be sure to thank donors as soon as you see they’ve made a donation.
Emails can be long or short, and both can be equally effective. You may also want to have different versions for closer contacts than for more distant (or social media) contacts. The most important advice is to be authentic by being yourself. Some ideas of what to include are:
Utilize your social media accounts after you’ve reached out through emails or other personal contact. Here are some guidelines to help you:
Facebook: Tag people that have already donated through your emails and other contact efforts, and thank them again for their donations. This way, your post is shared in your activity feed and in each of theirs too. This will get anyone who is watching you or the other donors aware of the campaign, and seeing others donate makes them more likely to donate themselves.
Twitter and other social media: Be sure to create regular updates on your progress. Set your own internal goals and report milestones as you meet them, being sure to include how much more you need to reach your goal, e.g.:
$400 this week for #H2U @sharecareindia. $1,200 more needed for 1 mo. goal toward helping immunize children in rural India. [Link to your fundraiser page]
Boss heard about by #H2U fundraiser @sharecareindia and now @companyname is matching all donations – that’s double the donations!
Setting internal goals helps you keep a regular flow of communication to potential donors. You won’t need to put out urgent appeals toward the end of the fundraising period, and it will also show how serious you are if you’re consistent. This way you can also track who has not responded and reach out again telling them how much closer you are to your goal, and how they can help you. Remember that they may have missed your first email, so give them the benefit of the doubt, but do keep communicating. Relate any personal stories from your fundraising journey so far (e.g., your company matching donations). It’s sometimes easier to do more frequent pleas per social media as you’re not asking for a response, and keep the personal emails less frequent, but more personal.
Teams can work together in the ways outlined above by each working with their own and mutual contacts, or you could set up a run or walk, or other event. If you haven’t already, create a team name for your page rather than your name alone. Start inviting others to be on your team by contacting anyone you think might be interested (emails, phone calls, Facebook, etc.), it could be a work-related team (just your department, for example), or just close friends, or your entire family could be a team. As each member joins, be sure to thank each individually.
From here, you can collectively come up with a team fundraising goal. This will most likely be a larger amount than if you were doing it alone, but you’ll have a feel for what a good goal would be based on how many team members you have, overlap of contacts, etc. Make it challenging, but achievable.
As team leader, be vigilant about reporting team progress to keep everyone on task. Share any successes with each other, ideas about what worked, or what did not work. Keep each other motivated and excited.