What’s The Best Way to Create a Donation Campaign?
Do you find yourself asking, “What’s the best way to create a donation campaign?” The prize is in the planning. Setting up a donation campaign can feel like a monumental task, especially if you haven’t run a large-scale campaign before.
To get the best results, it’s recommended that you advertise your campaign in a way that nets a lot of donations right out of the gate, giving it the momentum it needs to succeed. Other tips, like putting time constraints on the goal, can also play a big role in making your campaign a success. Here at Donorwerx, we help organizations collect donations and run fundraisers all the time.
Here’s what we’ve learned through our work, along with some time-tested suggestions to get your campaign rolling.
Understand and Define Your Goals
For many nonprofits, there’s an endless need for funding. Ambitious organizations constantly tackle new challenges and look to heighten their impact, and that means anytime can seem like a great time to kick off a donation campaign. However, if you’re looking to rally people together and collect as many donations as possible, it’s really important that you invest time into the planning phase.
A donation campaign is defined by a set dollar amount that will allow you to accomplish a specific action. That action could be building a new facility to house stray animals or going on a mission trip to Uganda. Ideally, your donation campaign will also be restrained by some specifics, like an end date. These specifics help donors quantify their impact, psychologically increasing their willingness and eagerness to donate.
Think of it this way: If you were presented with two opportunities to give, which of the following would you be more willing to give your money to?
- A campaign to raise $150,000 and expand the animal shelter. The campaign launched five months ago and is 7% to its goal. There is no end date and no sense of urgency.
- A campaign to raise $150,000 and expand the animal shelter within the next 12 months. The campaign launched yesterday and you knew about it thanks to good marketing. It’s already 2% toward its goal.
While the campaign is equally deserving of donations in either situation, there are many reasons Campaign #1 lost momentum and Campaign #2 is getting all the attention. To be successful, you need to consider the fundamentals of campaign design.
Factor in the Fundamentals
The field of psychology has long studied the motivations behind donations and the various factors that contribute to people giving more or not giving at all. These factors have been shown time and time again in campaigns big and small, and they’ve resulted in some fundamental best practices. All the major donation campaigns today utilize these best practices, including those for Shriner’s Hospitals for Children and the ASPCA.
Namely, these fundamentals include:
- Building awareness. Before you launch your campaign, it’s ideal to build awareness about the cause. On the day of the launch, prepare to market it across channels in order to get the initial momentum going. Most donations occur when a campaign first starts and as it reaches its end goal.
- Create a sense of urgency. Your campaign’s messaging should stress the urgency of the matter. For every dollar they don’t donate, for every moment they wait to donate, “a child is hungry,” “an animal is being abused,” and so on.
- Add an end date. People are less likely to donate today if your campaign is set to go on indefinitely. When there’s an end date, it adds to the sense of urgency, but it also gives people more reassurance that you will actually hit your goal. The trick is to set a realistic end date, but one that creates some pressure to hit the milestone.
- Emphasize sharing. Did you know that the average share results in another $15 worth of donations? If your donors aren’t being encouraged to share and talk about your campaign, you’re missing out on major opportunities. Empower donors to utilize their network, no matter how small.
- Quantify impact. There’s a reason charities often ask you to “Feed a child for one day” or “Give a life-saving vaccine” rather than to donate a specific dollar amount. While these requests equal a specific dollar amount, by focusing on the result, they quantify the impact of each dollar, helping people understand the tangible difference their donation will make.
Using the Fundamentals
Taking the time to consider these fundamentals will help inform your campaign’s messaging. Ask yourself, how can you come up with a message that communicates the urgency of the matter? What happens each day until this issue reaches resolution? Where will a donor’s dollar go and accomplish? What could $25 from a donor actually do?
Coming up with answers to these questions will help you create specific, impactful messaging that gets people talking about your campaign and taking action on it.
Use the Right Tools and Software
Once you have a plan laid out for your donation campaign, it’s essential that you spend time looking for the right tools and software to run your campaign. A great fundraising tool will allow you to capture donor information so that you can follow up with them and keep them engaged with the campaign. In doing so, you may collect additional donations from them in the future and encourage further sharing.
Donors must have an emotional investment in your campaigns for you to succeed. This will also garner support for your future campaigns. Choose a software that will empower you to collect contact information and follow up. Being able to automate follow up is also a fantastic feature that can save you a great deal of time.
Here at Donorwerx, we approach everything with a donor-centric framework. We believe it’s the most effective way to encourage active donating while keeping your supporters involved in the cause. Interested in learning more about how Donorwerx works? Reach out to the team and schedule a Discovery Call for answers to all of your questions.