Having a large, generous chunk of matching-gift funds can be an exciting-though daunting-campaign to get off the ground. Here are a few tips to keep the campaign alive from kick-off to wrap-up:
- Set goals. Participation in a campaign toward an attainable, but still challenging, goal is much more feasible than a campaign that flounders until an indefinite or distant end date. To say you'd like to raise as much as possible is not nearly as compelling as, "We'd like to raise $16,000 for school supplies that will supply X students with the materials they need."
- Keep fundraisers updated. Let supporters know where their donations are going and what the terms of the campaign are. Keep your website information up-to-date as often as you can and conduct an ongoing email campaign.
- Create urgency. Because many supporters will wait until the last minute to donate, you can consider either moving up your deadline or creating intermediate goals (weekly, daily, etc.). Also, think about chunking your goal into reasonable sizes, such as 400 donors giving $40 to attain the $16,000 goal.
- Create social proof. People tend to do what other people are doing, so a member of your list may be thinking, "Wow. That is a big goal. Not a lot of people are paying. I'm not sure they're going to get there or not." By contract, if they think a lot of people are jumping on board, they're more likely to do it. This gets back to creating smaller goals and sharing information that makes sense in the context of the network. For instance, if your Facebook thermometer only shows a fraction of overall giving, be sure to incorporate Facebook-only goals and information about the overall campaign success.
- Grow your pool of potential donors. Focus some of your energy beyond hitting your supporters over and over again by finding a way for the people who have supported you to recruit their friends, family and their circles of influence to benefit your campaign. The best messengers for your cause are the people who feel passionate about it.
Source: Adapted from the Nonprofit 911 Presentation "The Experts Are In! Your Online Fundraising and Nonprofit Marketing Questions Answered."
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