Raising money for a good cause is one of the most rewarding things we can do as human beings, and at Givebutter, it’s our mission to help you do so successfully.
That said, before we get started: fundraising is hard work. This guide will help you work smart, but you'll still need to put in the hard work to make it a reality. The most successful fundraisers always do both. Are you ready? Let's do this.
Here is the most important fact you need to know about charitable giving: The #1 reason why people donate is because someone they know asked them to.
Giving is personal. Giving is human. That's why Givebutter's fundraising pages are focused on people: your donors, your team members, and you. But first, we need to get them to your page!
Launching your campaign 🚀
The only thing more important than setting up your campaign is actually launching it. As soon as you've built a campaign on Givebutter, you can start collecting donations, but it's critical that you develop a plan for executing the campaign and reaching your maximum fundraising potential. Here are some things to think about and strategies we have seen to be most effective across thousands of fundraising campaigns.
Make direct asks of potential donors 💬
By far the most effective strategy we've seen is pure, old school, 1-1 outreach.
Relying on social media and mass emails alone is not enough. Posting on Facebook and sending bulk emails is great for raising awareness and lowering the barrier for individual asks, but the data shows that the best way to hit your goal is by asking people one-on-one for donations. If team fundraising is part of your campaign, be sure to emphasize this point to your teammates as well. It's extremely important!
Create an exhaustive list of contacts in an Excel document (or using old-fashioned pen and paper), and note who you're reaching out to so you can follow up at least 2-3 times.
Individually reach out to every person through Facebook Messenger, Instagram/Twitter DM, text message, email, phone, or best of all – in-person! – and ask them to donate to your campaign. Regardless of the channel, the emphasis here is on making individual and direct asks of people in your personal network.
Explain why their donation is so important to you, how their donation will support something you care about, and finally what they can do to help – donate!
The more personalized the ask, the better. It's always obvious when people are copy/pasting messages around. Take the extra 15 seconds to personalize your ask with someone's name and a personal note. Saying "Hey Max, hope all is well with Givebutter!" will go a lot further than "Hey there, hope all is well!"
Try out Givebutter's built-in email invites and text message invites features to take your one-on-one outreach to the next level.
Ways to ask donors to support you on Givebutter:
Celebrate milestones and thank donors publicly 🎉
Use milestones to encourage people to give. Mention specific amounts, such as "$100 until we are over 50%" and use the urgency of your goal or end date – i.e. "Just one day left!" Celebrate these milestones when you hit them, and publicly tag and thank donors on social media when they support your campaign. Ask them to tag a friend in the comments who should support your cause, too!
Ways to celebrate milestones using Givebutter:
Change your profile picture on social media 📷
This might seem over the top for some people, but changing your profile picture performs the highest in Facebook's algorithm and is among the best ways to increase exposure for your campaign on social media. Don't forget to include your customized campaign link in your posts!
Get creative 🎨
People really appreciate it when you show that you have some skin in the game, and you're working hard for the dollars you raise. People also appreciate creativity! Think outside the box and come up with new ways to raise. Here are a few freebies:
Ask a sponsor or benefactor to match every donation you receive
Pledge to shave your head or dye your hair if you raise a certain amount
Run a marathon and get someone to sponsor each mile you run
Grow a mustache
Give something up
Volunteer an hour for every $100 raised
Anything to help raise extra dollars for your amazing campaign
Ways to fundraise creatively with Givebutter:
Seek out corporate sponsors 🏅
Remember those soccer jerseys or robotics team shirts with a bunch of logos on the back? Why not ask local businesses to sponsor your online Givebutter campaign? Hundreds, if not thousands, of people will be visiting your campaign, which is an excellent advertising opportunity for local businesses to show their support for your cause.
Givebutter donors can leave a name, image and message on their donations, which means corporate sponsors can display their business name and logo prominently in the supporter feed. You can also set up a campaign Story to include sponsors.
Start strong 💪
Make the first donation to your campaign, and make sure your team members do the same if you have them. Even if you can only donate $5, you should do so – it can be challenging to get people to support a cause you aren't supporting yourself! We can't stress enough how important it is to build momentum early, and raise as much as possible at the very beginning of your campaign.
Some people do a soft launch with close friends and family to get to at least 30% of their goal before publicly announcing the campaign – this establishes social proof in your cause. As you continue to share and spread the campaign, people love to see progress and validation, and by starting off with multiple donations early on, more people will be inclined to support you as you get closer to your goal. Check out Givebutter's many sharing options for a quick boost.
Ways to share your campaign and get it off the ground:
Finish strong 🏆
As you now know, the majority of donors give simply because they are asked, so it's critical that you follow up with everyone at least once before the end of the campaign. Keep them updated on your progress. Hopefully, you've exceeded your goal (if you have one) by the end of your campaign, but remember that you will still keep the money you raise regardless. At any point during your campaign, you can withdraw the money you've raised directly to a bank account or debit card from the Payouts tab of your dashboard.
Ways to round out a successful fundraising campaign:
We've got your back 💛
Remember, we're here to support you every step of the way. Just click the little chat icon in the bottom right corner, or send us an email at [email protected] and we'll do everything we can to help. We are so excited to see what you accomplish!