Mar 3, 2020

Promoting and marketing your fundraising campaigns – webinar Q+A


The following questions are from our Q+A session during our live webinar, Promoting and Marketing Your Fundraising Campaigns.  

We’re often asked, “how can we spread more awareness about our upcoming event?” It’s a big question, no doubt, but it’s one that’s easier to answer when you know who you’re trying to reach. In this webinar, we talked about different ways to promoting and marketing your fundraising campaigns, and we referenced this research study, which some questions are directed to.

Does “personal community events” include corporate employee “volunteer” days? Does that type of activity encourage corporate — and employee — donations?
Personal community events definitely include corporate employee volunteer days. When we say “personal community events” we mean events that bring people together, in person. So, social media campaigns or online donation drives do are not included in this. Events that bring people together can encourage corporate or employee donations. It’s up to you whether you want the focus of the day to be on volunteering to complete a task at hand, or if you want it to be more about awareness and fundraising. Either way, you now have a new group of volunteers that you can reach out to for volunteer time and donations.  

What is the best way to understand your donor base? What is the best way to collect data about your donors so that you can understand them?
There are a lot of ways you can go about learning more about your donor base. You can: 

  • Send out surveys (via snail mail and email) 
  • Add fields to donation forms that collect demographics you’re looking for (of course, if it’s not necessary information it should always be made optional) 
  • These demographic questions can also be asked  
  • Call and ask people 
  • Talk to people at events 

Can you please repeat some of the options for execution? She gave a list but it was said very quickly and I didn’t really hear it.
Make sure everyone on your team (this includes staff, vendors, volunteers, board) knows their responsibilities so that they are held accountable for what they need to do. This can be managed in a project management system that you might use (like AsanaMonday, or Trello) or even just one master doc that everyone has a copy of. 

Does this chart say millennials “Learn about” are you also saying 42% will actually attend?
This percentage refers to the way the millennials would hear about an event that they would likely decide to end up attending.

How would you convince/approach donors if you are not allowed to solicit current staff members? (meaning staff don’t/can’t currently give?)
If you’re not allowed to solicit staff for donations, then I’d recommend not doing so. As with many nonprofits, the staff often give more than they are expected, in terms of work and time, so you want to avoid exhausting them with asks. If you want to encourage staff to come around to giving on their own, make sure that you’re including them in on campaigns and events so that they’re aware of all giving opportunities. Additionally, you can offer staff discounted tickets to all fundraising events.  

Does “word of mouth” include social media, or would that fall under the media category?
Social media campaigns from your organization would be considered online media. Word of mouth could be considered “on the street,” things you hear among colleagues and friends, families, neighbors, etc. 

Is there a “best” time for an annual appeal now that the tax laws have changed? We used to always do at the end of the year.
We cannot directly recommend anything based on tax laws, but we do recommend checking with your state to see what these tax laws are and how they might impact any upcoming campaigns. If you suspect they might impact a campaign, try something new one year and see how it goes. Since all states have different laws, and all organizations have different goals throughout the year, there isn’t a blanket “best time” that works for everyone. 

How do we promote the fundaneed in advance of the event?
When promoting a fund-a-need (or live appeal) you want to make your goals known and get your donors excited about the initiative they’ll be supporting. Be straightforward and tell them that an opportunity to support construction for the new library (or whatever your initiative may be) will be presented at the upcoming gala and that all donations from the event will go towards this project. 

You mentioned the importance of Subject Lines – any advice on what works best?
Brevity! It’s 2020 and most people are checking emails on their phone, so keep subject lines to 30 characters or less. This way, the full subject line will be displayed when the reader is scrolling through emails on their mobile device. Then, the trick is finding the balance between being catchy and being to the point. A good exercise to do is to go through your own emails, perhaps your “promotions” inbox, scroll, and see which subject lines catch your eye and lead you to open an email. Then compile those subject lines and see what it is about them that jumps out and apply those to your emails.

What text to give or text to purchase platforms are webinar participants using?

Our org has had little success with inperson social hours or events, but a lot of engagement on social media, how do we turn our social media engagement to turn into active in-person events?
You can capitalize on your social engagement by reaching out to those people directly and inviting them to your upcoming in-person event. You should also interact back with them on social, to keep encouraging engagement. You can also capitalize on these social engagements by providing donation opportunities on social and posting relevant content that your followers would be likely to share. 


Interested in joining our next webinar? Check it out here!


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