How to launch your year-end fundraising campaign in 5 steps

It’s no secret that Christmas puts people in the mood for sharing and giving back. Naturally, winter holidays have become the most important and busy time for charities. Afterall, it’s the last chance to raise donations that enable charities’ work and growth. If you don’t have a plan yet, here are five tips to get you started.

1. How can people help you?

The first step is defining what your goals are and how can donors help to achieve them. You may need them to donate their time by volunteering, or you may prefer donations in kind or money.

The last one is the most common need, so let’s focus on that. Because we are so close to holidays and most charities have tight budgets, online fundraising is probably the best solution.

If you haven’t heard of eSolidar platform yet, it’s an online giving marketplace that connects charities and their communities by providing easy ways to raise funds.

After registering on eSolidar platform (which is free by the way) you can:

• Make an auction of a special item or experience with your ambassador or other celebrities (go here for some examples);

• Create an online charity shop to sell your special items (take a look to what other organisations are selling);

• Receive direct donations from the community;

Everything is online, making it easier for supporters to donate, but also helping organisations to launch a fundraising campaign faster and cheaper.

2) How to achieve your goals

You can simply register your charity on esolidar and create a donation page, or you can organize a sale/auction to take advantage of everyone having to buy gifts. Three quick tips on that:

• When choosing an object to sell, think about your audience. If your charity helps pets and your supporters are pet lovers, what type of objects and experiences would they like to have?

• Focus on the occasions we normally have to buy gifts for. For instance, it’s common for friends to organize a Secret Santa, exchanging small gifts. On the other hand, you have people that wouldn’t mind paying a bit more to give an one of a kind Christmas gift to a special person.

• Finally, when registering your product remember to add good quality and clear photos of your product that make it look more appealing and be as accurate as possible in the description.

3) Promote, promote, promote!

First things first. Before starting to promote the fundraising campaign, it’s important to define your message. People need to relate to your story, so you can create the feeling of common purpose and togetherness.

Equally important is to add a call to action to tell your audience what you want from them. A good one has direct language and drives the audience to one simple action, which is to donate to your charity.

Next step it’s defining which channels are you going to use. Keeping your promotional strategy online can save you some money, here are couple of examples:

Social Media: Facebook is probably the best platform to promote your campaign. Think about all the friends and families your posts can reach if your supporters share it.

During a fundraising campaign you should try to post about 4 times a week. However, the posts shouldn’t just focus on asking for donations. Keep your audience inspired, by sharing emotional, successful stories, visual content and show your gratitude to donors.

Also, try to understand which of your social media followers engage more frequently with your page, so you can invite them to be official ambassadors and help you promote your charity online.

Email: Send an inspirational fundraising email to previous donors, focused on what your charity has achieved so far and why it needs their help. Don’t forget to add a call to action and social media sharing buttons. Take time to write a great subject line and keep it short, under 50 characters.

Press: To reach to a broader audience try pitching your campaign to newspapers, blogs and radio stations. Explain why you think it’s newsworthy, add a press release to the email body and make it as ready-to-publish as you can. Attaching some photos and your logo is also a good idea.

4) It doesn’t end on Christmas

Until it is officially 2017 you can still achieve your end of the year fundraising goals.

With eSolidar there is still another way you can raise money for you cause and it also helps your donors. How?

eSolidar is an online marketplace (like ebay or olx), so anyone can sell their products on the platform, including those Christmas gifts we didn’t really like. The sellers can choose to donate a percentage of the sale to your charities.

5) Say thank you

Everyone, including your donors, like to feel part of something larger than themselves. Remember to thank your supporters and show the impact of their contribution. This can be the first step to a lasting relationship. There are several ways to say thank you:

• If you have their address or email send a personalized email or letter explaining how important it was their donation and how you are planning to use it;
• Make a video or take photos of you or your team thanking;
• Use social media and make a post or even a cover image to thank to all your contributors;
• Depending on your budget you can create branded goodies to send to your donors.

There you go, those were our five tips to help you to quickly launch a fundraising campaign.

The holidays will be here before you know it, so set your goals straight and register to esolidar to start your fundraising campaign.

Good luck!