Do's and don'ts of planning an online fundraising drive

July 1, 2018
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You’ve been put in charge of planning your organisation’s online fundraising campaign, but you don't know where to begin. This simple list offundraising dos and don'ts can help get you started on coming up with fundraising ideas and implementing them.

Don’t try to do it all on your own

Gather a team to brainstorm ideas with and to help you make those ideas a reality. The team can be made up of other staff members or volunteers.

Do judge each idea by the same standards

Once you’ve gathered enough fundraising ideas, ask the same questions of each one to see which is the best fit for your organisation. Write the ideas down on post-its and arrange them on a white-board or wall under the following headings Yes / Maybe / No.Here are some questions you can ask to see if your ideas are good (add your own if you like):

  • Does the idea fit in with your current activities?
  • Do you have time and budget to put the idea into action?
  • Will it help your campaign or can the campaign succeed without it?
  • Is the idea fun or unique to attract donors to your campaign?

If you can answer yes to all these, the idea can go tothe Yes column. If your answers are 75% positive, the idea is a “Maybe”, and if it scores 50% or less, put it under the “no” column.

Don’t try to use all fundraising ideas

Coming up with solid online fundraising ideas is hard because there are so many things you can do. But if you organise your ideas organised into Yes / Maybe / No start working on the “yes” column. You can move any ideas that are good but that you don’t think are achievable for this campaign into a “park” category. To make sure that you don’t end up doing too much select one person who owns the big picture of the campaign and makes the final call on which ideas to include and which to leave out if there is a debate.

Do keep the concept simple

Choose only one core concept for the campaign. This could be a theme or an activity but keep your message clear and simple. Make sure that you can answer the following questions in 10 words or less. If you can’t, then your concept might be too complicated and you need to take another look at how you can simplify it.

  • Who will be donating or fundraising to campaign?
  • When will it be (duration and urgency of appeal)
  • Where will it be (physical location, virtual, part of another event)
  • What will your audience do?
  • Why should people take part? (Remember you need to be able to explain this in 10 words or less)
  • How will they take part? (5 steps or less: For instance: Go to a website, register, fundraise, run)

Do make a plan

Once you’ve decided on your concept work backwards from the date your campaign will close to today's date. Write down everything that you can think of that might need to be completed and assign responsibility for the tasks.Remember there is a lot to do when planning an online campaign. You will need to:

  • Set up tools / processes (Using GivenGain can help make this easier for you)
  • Create a communication plan
  • Decide how you will support and engage your fundraisers and donors

Planning an online fundraising campaign can be daunting but if you take it one step at a time and have a clear concept, you can achieve success.

If you’ve got a cause you care about, I’m here to help you grow and fund it. My name is Wendy van Eyck and I am obsessed with teaching non-profit fundraisers and marketers with few resources, little time and high targets how to generate the funding they need to bring change to a community they care about. Find free resources and ideas at van EyckNon-Profit Communications Expert