How to Create a Successful Fundraising Campaign
Start With a Realistic Target
Choose a moderate, realistic target so you can create momentum. Remember donors can donate beyond your target. To set the goal, learn about the costs the beneficiary is facing and add up these expenses. You can also increase your goal at any point if you find the financial needs have grown since you kicked off the fundraising project. Be sure to update your campaign description with these new costs so potential donors can easily see what their money is supporting.
Name Your Fundraiser Well
Pick a name that will make people want to read more about your cause and story.
- Make it short, descriptive, inspirational, and easy to find when people search online.
- Include the first and last name of the fundraiser beneficiary in the title as people almost always type this into the search field on our site and in Google. Also, include the cause to give people a quick understanding of the need. Ex: Help Gina Ober Kick Cancer to the Curb
Tell Your Story Honestly
Successful fundraising campaigns describe the situation honestly. Write your story with vivid, heartfelt words that you would use to explain your cause to a friend.
- Clearly highlight the goal, deadline, and specific details that paint a unique, personal, and compelling picture.
- Answer basic questions any reader would have, such as who the fundraiser is for; what happened; where, when, and why it’s important to you; how you know the organizer or beneficiary; and how the funds will be used.
- Include a breakdown of the costs that comprise the goal. For example, “How the funds will be used: Ush 10,000 will be used for transportation. The other USh 990,000 will cover the medical bill.”
- Read your story aloud and consider how it will sound to potential donors. Which parts will generate empathy and inspire readers to care enough to make a donation?
- Find similar campaigns on that have successfully reached their goals and use them as a template for your own fundraiser. You can also review our Success Stories page to see fundraisers that inspired many donations and supporters.
- Use headlines and sub-headlines in your fundraiser description to make your text scannable. Tell your story in your headlines to allow people to understand the gist of your text if they only read the headlines.
- Include an address on your fundraiser so people can send offline donations if they choose.
Use Good Photos & Videos
High-quality images have a dramatic effect on fundraising success and viewers’ ability to develop empathy for your cause.
- More is better, because numerous images let you broaden the appeal, show diverse aspects of your cause, and give powerful updates wordlessly.
- Choose large, clear, high-resolution photos that will attract and persuade donors to lend support.
- Videos are the most impactful way to communicate with your potential supporters and can drastically improve your fundraising success. You can easily record yourself with a camera phone. Note that only YouTube video links can be added to your fundraiser at this time.
Create a Community
Use our simple tools to post inspiring messages, photos, and videos that will draw interest and donations. On your fundraiser page, Share buttons help you shine on Facebook, Twitter, and email.
In each message, feature the link to your fundraiser page and a request to let others know about your cause. Include a hashtag to make your fundraiser easier to find. Make your messages brief so others can share them easily. If you have a blog, use it to promote the link to your fundraiser page.
Update Your Project Regularly
The frequency with which you update your fundraiser page directly ties to your fundraising success.
- We recommend posting text, photo, and video updates once a week. This will keep your fundraiser fresh, grab attention, and invite compassion. Share good news as well as bad, and often as you would fill in a friend.
- Be sure to share all these updates on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Adjust Goals & Deadlines when Need Arises
If circumstances change or progress is slower than expected, consider raising your goal or adjusting your deadline. If you update your deadline, increase it just by 30-60 days at a time to ensure a strong sense of urgency. Let all your donors know about your new deadline or updated goal and encourage them to take action.
Follow Up On Your Project
Achieving your goal is not the end of your story. Donors want to find out what happened and how the beneficiary is doing. Wrap up your fundraising success with updates that share your gratitude, along with photos, a video, or links to news coverage.