14 Feb 4 Ways Digital Marketing Can Help You Reach Your Fundraising Goals
There was a time not so long ago where fundraising for charity mostly looked like printouts for a raffle draw, benefit events and periodic pledges. While these staples of the fundraising world still exist, there have been a number of changes in how we carry them out. The virtual public sphere – that is, the vast array of online platforms that act as extensions of the ‘real world’ – has expanded the number of ways for charities to attract donors. Because of this, digital marketing has come to play an integral role in the fundraising campaigns of today. If you volunteer for or run a charity or social enterprise, here are 4 ways Digital Marketing can help you reach your fundraising goals.
Some charities are struggling to make the transition into modern methods. In some cases, it’s due to a lack of understanding of how it works, and in others, it’s a matter of habit.
How Digital Marketing Can Help in Reaching Your Fundraising Goals
Benefit #1: The wealth of data on social media tells you who you’re speaking to.
Perhaps the biggest selling point for digital marketing is that the internet allows you to know more about potential donors than ever before. Who they are, where they are, and how they speak. This enables your digital marketing team to create impactful fundraising campaigns that speak directly to each persona and get donors donating.
Using Facebook and to a lesser extent Google audience targeting tools means that you can be very focused with your advertising fundraising campaigns. You can upload lists of past donors and place this year’s campaigns in front of them to remind them of your cause. You can create an audience of people who have similar characteristics to your donors and get your campaign in front of them.
You can target by interests, geography and other relevant demographics. Your advertising campaigns will be reaching the people most like to donate and you will be speaking to them in their language.
Benefit #2: A user-friendly website can make it easy to apply the 7 pillars in one place.
Depending on which methods you use to raise funds, there will be varying degrees of admin related to the activity. A great way to contain admin costs is by having all your fundraising initiatives carried out via user-friendly formats on your website. This is a win for both you and your donors, as information is readily available and donations are quick and easy to do.
People choose to donate in different ways. Some are happy to give a lump sum, others prefer to make regular contributions, others like to attend events. You can use your website to provide multiple options for people to donate to your cause. Your website is your most important digital asset because you control it – unlike 3rd party platforms who specify and change rules regularly! The other benefit of having all of your fundraising initiatives on your website is that your audience can see all of the opportunities to donate in one place, rather than having to go to different places or sites to support you.
Benefit #3: You can create conversation among potential donors using hashtags for your fundraising goals.
People tend to talk about the things they care about, so start a hashtag that relates to your cause. Remember the #IceBucketChallenge for ALS? Hundreds of millions of dollars were raised globally towards research for combating the illness, and all through awareness created by the hashtag. Once you get people talking, they’re more willing to make a contribution.
You can create your own branded hashtag that is specific to you. Your community can use that hashtag to share with friends, find out more information and interact with you on all social platforms.
Benefit #4: You can get other people to raise funds for you.
The rise of the Influencer has been rapid and is now a multi-billion dollar industry. Many brands have benefited from working with the right influencer to reach more people and therefore have a greater impact. If you can find the right Influencer for your brand, you can let them do your marketing for you. Even if you have to pay an influencer a fee for promoting your cause, this can be a lot less than other admin and 3rd party fees. If your cause appeals to the Influencer they may even offer to promote your brand for free.
The most recent example of an Influencer raising funds is Celeste Barber’s Facebook Fundraiser for the Fire Services with over $50 million dollars raised and 100% of funds going to the cause. What could your cause do with $50 million dollars?
Digital Marketing provides creative brands, causes and charities with the opportunity to reach more of the people who are most likely to relate to them and support them in their fundraising goals.
How can you tap into this to reach more people and have a greater impact? Share your ideas in the comment section below. I love to hear from you.
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*Editor’s Note: This post has been updated on September 2020 for accuracy.