You probably have an idea of what campaign fundraising is, even if the words “campaign fundraising” only bring up images of Girl Guide cookies! While this is a pretty basic concept, the idea remains the same.
Promoting your event, getting candidate exposure, and shining a light on the needs of the community all require the financial means to actually make a difference and get things done.
But as we enter a different decade where a new way of life – a new normal – seems to be at every corner in every part of the world, campaign fundraising has taken on a new meaning, which begs the question – What is campaign fundraising in this exact day and age?
- In this blog post, we’ll discuss:
- The different kinds of campaigns
- Virtual fundraising ideas
- Fundraising campaign examples
- How to raise money
- The 3 benefits to online campaign fundraising
- And more!
If you want to raise funds for your cause but you need more clarity on the “what” and you’re a little stuck on the “how,” read on for some more info.
With the onset of a worldwide pandemic, fundraisers have had to take on a vastly different approach. For now, real-life, large-scale fancy galas, auctions, and fashion and talent shows; and smaller-scale community barbecues, luncheons, and sports teams have to be put on hold.
But just because we can’t physically have them doesn’t mean we can figure out a way to bring them online via video conferencing. Now, more than ever before, technology is able to provide us with the digital tools that can turn once impossible physical events into full-scale virtual events online.
And that’s not all – The behind the scenes planning and fundraising campaign management including committee choosing, goal setting, volunteering can all be done online from anywhere at any time. Of course, in-person meetings are critical and have their advantages, but with the trusted support of a fully integrated video conferencing system, many moving parts of your campaign can be attended to from planning to execution.
What is campaign fundraising?
Over an extended period of time, campaign fundraising tackles a cause or highlights a specific goal. The idea is to generate money that will then go to the cause or goal. Nonprofits, for example, raise awareness of their mission, program or initiative by soliciting donations through fundraising campaigns.
Here are a few examples that can be done in person, and via video conferencing:
- Capital Campaign
Typically used for massive projects (think mega building renovations, construction or purchases), a capital campaign aims to generate major gifts needed to stretch across designated length of time (usually long). The idea is to raise a large amount of money in the beginning to be used very specifically to get a worldwide cause or big project off the ground.
- Live-Streamed Event
If a gala isn’t happening, consider how you can turn any live person event into a virtual one. If you’d normally have a keynote speaker at your event, have them “video-in” with a video chat. If you were pondering about hosting a movie screening party, think about how you can connect everyone to watch it from home. Dance event? Virtual run, walk or bike? You can do it all virtually to raise money.
- Awareness Giving Campaign
An awareness campaign is set up to attract and garner massive public awareness about an issue, cause, problem or world view. Typically done by nonprofits, the focus is on educating people about the particular cause and can easily be done with a sweeping social media campaign or YouTube live stream.
- Peer-to-Peer Campaign
For those with a large network, this campaign works amongst individuals who organize their own campaigns to generate donations from each other. By leveraging social media and online platforms, individuals can rely on peers to get the ball rolling and stop there (depending how far reaching a person’s network is) or continue to onboard the peers of peers in an online campaign chain.
- Crowdfunding Campaign
This is perfect for nonprofits to fund a project with the help of many people through small, and manageable donations. Once only done in person, crowdfunding has now been made even more popular through the internet. Tell your story in a pre-recorded video to impact your message and drive your audience to donating.
- Text-To-Give Campaign
Straight from the palm of the hand using your device, this low-cost and convenient option means anyone can donate money to an organization via text messaging.
- Social Media Campaign
Set-up across one or many social media platforms, this type of campaign attracts donations by being the main space for exposure, access and already built in donation funnels. Facebook, and Instagram are the go-tos but think about how you can utilize TikTok or host a live music event in an online space.
- Year-End Campaign
The end of the year (last week of December) tends to be a very generous time of the year where individuals and companies are more likely to donate and be in the spirit of giving. A year-end campaign is a way to capitalize on the timing of the end of the year (and for big companies to use up their budgets!) to get a spike in donations. Plus, it’s a helpful push into the next year.
Depending on the cause or project you’re working on, you might choose one or a few of the campaign options that best suit your needs. One thing is for sure; Given where we are in the world’s current state of affairs, as your campaign launches, you’ll quickly notice how many moving parts there are!
Managing your team, collaborating with other individuals, setting up your space… all of these tasks require a sophisticated group communication platform with digital tools and features to bring it together online.
Especially when it feels like there are a million things to do and people are spread out all over the map, campaign fundraising can feel overwhelming. Let digital tools like video conferencing fill the gap to help you get you set up. Once you’ve:
- Established Your Goal
- Selected Committee Members
- Found Volunteers
- Branded Your Campaign
- Brainstormed Campaign Fundraising Events
Then you can get ahead with a few common practices to really make your campaign stand out and reel in the donations you need to get your cause seen and heard. Here are few campaign fundraising rules to follow:
- Launch Your Campaign Slowly
If you really want to hit a home run with your campaign fundraising, gather up a small group of supporters for a soft launch. Invite friends, family and peers to start. Don’t underestimate the power of early adopters; They can be your eyes and ears and help provide extremely valuable feedback about any bugs or errors in your website, inconsistencies in messaging, opportunities for growth, etc. Most importantly, you’ll have a base of loyal supporters willing to donate from the beginning. Once you open up your campaign to the public, you’ll notice people are more likely to donate when they already know there’s money in the pot and can see there’s a following.
- Show Off Your Brand
In order to gain the donations you’re looking for, start by building trust with your supporters through your brand. Your brand is your calling card and it’s integrity comes from what it stands for. Present it front row and center to help navigate your supporters and lead them to the heart of your cause. Let them know it’s your marketing and campaign, and nobody else’s with a marketing outreach strategy that is yours. Make sure your branding is visible by using cohesive colors, and logos that are unified across different mediums and channels; copy that is heartfelt and has a call to action; online navigation that is easy to follow and looks visually appealing; video touch points on your website that add dimension to your story, etc.
- Align With Your Peers
In the case of a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, it’s important to clearly delineate the goals and success markers of your campaign. Especially when you’re relying on your peers and their networks, it’s critical to communicate just how important their role is. Set up video chats using video conferencing software that accommodate multiple participants to hold educational meetings. Provide digital tools, tip sheets, suggestions and examples of previously successful campaigns for inspiration and motivation. Frameworks and guides that lay out what needs to get done are especially helpful if timing and deadlines are creeping in. For bigger campaigns, keep continuity across graphics and language, by putting together a digital toolkit that comes ready with logos, fonts, approved images, and a stylebook. Then include a link or open a Dropbox so everyone can centralize their work for easy access and faster amendments. This helps maintain the integrity of the brand and cause, and presents well to the public to feel like your campaign is well put together and ready for donations!
- Show The Impact Of Every Donation
In order for your supporters to open their wallets, show and tell them that their donation actually makes a difference and carries over to the cause. Through your messaging, drive home the idea that no matter the gift, big or small, everyone can make a difference. By illustrating how their donation makes an impact on your website with a poll or counter, or through infographics, videos or small iconography that gets updated in real-time– you are encouraging any donation to come through because every bit counts!
- Share Your Messaging With A Video
Video has the power to express the things we cannot say with words. Let video be the tool you use across all channels to really drive home your campaigns core beliefs and values. Use behind the scenes footage, record video conferences with thought leaders and campaign organizers, or pre-record video chats and more to be included in a manifesto video that tells the story of your brand and your cause.
- Celebrate Small And Big Successes
Your campaign fundraiser will eventually lead to success, so don’t forget to take the time to celebrate how far you’ve come (even if you have some ways to go). Your success markers, milestones, creative ideas and fundraising incentives all deserve to be acknowledged. In doing so, your community can stay focused and on track as you get closer and closer to your goal. Remember: Celebration reminds all the people on your team (staff, volunteers, committee members, etc) that they’re important to the overall success of the campaign. Plus, it shows all your donors that their generosity paid off. Consider sending out thank you cards and recognition to your donors, especially after a big contribution.
Being able to use the internet has blown open the way campaign fundraising has been able to take shape and bring in donations. Not only are you able to reach larger audiences, you now have the digital tools to plan, strategize and set up your campaign from home. Here are three benefits of online fundraising:
- They’re Easier To Set Up
Having to organize physical bodies means not only a lot of planning but it requires physically being in different places at different times. Online campaign fundraising removes the “physicality” of it all. Instead of going door-to-door, managing people, and completing tasks, technology can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you! Automated donations through online payment processors, shortlisting volunteers via video conferencing and updating the community using live streaming all help to ease the load and set you on your path towards your financial goals.
- They’re Cost Effective
Scratch having to book a venue for your event or sending out expensive communication materials. Rely on the technology you have at your fingertips like free video conferencing.
- They Expand Your Reach
Prior to being online, campaign fundraising was restricted by proximity. If you’re a small nonprofit in a rural location, chances are someone from the big city wasn’t going to appear at your event. With online fundraising, physical distance isn’t part of the equation. Anyone from anywhere can donate to your cause or join your team and work on your cause. Your community just became international!
With FreeConference.com, you can blast open your fundraising to create a more engaging campaign and attract more generous donors to your cause. Campaign fundraising can be organized and less stressful with a free video conferencing solution that connects you to the people you need to connect with.
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