Nonprofit

How to Start a Fundraiser Online: 7 Steps to Success

Want to know how to start a fundraiser? We’re here to help you prepare. This includes having a clear cause for your fundraiser, marketing ideas, collecting funds, and targeting an audience.

Throughout this article, we’ll be showing you how to fundraise through a few easy steps.

How to Fundraise for a Cause

No matter the type of fundraiser you’re doing, these 7 steps will make sure your fundraiser reaches its goals.

Step 1: Determine Your Fundraising Goals

how to launch a fundraiser

Your goal is the base you have to have in order to achieve positive results. It’s important to do thorough calculations of all the costs toward the cause you’re raising funds for. Make sure to set a realistic goal that won’t deter donors. 

Let’s say you want to launch a fundraiser to help local animals. Consider the scope of this project. Do you intend to build a safe space for the animals, or are you interested in supplying financial support for medical and food costs? Both goals have different funding requirements. Keep hidden and/or reoccurring costs in mind. For example, if you are building an animal shelter, consider future upkeep and maintenance costs.

Step 2: Utilize a fundraising platform

The next step is choosing a fundraising platform that will best answer your needs. This may vary from person to person but there are a few things everyone should look out for:

  1. Recurring donations —  Setting up recurring giving is an absolute must. A lot of donors will want to donate again. 57% of donors have enrolled in a recurring giving program. This is 46% higher than the reccuring donors from the previous year*.
  2. Interactive and easy-to-use interface — Including some kind of interactive menu that gives extra information regarding what people can donate is a plus. This will make using the platform even easier for those who don’t use tech often and not discourage them from contributing to your cause.
  3. Mobile-friendly UI — A rather straightforward feature. Having a mobile-friendly UI is great because people can donate on the go.
  4. Multiple payment methods — Credit cards have been the most popular payment method worldwide in the past years. However, e-wallets like Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, and others are very trendy right now. Consider adding multiple payment methods.
  5. The cost — The cost of the fundraising platform usually covers platform and payment processing fees. So, find an all-rounded fundraising platform that is up to par with your budget.

Step 3: Define the cause of your fundraising event

how to fundraise

The best way to raise money for your cause is by telling a story. Stories have the power not only to inspire people but also to ensure them that they are making a difference.

You need to be clear about who your intended beneficiary is. Be specific about who/what the funds are going toward and how the money will help them. Be specific – liver cancer or any other difficult-to-explain medical condition will stand out in comparison to causes lacking this level of specificity.

Step 4: Create a plan for campaign ideas and messaging

start a fundraiser

You won’t know how to set up a fundraiser without strong campaign ideas and messaging. Fundraising events, crowdfunding campaigns, sponsorships, and match-ups are just a few effective methods of raising money. Another great way to boost your fundraiser is by having a campaign theme that draws attention and is pleasing to the eye.

Messaging is an important part of any successful fundraising event. Your message should clearly demonstrate the benefits of donating and the impact a donation serves. Some catchy slogans can also be used in these types of campaigns such as “Your donation saves lives.”

Step 5: Promote your fundraiser on all appropriate platforms for the best turnout

With the rise of social media, it’s no surprise you need to be on a platform like Facebook or Twitter if want your fundraiser seen. Sharing with friends and family, and their networks, will increase views and donations.

It is also a good idea to send out donation request letters as an alternative way to promote your fundraiser and receive donations for people that are unable to attend.

Step 6: Interact with donors during your fundraising event 

It’s important to keep your donors engaged, and that means communicating with them in ways that excite them. Interactions happen for a few reasons. Donors may have some questions regarding your cause or need help with the fundraising platform.

Here are a few ideas to keep you in touch with your donors:

  • Using social media: Organizing a social media event is the first thing you can do to communicate with your donors. Social media allows you to send interactive emojis, share photos, videos, chat, and much more.
  • Host virtual video calls: Hosting video calls has never been easier. It’s an excellent way to engage with donors and it lets your long-distance donors feel even more cherished.
  • The e-mail strategy: The e-mail strategy refers to sending e-mails to keep your donors updated on your situation. Make sure you’re always active on your e-mail so you can answer questions as soon as possible.

Step 7: Follow up and show appreciation to donors and participants after the fundraising event

We can all agree that nothing is more heartwarming than an appreciative message in times of need. Keep your donors further engaged by writing them warm thank you messages or sending them small gifts as a form of gratitude. Moreover, you can organize meet-and-greets that will help you establish better connections for the future. After you’re done with your fundraiser, it’s important to share the news with your donors.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to fundraise, it’s time to put everything into practice. Follow these steps carefully for the best possible outcome. Be sure not to forget to follow up with your donors by sending them a thank-you card or email after they donate—gratitude goes miles.

Sources: Double the Donation