Guide For Online Fundraisers
As you begin, decide:
- Which group members will participate in the Friends & Family campaign? Our goal is to have at least one member of every RESULTS group participate.
- Will you be using online donation pages, mailed letters, or a combination of both?
- What are the fundraising goals for your individual participating partners? Add them together to set your group goal.
Please let your regional coordinator know the names of partners participating, which method they are using, and the combined fundraising goal of your group for this campaign.
Step one: Write a short 100–250 word letter describing why you would like your friends to donate to RESULTS or simply customize the text from the sample page.
Step two: Decide on your fundraising goal and select a picture if you wish to make your webpage image unique.
Step three: Construct your personal online donation site. Go to https://results.org/support_results/fundraisers/ and select the “Friends & Family” main homepage. Select the “Register” tab at the top of the website and follow the instructions to enter your own information make your own fundraising webpage. It will automatically have a “Supporters” tab to allow you to see immediately when someone gives you a donation. Plus, the system will send you an e-mail when someone donates to your page.
Step four: Create your e-mail list. If you’ve recently hosted a RESULTS fundraiser, include people you invited, even if they couldn’t come and didn’t give. You can include folks who may not live in your state. The idea is that you can include everyone from near and far and strengthen our donor reach.
Step five: Tell everyone about it! Send out your link using e-mail contacts, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms, but don’t stop there. It will make a huge difference to your success if you follow up your letters with personal phone calls. We know this is hard to do and most of us struggle with this, but it truly makes a difference. Use our sample call script in this guide if you need a hand. Remember, you aren’t calling to guilt your loved ones into giving; your purpose in calling is simply to bring attention to your letter and offer them your personal invitation to give. If they say no, that’s okay. Simply to give them an opportunity to support RESULTS and tell them about what you do.
Step six: If donors give you gifts directly, fill out a donor envelope completely for each one and send them all to the DC office promptly.
Step seven: Thank your donors. RESULTS has thank you notes that you can download from our website and print: https://results.org/skills_center/group_resources_and_admin/
Step eight: Celebrate! You’ve just achieved one of the activist milestones!
The highest earning fundraiser and the fundraiser with the most individual donors will each receive a FREE registration for the RESULTS International Conference 2013! If you have already registered, you will receive a refund or you can transfer the prize. Donations must be received online or postmarked in the mail to the DC office by April 30, 2013 to be considered for the contest.
- Make it personal.
Explain why RESULTS’ work is important to you or share a personal success of yours.
- Keep it short and simple
You only have 100–250 words. RESULTS has already built in sections of the website to describe our general organization. Use this paragraph to engage people in your personal interest and passion.
- Highlight the issue you are most passionate about.
RESULTS covers many issues. This is your moment to share what personally motivates YOU.
- Put the emphasis on the people we help, not the wonky legislative lingo.
Most donors are motivated to help a mother of six who needs a microloan or an infant suffering from malaria, not to “pass HR 2524.” Help your donors make a human connection to the good they can do.
- Use the word “you” as much as you can.
It’s tempting to use “I” and “we” to highlight our effectiveness, but don’t forget to invite your friends to share in the credit as in, “You can make a difference” or “You will save lives.”
There are many ways to let people know about your online fundraising, including
- Send e-mail about it to everyone you know and your local RESULTS mailing lists
- Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc
- Make a video about it to post and e-mail
- Put it in your e-mail signature
See below for some tips on these methods.
- Segment your contacts into close friends, old friends, family, work, etc.
- Draft an e-mail for each group and personalize whenever possible.
- Don’t just stop at one e-mail. Plan a schedule of messages through the end of the Friends & Family campaign.
- Don’t forget to do a final update and thank you to all.
- Link to your RESULTS fundraising page on your status update
- Every few days to a week, post about a different way RESULTS impacts your life or helps empower people in poverty
- Report your progress (examples: “I’m halfway to my goal” or “I’m just $100 away from my goal!”)
- Be specific with your tweets and stay within 140 characters.
Make sure you communicate what you’re doing and what you’d like your audience to do.
Vague: “Help me reach my goal! myfundraisinglink.com”
Clear and actionable: “I’m running the #BostonMarathon to help #endpoverty! Donations change lives. fundraisingpagelink.com”
- Add your link to your tweets
Include a link to your fundraising page in your tweets. Give your followers a call to action and help direct them by using a link.
- Use hashtags
Hashtags help target tweets and allow them to appear categorized with other people’s tagged tweets. Consider “I’m raising money for RESULTS -the org that helps me advocate for #HeadStart Make a donation and help #endpoverty! myfundraisingpagelink.com” This can be seen by everyone following the #endpoverty and #HeadStart hashtags.
- Ask your friends to share and be part of the campaign
Ask your Twitter followers to share your message. Re-tweets can lead to new networks of supporters.
- Tweet more than once
Not everyone will see your first tweet, so tweet once in a while so everyone has a chance to read it. (Consider four times a day with a link to your fundraising page)
- Set this up in Outlook, Hotmail, Gmail, or whatever platform you use. Usually you can find a signature setup under “Preferences.”
- Compose a clear single-line action to appear with your link, like “I’m raising money for RESULTS to bring us closer to ending poverty! fundraisingpagelink.com”
- Your signature will be seen every time you send out a message. You may not reach new people this way, but it will be a convenient and soft reminder to folks you’ve already asked in case they just forgot to donate.
- Call your low-hanging fruit first — your best friend, mom, sister — the person with whom you are most comfortable practicing. Only after those calls do you move to the big dogs.
- Keep the conversation light and simple and listen for their questions.
- Make a direct ask for money if appropriate.
- If people ask how much to give, refer to your own giving. “Shawn and I have been monthly donors for several years and we give $X a month. Would you consider joining us there?” OR “When I first began to donate to RESULTS I gave $X, does that sound about right?”
- Use the tracking form enclosed if it is helpful to you to keep track of your follow-ups and thank yous.
Sample Follow-up Call:
Me: Hi Sean, how are you?
Sean: Great . . . what’s up?
Me: Hey, I wanted to call and find out if you’d gotten the fundraising e-mail I sent to you about RESULTS? I sent it out last week.
Sean: Yeah, is that the thing you’ve been talking about on facebook?
Me: That’s it. It’s a fundraiser for RESULTS, the anti-poverty group I volunteer for. I was wondering if you’d considered it or had any questions about the e-mail that I could answer?
Sean: No, I don’t think so. Honestly, I hadn’t gotten around to thinking about it much yet. Things are kinda tight, you know?
Me: Oh, that’s ok — I wouldn’t want you to give at a level that’s uncomfortable for you — I just want you to know that no matter what, your donation is so helpful to us, and will really make a difference. If you decide to make a gift, you can just use the link on the e-mail or my facebook updates. And please call me if you have any questions, I would love to talk with you about it anytime.
Sean: Thanks, man.
Me: No, thank you!