Above: Lisa Surihani, Unicef’s latest ambassador
Fundraising is never an easy task. You’ve seen fundraisers standing at walkways calling out to you, hoping to that you’ll give them just 5 minutes to explain what they do. I usually try to listen when I’m in between meetings but since I’ve already committed myself to UNICEF, it’s quite a stretch to also commit to other long term NGO packages.
When it comes to fundraising events, you will need more time to explain your cause, how much you want to raise, the event details such as the event programme, who are the key guests etc. As with all public events, you need at least three months of planning and promoting before the event sinks into the mind of the target audience. Print ads can work closer to the event and because it’s more expensive to print in mainstream media, social media is the way to go.
Define your objective clearly and work with creative individuals to come up with a story that will be converted into image and video formats. You won’t want to be repeating the same material over and over. People tend to block out something they’ve seen often enough so you need fresh material every few weeks.
You need to continuously engage with your target audience, creating conversations even though they don’t seem to respond initially.
1 Make use of Images and Videos
Pictures and videos can always leave a deep impression. Take pictures or make videos to tell your story, to show what and how you are doing to help people. Your hard work and effort put in to help someone can touch their heart, and you never know, they may come forward to make donations and promote your event to raise funds. Show people who you’re helping and get these people to talk themselves and share their own stories.
Try to get your sponsors to show these videos on their own social media channels as well.
To create compelling posters on social media without costing a bomb, Canva has a special programme for Non profits. Check it out HERE
2 Photo Tagging
Whenever you upload a photo about your event on Facebook, don’t forget to TAG. Recognise your event attendees, volunteers, sponsors, donors and everyone who are part of your event, tag them in the photos. They will feel really nice about it. It will be even great if you can add a line thanking them for their contributions. It’s no point of liking your post when no one is sharing it. Your photos need to be meaningful enough for people to want to share it.
3 Involve your Sponsors and Team
The more your posts and tweets get shared, it’s better for your fundraising event to get noticed. Apart from you doing your promotional activity, bring in your sponsors and the team involved with the event to help your posts reach far and wide. Prepare attractive videos, images, GIFs, or blogs so that they can readily send it across to their friends and followers. They will be able to show how actively they are involved and it may, in turn, earn them more followers.
4 It’s Trending
Almost everywhere on the internet, you can see ‘what’s trending’. So, why not make one of your ideas clicked and get it spread like wildfire. All you have to do is widen your scope of imagination and come up with something creative and unique to set a trend. Whatever idea you think of, it should be easy. People should be able to perform it without any hassle. Create a clear and distinctive hashtag of your challenge and attach it to every posts and tweets. If the challenge is engaging enough, it could encourage people to participate, and will definitely be trending.
5 Thanking your Donor
Let your donors know how much you are grateful to them for their contributions. You can do this by mentioning them in a special thanksgiving post or tweet highlighting their active involvement and generosity. You can select a nominee every week and appreciate them for always standing up for a good cause. The idea is not to lose such loyal frequent donors; but yes, before doing so, take their permission.
6 Support local acts and businesses
Have up and coming artists entertain your guests at the event and make sure to promote them on your social media channels so that they get exposure too.
7 Have a website
Make sure you have a proper website for people to register and buy their tickets from while also learning more about your NGO and cause.
8 Create buzz during the event
Remember now that there is Facebook Live, Instagram Live, you should share short clips of your event during the event to create excitement among attendees so that they can share more content with their friends.
Set up a hashtag for the event and then display the tweets rolling in by following the hashtag using a Twitter wall. Basically, these sites allow your organization to have a visually pleasing way to display what’s being said about your event or your hashtag. Try checking out sites like tweetbeam, twitterfontana or eventjoy.
9. It’s not over
Continue building awareness even after your event while things are still buzzing.
Post all of your coverage from the event. These are the types of things we talked about that you should be doing regularly—post any multimedia from the event that is engaging and your event attendees will want to see and interact with.
Also, use your social media outlets to spread the love to your event volunteers and donors. Show your appreciation and thanks in front of the world. It’ll make them feel special. Plus, if you tag them in the posts you have a greater likelihood that their friends will see them.