NPTC MidMo Event Recap: Online Fundraising

John Baker, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Central Missouri, laid out 10 key points for running a successful online giving campaign. 

1. Think online giving in terms of a campaign or series of campaigns.

Running a campaign with a defined start and end date is different than a continuous giving campaign. Evaluate what duration and time of year will work best for your organization.

2. Put words to, "Why are we doing this campaign?" and then set a reasonable dollar goal.

You need to be able to succinctly answer what is the goal of your campaign, and why are you doing it.

It’s ok to have different internal and external goals. Let your audience know how you’re progressing toward your goal, and use it to nudge them to help you reach that.

3. Pull together a fundraising team to work alongside you.

This can include board members, staff and other stakeholders. Your role is to inspire the team and let them know how they can help your organization reach its fundraising goal.

4. Reach out to past donors and new ones you don't know about yet through digital media platforms.

Defined campaigns are a good time to make connections with people who may become new donors.

5. Tell stories, narratives, in your online campaign marketing.

Share how the money you raise will make an impact. Personalize the campaign through storytelling.

6. Plan different messages to different audiences.

Use demographic information to craft different messages for different segments. Consider how you will include people who don’t spend much – or any – time online in your online giving campaign.

7. Ask those who support you to help spread the word of your campaign.

Incorporate a social share button in your giving platform if possible. Let donors know how their shares can amplify their donations.

8. Communicate clearly and often throughout the campaign.

Share information about the campaign before it begins. Let people know how you’re progressing toward your goal. Wrap up your campaign when it’s over. Follow each social media platform’s best practices and communicate as often as you can.

9. Thank your supporters when ending the campaign, and include a campaign summary.

The thank you email generated by your fundraising tool isn’t enough. Send handwritten notes when warranted. Send thank you emails to other donors. Let them know how their donation will help your organization and the people it serves. 

10. Review the campaign after it ends to learn from strengths and weaknesses.

Share your success, and update your audiences even if you didn’t reach your goal. Internally, review what worked and what didn’t to figure out how to adjust for a future campaign.