Many businesses this year have needed to fundraise money from their customers and community in order to stay in business. Some succeed, others don’t. Knowing how to successfully fundraise and how to advertise your fundraiser is going to make or break you, so follow this marketer’s guide carefully:
Apply for all Grants and Loans First
One of the best tips to manage a successful fundraiser is to minimize the amount you ask for. If the goal seems obtainable, more people will rally to fundraise and donate money for your cause and help to keep your business open. Large, daunting numbers might be what you need, but they can be hard to actually achieve.That’s why the first step is to make sure that you have applied to any funding offered by the government, both locally and federally. The funding offered to you likely won’t be enough, but simply cutting down what you need is a good place to start. Smaller goals are far more obtainable.
Don’t Just Fundraise to Keep the Lights On
You also don’t want to fundraise just because you need to keep paying your bills. Fundraise to make improvements so that you can open again with social distancing in place. Changing your business model like this will cost, but it will mean you can actually open again sooner and safely.Diversifying your business model to include more online purchases, digital experiences, and socially distanced experiences at your location will improve your company’s sustainability in the long run as well. Therefore, you won’t need to keep fundraising to make up for the loss of income from in-store customers.
Set Up Your Fundraiser
Reducing what you need by taking advantage of government schemes and properly tallying how much these new features will cost is going to give you the ballpark that you need to aim for. With that number in mind, it’s a good idea to start fundraising.
1. Choose the Right Platform Unlike raising money for a project, you will want to keep all of the money donated to you. The platform you use, therefore, matters. You won’t want to choose one where the money is only donated to you if you reach your goal. Instead, you will want to opt for a platform geared towards non-profits and charities, so you can make use of donations, even if you don’t reach your goal.
2. Optimize Your Page and Platform
The second step is to properly optimize your page. Outline what you need the money for, how important your business is to the local community, how many people used to visit, and so on. Explain both why your customers should fight to keep you and what you are going to do to come back better and stronger than ever.
People are far more willing to donate if there is a plan in place. If you just want money to not go out of business, then there is a less clear goal on how you intend to stay in business after you use the money you’ve raised.
3. Add Rewards
Another great way to encourage donations is to add rewards. For example, if you donate $20 or more, you are placed on a list to receive 25% discount vouchers they can enjoy throughout the year, or if they donate $100 or more, they can enjoy a free gift.
These incentives are a great way to boost donations, but you do need to be careful. You will need to pay for these gifts at one point or another, so a detailed cost-benefit analysis is essential before you offer anything. If you can balance the budget with these gifts in mind, then you are on the right path.
4. Use Fundraising Marketing Materials
The hardest thing to do with any fundraiser is getting attention, and then keeping that momentum up. We’ll get into the ways you can get noticed in the next section, but to keep up that momentum, you are going to want to invest in fundraising marketing materials. Social media posts, a fundraising thermometer, video milestones, and more are all great ways to keep up the momentum. You’ll want to organize them advance, and work to create them on the go during your fundraiser.
Get Your Fundraiser Noticed
Now that you are all prepped to start fundraising, you are going to want to use these different options to gain the attention of the public and spur forward a movement on your behalf.
Your Social Channels
Start first with your own audience. If they follow you and see your posts, then there is a good chance that they like your business and will have an interest in saving you.
Local News Outlets
Local news outlets are a great choice to spread the word about your plight and fundraiser. Get in touch with the local news outlets in your community and city. Having a press release as well as reasons why you’ve brought the community together in the past and information about your fundraiser can help you get news coverage in print, radio, and on TV.
Local Travel Magazines
Travel magazines have been such a shining beacon for businesses who are struggling. They, more than anyone else, have an incentive to keep tourist interest points and local haunts in business. Get in touch with them with the same information as before and hopefully be featured, even if it’s just on their social media channels.
Local politicians are also great people to get in touch with, and not just because they have an audience of their own. By getting in touch with them, you can help your own business and your fellow businesses in the area. Try to offer more suggestions that can help you, like requesting the street you are on temporarily close a lane so that you and all the other businesses on your street can offer social distancing shopping and dining.
Don’t forget your local bloggers. Have a look online at blogging platforms and social media to find local bloggers. No matter how big or small, these content creators can help rally together your community. Get in touch with as many as possible to help your neighborhood institution stay in business.