Fundraising in general can be a tough challenge, trying to connect with people and ask them for help to achieve your goal is always difficult and achieving this online can be even more challenging. But here’s the thing; people want to help you. The problem is that these people aren’t always in a position to, or even realise you truly need their help. I’ve put together a list of seven things I believe are important when it comes to connecting with people in a digital age. Think of it as my gift to help you to help others to help you!
1. Find others doing it well
This one is pretty good if you’re stuck on where to start. In the event that you feel like a bag flapping in the wind with no way of knowing where you’re heading, pick out some taste-makers and have a look at how they conduct themselves in the world of social media and their fundraising campaigns. There's a lot you can learn from the people doing it the right way and it may help you to find your digital footing and set you on your way.
2. Be trustworthy, be consistent, be transparent
Being a voice on social media (and otherwise) entails having an audience who will listen and having an audience who will listen revolves around trust. Building trust is key to any social and fundraising strategy, this can be earned by keeping two things in mind: being transparent in what you do and why you do it, and posting content consistently. Your content should be engaging and valuable to your existing and/or potential audiences. Intent trumps everything here, focus on the quality of your posts and you will see people start to share and follow what you do you, and this will ultimately lead to increased support and in turn, donations.
3. Make it easier for mobile users to support you
Globally, mobile traffic has grown by 74% in the last year, there are now 1.5 devices per person for the entire population of the planet. That’s huge, and it’s something you can use to your advantage. Pay attention to these figures and do everything you can to improve your audience’s mobile experience. A lot of people spend their day to day lives on their mobile device, so if they can’t give via their phone or tablet, you may be missing a trick.
4. Find new ways to fundraise
In the modern world, there are many exciting and creative ways to contribute towards change, whether it is signing a petition, donating money, or volunteering. Pretty much everyone has a phone and most of those people have hearts too! There's lots of Charity Fundraising websites around - give it a Google and see what suits you. At Neighbourly we're also launching a new fundraising feature which allows members of the public to donate to your cause alongside businesses - get your project set up now and watch this space for updates! We know that people are much more likely to give if there's a compelling story and it’s easy for them to do so - digital fundraising platforms are designed for this very purpose.
5. Make it easier. Increase opportunities to donate
Just because people made it to your website doesn’t mean they will go ahead and donate, especially if they can’t tell how. You should provide as many opportunities as you can, without being too pushy. For a potential supporter, willing to give their time or hard-earned cash, a well placed donation opportunity on your website could be that gentle nudge they need. Find the areas in your site that are visited the most, these can provide you with inspiration on where to situate your ‘donate’ buttons. Make them as inoffensive as possible and this will help guide your visitors to donating at the click of a button.
6. Concentrate on depth, not width
When I talk about ‘depth’ I’m talking about the value of the relationship you have with your audience. ‘Width’ is in reference to how many people you can reach. Depth is massively important if you want to build a reliable and engaged audience - you have to provide value. Width can bring in the quick sell action, but that might dissolve immediately after the deed is done. The alternative can provide you with long-lasting and valuable relationships, and your social audience will respect what you are asking for, when you ask for it. This will also have an impact on the level of engagement with your content from your audience.
7. It’s an emotional choice. Don’t be transactional
Lastly, and although this seems obvious, it is essential to remember that giving, supporting and volunteering comes from an emotional place, so you have to provide an emotional experience. The transaction should go undetected and the process should feel second nature. Doing this will help your users to stay feeling positive about their journey and in turn, this will encourage them to share their story with others, potentially leading to more support and more people wanting to give to your cause.
I hope these pointers make a difference to your digital fundraising and perhaps your social media strategies. The world is changing all the time, there are always new and exciting ways to achieve goals. You just have to find out what they are and the easiest way to do that is, well… to just start.
- Matt Aldus | Social Media Manager