Using Crowd Fundraising to Drive Giving Day Success

November 28, 2017

An increasing number of independent schools are making giving days an important part of their overall fundraising strategies. These 24-hour crowd fundraising challenges don’t just inspire alumni to give—they empower faculty, students, and non-affiliated community members to participate. With time sensitivity driving a sense of urgency and campaign themed social awareness, schools can create an energetic program that delivers a lasting impact. Consider:

  • 56% of online donors said that compelling storytelling is what motivated their donation;
  • One in four e-mails sent by an individual results in a donation, while only one in every 2,000 emails sent by an organization results in a donation;
  • 62% of donors who give through crowd fundraising are new supporters.

Crowd Fundraising Tips to Drive Giving Day Success

Put together a plan.
Proper planning is key as you design your giving day program. Consider your school’s culture, giving day theme, timing, and which technology will work best for your team. Evaluate goals and determine your expected ROI as you consider which style of giving day will be most impactful.

Seed your crowd fundraising program with social influencers.
Develop a marketing strategy that leverages social influencers and ambassadors to help spread the word early. Give yourself some lead time to recruit supporters before your giving day begins so your fundraisers are ready when the date arrives. A soft launch can be an effective way to start your program off strong. And don’t forget to keep up the momentum by quickly acknowledging your supporters.

Segment your audience.
Personalize and segment your communication before and after the event to help increase acquisition and retention success. Keep in mind that your top prospects may extend beyond traditional alumni segments. Social media sharing inspires community members, staff, students and others to get involved. And be sure to target supporter interests. For example, focusing on the school's green initiatives can excite those who are environmentally conscious, while scholarship messaging will pique the interest of equity-minded funders.

Coach supporters.
Train supporters on how they can help spread the word and engage them in building fundraising success. Make the experience fun, incorporate gamification strategies, and offer prizes to motivate supporters and yield positive results. With your recruitment up and running, you should begin to see passionate supporters signing up to fundraise on your school’s behalf. You’ll achieve better results if you give supporters attention, encouragement, and thanks along the way by sending personal emails or messages to an entire group.

Tell a story.
Create a compelling story with a clear call to action or a highlight of top priority projects to inspire and motivate supporters. By sharing your story with an amplified online presence through your giving day website and social media campaigns, you’ll increase the number of people you reach and improve the quality of your message. Your cause is more relatable if it’s easily understood. And this leads to more support.

Show impact.
Use real-time progress updates to drive supporter enthusiasm and engagement throughout the giving day. Leaderboards and engagement numbers across social media promote a sense of timeliness and urgency for giving. Impact stories fuel social media sharing and increase supporter awareness of gift outcomes.

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