For small to mid-size nonprofits, successful online campaigns start with people.
Who are the best fundraisers?
Warning: You might initially consider your board members. Our experience suggests that board members are better at introducing you to fundraisers or as 'cheerleaders' but are seldom great online fundraisers.
The characteristics of a great online fundraiser include the following:
- Passion for your cause (a 1st-hand connection is ideal)
- Strong network
- Competitive or Goal-Oriented
- Bonus: Humor (campaigns with a few humorous, exceptionally outgoing individuals has a really positive impact)
Online fundraising campaigns create an opportunity for revenue generation but also a chance to introduce new donors to your organization. Be sure to consider the diversity of fundraisers in all respects even networks and interests. The more diverse these networks are, the more likely that fundraising efforts won’t be duplicated.
How to ask?
When asking a person to represent your organization, it is a mutual honor. When asking a person to join your campaign, they need to know two things: (1) They are important and can make a big difference for your mission (be specific about what they bring to the campaign). (2) Assure a prospective fundraiser that they will be equipped, supported and that you are committed to their positive experience.
Then, you can spend time answering the following questions. It is ideal if these are outlined in a campaign document.
- What is the fundraising goal?
- What are you funding?
- What is the timeline?
It is important to communicate this information to your fundraisers and tell them what your expectations are for them as well.
What is their individual fundraising goal?
How many people do they need to reach to achieve this goal?
Equip your fundraisers:
Finally, once you have a strong group of fundraisers recruited, equip them with the tools they need to succeed. This includes a kickoff meeting, Q&A, sample emails, sample social media posts, graphics for social media, lists of previous campaign donors and an FAQ in case someone has questions about your organization.