An organization in need of funding via a fundraising campaign is not in a position to waste money marketing; yet, effective marketing is fundamental to the success of fundraising campaigns. Fundraiser marketing is the only way to let volunteers, sellers, and customers know that you have a need and you have a way to fill it.
The good news is that fundraiser marketing can be done economically; there are many options that an organization can design and implement on their own, and even more that are provided for little or no cost by companies and community organizations.
Community press coverage
Starting your marketing strategy locally, coverage by local media like newspapers and television stations (depending on the size or angle of your campaign) has wide-reaching impact.
Send a press release that briefly explains the event to local newspapers and television stations, including local-access cable channels. If space permits, most papers will happily include local fundraising events in their publication. Many will also include releases on their website. Double check to make sure your press release includes all pertinent details of your fundraiser and contact information.
Another way to gain local media coverage is to inform newspapers and TV stations of the event and invite them to cover it. Photos and articles can greatly boost the bottom line of a fundraiser.
Community coverage should be extended to include any school or community newsletters that list local events. Events should be submitted to online community websites and organization websites as well.
Designing a website, even a temporary one, for fundraising events creates a central informational resource for fundraising events that supporters and volunteers can access to learn more, donate, and find volunteering opportunities. There are many options available for getting your own website free of charge or for less than $10 a month (See “Create A Website“.), or you could sign up with one of the online fundraising services to complement your campaign.
Be sure to collect email addresses through your website! Assure your supporters that their email addresses won’t be shared with anyone and that you won’t spam them.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube let you promote your fundraiser free of charge and keep all interested parties up to date on your activities. Before you start promoting your fundraiser through social media channels, make sure you have a social media strategy in place.
Even though a large part of promoting your fundraiser can be done online, having flyers and other marketing materials available to hand out is still important. Printed materials can easily be created with a word processing program and then distributed before and at the fundraising event. (Printed materials are relatively cheap, but it still pays to be environmentally conscious and try to limit them.)
Decide which of these printables would be most useful for your campaign:
- Flyers and posters
- Letters, mailings
- Order forms
- Business cards
- Information for marketers and volunteers
Often, fundraising companies will provide these types of materials free of charge as part of a fundraising kit, or offer printable downloads from their website.
Printed fundraiser marketing materials can also be used to set up an information table during other group or community events to maximize outreach.
One of the most effective marketing tools costs nothing at all: marketing by word-of-mouth reaches supporters and volunteers at the heart of an organization’s outreach. Talking about the details of your cause and the need for more funds shows supporters that members are committed to their group, and are an organization worth their financial support.
Finally, don’t forget to follow up with all your marketing channels to let your supporters know about the outcome of your fundraising campaign, posting pictures and videos to illustrate your event.