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Updated: July 7th, 2017

Learn these awesome fundraising event tips for the new year!


Way back in early December of last year we published a post announcing our hosting of the Nonprofit Tech Carnival and asking for submissions.

In that call for submissions, we asked for you to send in your best articles, eBooks, guides, and other resources that answered one of the following questions: 

  • What’s the best fundraising advice you have?
  • How do you plan out your fundraising events?
  • How do events fit into your bigger fundraising plans?
  • What would you tell someone to make their event stand out?
  • How can you incorporate other engagement activities into events?
  • How can you raise more money at your fundraising events?


Well folks, the time has come. All the submissions are in, and we’re ready to share the top 9 resources we’ve compiled for improving your fundraising event strategies in the new year. And we’re even throwing in an extra resource from the team here at Booster!

Each contribution carves out its own unique corner of the event fundraising world. Read on to discover 10 fundraising event resources written to help you reach new fundraising heights.

The Fundraising Event Strategies Carnival

1. Planning a Fundraising Event: A Complete How-to Guide

We’re starting off with the bonus, the resource from Booster. Since our goal is to answer the key questions we asked of our participants, it feels fitting to lead off with insights we can offer.

This how-to guide covers the full spectrum of fundraising events, from planning to marketing to execution to post-event stewardship.

2. How to Take Charge of Your Fundraising Events So They’re Worth the Effort: Converting Attendees into Ongoing Donors 

by Claire Axelrad of Clairification

Fundraising events that really capture the moment and raise a lot of money are incredibly lucrative. What’s more lucrative? Taking your guest list and turning it into a long-standing donor list. If you can tap into the momentum of your fundraiser and use that momentum to build sustainable relationships, you’re on the right track.

This article walks you through how to do just that. In her writing, Claire homes in on exactly what you can do to inspire action and convert your attendees into donors.

3. How to Raise More Money at Your Fundraising Event

by Zach Hagopian of Accelevents

Event fundraising, like every other style of fundraising, is most successful when the organizers use best practices and refine them to create a customized plan. While customization is key, so too are strong fundamentals.

In this article, you’ll learn the ins and outs of 6 best practices, which span from early planning through the night of the event. Check this article out for a range of advice, including discussions that detail how to secure sponsorships and how to form the ultimate fundraising team.

4. Charity Auctions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Maximize Donations

via the @Pay blog

Few fundraising activities pair better with events than charity auctions. Whether you opt to host a live, silent, or even online auction, any of the three would be a great addition to your efforts.

This article provides step-by-step coverage of how you can maximize donations to your auction. Whether you need advice about securing items or directions for how to engage with your participants, this guide has you covered.

5. Live Auctions: How to Increase Bids and Plan a Showstopping Event

via the BidPal blog

Live auctions are the perfect complement to a major fundraiser, such as a gala. During live auctions, an auctioneer leads the bidding by speaking about each item and guiding the bids. They’re incentive-driven, fast-paced, and highly profitable.

This guide from BidPal includes both a breakdown of the basics of live auctions and a collection of advice to make your upcoming live auction your best one yet. There’s information for readers of all levels of expertise, so check it out!

6. 5 Creative Capital Campaign Fundraising Ideas for Schools

via the Aly Sterling Philanthropy blog

Capital campaigns are targeted fundraising efforts planned to accomplish a specific goal, such as securing the funding for a new building. They’re a fundraising staple, and they usually require a combination of fundraising tactics, including hosting events.

This article on the Aly Sterling Philanthropy blog focuses on what schools can do to maximize donations to their capital campaigns. And it makes sure to highlight “hosting an event” as one of the key tips.

7. 83 Amazing Fundraising Ideas

via the Double the Donation blog

One of the best things about event fundraising is how versatile it is. One nonprofit might host a gala as their annual fundraising event, whereas another might get everyone together for a walkathon. Chances are, if you’re looking to host an event, there’s one out there that’s the perfect fit for your team and your cause.

This resource from Double the Donation gives the reader over 80 options to choose from. Each event idea comes complete with an overview, a case for why it works, and advice for getting started. Plus, each event is rated on a scale for total cost, fundraising potential, and popularity.

8. Plan a Profitable Fundraising Event: The Step-by-Step Guide

via the NeonCRM blog

Hosting a fundraising event with a high ROI is no easy feat. Your team has to perform well at every stage, from planning all the way through to your thank you.

In this guide, you’ll find advice for each of those stages and then some. With 16 steps total, the guide starts back at selecting an event that’s right for your nonprofit and walks you all the way through to analyzing your event data.

9. How to Get Donations: 18 Ways the Pros Are Doing It

by Terry Ibele of Wild Apricot

Fundraising events are ultimately about getting supporters in one space so that nonprofits can ask for donations. And just like event fundraising, asking for donations is an art form unto itself.

In this collection on the Wild Apricot blog, you’ll learn all about best practices for asking for donations. Pay particular attention to the event section that offers some unique advice to maximize the number of donations you bring in.

10. The Ultimate Fundraising Event Checklist: 17 Actionable Steps

via the Fundly blog

As we’ve said a couple of times already in this carnival, event fundraising involves managing a lot of moving parts over multiple months. To help make things easier, most experts recommend using a checklist and holding your team to it.

This article includes a ready-made checklist for you and your team to use as needed. Not only does it include 17 main items, but it also has additional items you’ll need to complete in order to check off the main categories.

How to Share the Fundraising Event Resources Carnival and Get Involved

Done reading and ready to share? Great! Feel free to share on social media, and just make sure to use #nptechcarnival!

And if you’re interested in learning more about the carnival, there are other ways you can get involved:

Thanks for reading about all 10 fundraising event resources! We hope you’ve come away with some great advice as we head into 2017 and beyond.


Now that you've read these fundraising event resources, get started with our t-shirt fundraiser!


Updated: August 14th, 2017

Crowdfunding has become a hallmark of modern fundraising.

Whether you’re pairing your online campaign with an event or trying to become the next viral sensation, crowdfunding is a fun, social way to meet your fundraising goals.

You may be familiar with the functionality of GoFundMe, one of the most popular crowdfunding platforms around. But, did you know that there are a number of sites like GoFundMe that might be even better suited to your fundraising needs? 

If you’re looking to launch your campaign with a reliable, innovative crowdfunding platform, we recommend trying out one of these amazing GoFundMe alternatives!

[go_pricing id=”gofundme”]

Wesites Like GoFundMe: Booster

1. Booster


Booster is a creative crowdfunding platform that combines product fundraising with online crowdfunding methods.

Booster enables fundraisers to create and sell beautiful custom t-shirts. Our design process is simple, our t-shirts are high-quality, and our crowdfunding pages give you all the tools you need to launch a successful campaign. Plus, you only order what you need, so there’s no overstock and no risk!

The best part of a Booster campaign is that donors always receive awesome products that they can be excited about and wear for years to come.


Why It’s Better:

Booster equips fundraisers with a plethora of user-friendly features to help push campaigns toward success. Not only can you sell up to five product options to donors, but you can also accept additional donations, easily share your campaign on social media, and track your progress throughout the campaign.

Bonus: Need some ideas for incorporating product fundraising into your crowdfunding campaign? We’ve got you covered.



Fundraisers can set up their Booster campaigns for free. Booster only charges a 2.9% payment processing fee in addition to costs of shirts.

Get started with Booster today!


Website Like GoFundMe : Fundly

2. Fundly


Like GoFundMe, Fundly provides their fundraisers with personalized fundraising campaign pages.

Not only is Fundly’s interface incredibly user-friendly, but their customization options are top-of-the-line. You can design professional, eye-catching campaign pages that are perfectly customized to your liking.

Plus, Fundly has awesome social features that allow you to easily post updates across social media, upload photos and videos, and let your donors know how your campaign is doing in real-time.


Why It’s Better:

Fundly’s customer support is hard to match. If you encounter any issues during your fundraising campaign, their team will be there to walk you through it immediately.

And, Fundly offers a variety of tips and ideas for successful fundraising, which means you’ll be more inspired to meet your goals than ever before!



Fundly charges a 4.9% platform fee in addition to a 3% credit card processing fee. However, Fundly does drop the overall fee for campaigns that raise $50,000 or more!


Learn more about crowdfunding on Fundly's website.


Website Like GoFundMe : Razoo

3. Razoo


Razoo’s platform gives fundraisers total freedom over how they raise money.

With this platform, you can raise funds individually or as part of a team. Razoo lets you perfectly tailor your fundraising page to your needs and your cause.

Razoo has some exceptional features for fundraisers to take advantage of, including social sharing and donation forms that can be embedded on outside websites.


Why It’s Better:

If you’re new to the crowdfunding game, don’t fret. Razoo can set you up with a fundraising coach to guide you through the process and ensure your campaign page is at its best.



Razoo charges a 4.9% platform fee and a payment processing fee of 2% plus $.30 per transaction.


To learn more about this GoFundMe alternative check out the Razoo website.


Website Like GoFundMe : Indiegogo

4. Indiegogo


If you’re looking for the best place to crowdfund your entrepreneurial project, Indiegogo might be the site for you.

Indiegogo’s platform is well suited for designers, artists, musicians, small business starters, and other creative minds. This site has a flexible goal structure, so you don’t have to worry about meeting deadlines (unless you want them!).

Similar to GoFundMe, Indiegogo has awesome social features. You can find a network of like-minded fundraisers and discover new projects while sharing your own campaign.


Why It’s Better:

Indiegogo is unique in that they are also host to a thriving marketplace of crowdfunded projects. When you’re finished creating your product, you can sell it through their online store!



There is a 5% fee for using Indiegogo. Additionally, fundraisers are subject to a 3% credit card processing fee per donation.


Learn more about Indiegogo's features on their website.


Website Like GoFundMe : USEED


USEED is a crowdfunding platform specifically designed to enable students, faculty, alumni, and staff to raise funds for projects at institutions of higher education.

This platform gives users the tools to leverage their social networks to raise more money for university initiatives. Like GoFundMe, USEED offers custom fundraising pages, social sharing tools, and most importantly, a place to share your cause’s important story.

USEED also supports specific 24-hour “giving day” campaign strategies, which empower fundraisers to supercharge their efforts and meet their goals in only one day.


Why It’s Better:

USEED was developed with college campuses in mind. Because of that, this site has best-in-class customization options that enable fundraisers to design pages that match their institution’s established brand.

Bonus: Raising money for your elementary, middle, or high school rather than a university? Check out these amazing school fundraising ideas!



You can inquire about USEED campaign costs by contacting them directly on their website.


Check out USEED's website to learn more information about their crowdfunding services.


There are a number of online fundraising options, so don’t settle for less than the best when finding the perfect fit for your crowdfunding campaign.

These sites like GoFundMe are all excellent choices to launch your campaign and meet your fundraising goals.

Now that you've read these fundraising event resources, get started with our t-shirt fundraiser!


Updated: June 28th, 2017

Matching Gifts 7 Schools that Are Raising More Money

Matching gifts are the two-for-one deal of the fundraising world. Your school or university has the potential to receive twice as many funds from parents and/or alumni if they work at companies that match donations to educational institutions.

For those who aren’t familiar with matching gifts, they typically work like this:

  1. A donor makes a contribution to your school or university.
  2. The supporter submits a matching gift request to their employer’s HR department.
  3. If the donation and your school/university are eligible, the company will write your school/university a check for the same amount as the initial donation.

Numerous companies offer matching gift programs, and if your alumni or the parents of your students work at these companies, you could potentially double your fundraising revenue!

The only problem is that many people simply don’t know that their company offers a matching gift program.

Because they are unaware of the possibility of doubling their donations, they don’t submit the proper paperwork or forms.

As a result, many schools and universities have taken it upon themselves to push matching gifts as a fundraising option for their supporters.

This article is going to cover 7 of the top schools and universities that are raising more money thanks to their promotion of matching gifts.

  1. Morris Educational Foundation
  2. Roosevelt Middle School
  3. Birmingham-Southern College
  4. Eckerd College
  5. Piedmont College
  6. University of Utah
  7. Clarkson University

Let’s get started!

1. Morris Educational Foundation

Matching Gifts 7 Schools That Are Raising More Money - Morris Educational Foundation

The Morris Educational Foundation’s mission is “to generate and distribute financial and other resources to and for the Morris School District for enrichment programs and other projects aimed at enhancing the quality of education and educational opportunities for students in the district.”

To accomplish this mission, the Morris Educational Foundation actively promotes matching gift programs on their online donation confirmation screens:

Matching gifts - Confirmation page - Morris Educational Fund

After this person made a $100 donation, the Morris Educational Foundation lets them know that they could potentially double their contribution. The Morris Educational Foundation has also embedded Double the Donation’s matching gift search tool on the page, enabling donors to easily look up their company’s specific matching gift guidelines and paperwork.

[box border=”full”]What we love: The Morris Educational Foundation has included an image of the kids and educators that benefit from donors’ contributions. When supporters are taken to this confirmation screen, they are more likely to submit a matching gift request to help the students and teachers that the Morris Educational Foundation serves.[/box]

2. Roosevelt Middle School

Matching Gifts 7 Schools That Are Raising More Money - Roosevelt Middle School

Parents, staff, and community members that are involved with Roosevelt Middle School started the Friends of Roosevelt Foundation to serve the students and families of Roosevelt Middle School.

They have chosen to promote matching gifts on two separate pages on their website.

First, they have included a dedicated matching gift page that provides donors with more context about matching gifts:

Matching gifts - Dedicated matching gift page - Roosevelt Middle School

This page even gives an example of how a matching gift program might work.

Additionally, the Friends of Roosevelt Foundation has set up a donation confirmation page that thanks donors for their generosity and promotes matching gifts at the same time:

Matching gifts - Confirmation screen - Roosevelt Middle School

Immediately after they’ve made a contribution, donors can look up their employer’s matching gift program and find the necessary forms and guidelines.

[box border=”full”]What we love: The Friends of Roosevelt Foundation manages to explain and describe matching gifts in an easy-to-understand way. Instead of offering a lengthy explanation of matching gifts, they choose to give a short and sweet description that still gives donors plenty of context for how matching gifts work.[/box]

3. Birmingham-Southern College

Matching Gifts 7 Schools That Are Raising More Money - Birmingham-Southern College

Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) seeks to, “prepare men and women for lives of significance. The College fosters intellectual and personal development through excellence in teaching and scholarship and by challenging students to engage their community and the greater world, to examine diverse perspectives, and to live with integrity.”

To this end, BSC has placed matching gift promotions in two different locations on their website.

First, they provide in-depth information on their dedicated matching gift page:

Matching gifts - Dedicated matching gift page - Birmingham Southern CollegeThis page can be found under BSC’s “Give to BSC” tab on the right side of the top navigation.

Next, the Birmingham-Southern College Alumni Association has included matching gift information directly on their donation page:

Matching gifts - Donation page - Birmingham Southern College

When clicked, the text that says, “Click here to see if your company will match your donation” opens a new tab with a search tool that donors can use to look for their company’s matching gift program.

[box border=”full”]What we love: Birmingham-Southern College and their alumni association have used creative and effective ways to get the matching gift message out to their supporters. Specifically, including matching gift information directly on a donation form encourages donors to look into doubling their contributions right then and there.[/box]

4. Eckerd College

Matching Gifts 7 Schools That Are Raising More Money - Eckerd College

Eckerd College’s mission is, “to provide excellent, innovative undergraduate liberal arts education and lifelong learning programs in the unique Florida environment.” They are able to accomplish this mission by accepting donations from students, alumni, staff, and faculty.

Eckerd College has a beautiful website that lends itself very well to matching gift promotion. We’re going to cover the two different ways that Eckerd College has decided to educate its donors about matching gifts.

First, Eckerd College has included matching gifts as an option in a sidebar navigation that lists out various donation methods.

Matching gifts sidebar navigation Eckerd College

Eckerd College has also made it easy for donors to look up their employer’s matching gift program with an embedded tool on a dedicated matching gifts page.

Here are some sample images that detail the steps someone would take to research Bank of America’s matching gift program.

Matching gifts - Dedication matching gift page - Eckerd College Matching gifts - Dedication matching gift page - Eckerd College Matching gifts - Dedication matching gift page - Eckerd College

[box border=”full”]What we love: Eckerd College’s intuitive website makes it easy for donors to find information about matching gifts. While supporters are donating, they are reminded that they might be able to have their donations doubled. Additionally, the look-up tool allows donors to learn more about the specific aspects of their employer’s matching gift program.[/box]

5. Piedmont College

Matching Gifts 7 Schools That Are Raising More Money - Piedmont College

Piedmont College has made it their mission to dedicate the institution to “the transformative power of education through reciprocal learning, the development of compassionate leaders, and the stewardship of our local and global communities.”

One of the ways Piedmont College funds the activities that help them accomplish this mission is through matching gifts!

Piedmont College highlights matching gifts on their “Ways to Donate” page:

Matching gifts - Ways to give page - Piedmont College

Piedmont College also includes matching gift information on their donation form:

Matching gifts - Donation page - Piedmont College

In both instances, Piedmont College gives donors instructions on how and where to submit and send their matching gift requests once they’ve been completed.

[box border=”full”]What we love: Piedmont College includes a key phrase that puts donors at ease: “We will do the rest!” One of the reasons donors don’t apply for matching gifts is because they feel like the process will be complicated or cumbersome. Piedmont College lets donors know that they’ll be there to help supporters if they run into any issues.[/box]

6. University of Utah

Matching Gifts 7 Schools That Are Raising More Money - Unversity of Utah

The University of Utah seeks to “provide every student with a unique and enlightening education.” To fund their mission, the university promotes matching gifts to alumni and staff donors.

For instance, they have a designated matching gifts page that allows supporters to learn more about their employer’s specific matching gift program:

Matching gifts - Donation page - University of Utah

The University of Utah also includes a matching gift blurb on each of their donation pages, regardless of what department or program the donor is giving to.

[box border=”full”]What we love: The University of Utah highlights one of the unique aspects of matching gift programs: the fact that spouses and/or retirees are sometimes eligible to have their donations matched![/box]

7. Clarkson University

Matching Gifts 7 Schools That Are Raising More Money - Clarkson University

Clarkson University, “is an independent, nationally recognized technological university whose faculty of teacher-scholars aspires to offer superior instruction and engage in high-quality research and scholarship in engineering, business, science, health, and liberal arts.”

To this end, the university has decided to push matching gifts as an optional fundraising method for donors who want to double their donations.

They do so on a dedicated matching gifts page:

Matching gifts - Dedicated matching gift page - Clarkson University

This page is simple, but it includes a search tool that enables donors to look up their company’s matching gift guidelines without leaving the website.

[box border=”full”]What we love: Clarkson University’s matching gift page is easy to find and gets straight to the point.[/box]

All of these schools have made the grade in our Matching Gift Class. For more information about matching gifts, check out this helpful guide.

And for additional school fundraising ideas, check out awesome list of over 70 ideas.



Updated: June 28th, 2017

There are so many great stories behind Booster campaigns, and sharing your story through video is incredibly powerful and engaging. With video, you can capture the attention of others, raise awareness, and ultimately, raise more support for your cause.

People are scared by how much time and effort making a video takes, but today I’m going to walk you through how to quickly and easily shoot your own success story video using just your smartphone.


Watch the video above or continue reading to learn how!

There are 4 key steps to shooting your own video:

  1. Write your story
  2. Setup for recording
  3. Record
  4. Edit and share

Write Your Story

The first thing you should do is write out your story in your own words.

Make sure you’ve included the five Ws:

  • Who you are
  • Where you’re located
  • When you launched your campaign
  • Why you started your Booster
  • What impact your Booster had

Be sure to talk in detail about who or what you raised money for and your personal connection with them – this is what makes your story so powerful.

Setup for Recording

The first thing you need is a room that has lots of indirect light and no noise. Setting up next to a window that’s facing either north or south will create a very flattering light on your face.

It’s also best to be in a room that has many soft things, like padded chairs, pillows, and blankets. These soft objects will help to absorb noise as you speak so your voice echoes less.


When it comes to holding and positioning your phone, your best option is to use a tripod. If you want, you can get a tripod mount made specifically for holding phones, or you can make it work with some tape.


Another option, if you can’t get a tripod, is to stack some books to raise your phone, then hold it between two books at the top. It won’t look pretty, but it should get the job done.



With the room ready and camera setup, it’s time for you to get in front of the camera. You want to be as close to the camera as possible for the best audio recording, but far enough away that you feel and look comfortable on camera – around 2-3 feet away.


Have someone adjust the camera so that you’re in the center. They should also make sure that you don’t have too much space above your head. Some – but not too much.



One last thing before you start recording – have your camera person press and hold down on your face on the screen. In virtually all current smartphones, this will lock the exposure and focus so that the look of your video stays consistent while recording.


Now you’re all set to record your story – just hit the big red button!

Edit and Share

After you’re finished recording, you should be able to trim the beginning and end of your videos. It’s a good idea to remove any extra, unnecessary parts – you only want to keep the good stuff!


Once your story is ready, it’s time to share it! Sharing your story can help you raise more awareness and connect with other people who also care about your cause.

You can upload your video directly to YouTube or Facebook from your phone. Once it’s uploaded, be sure to send us a link on Facebook or Twitter or via email!

Now you can create your own great-looking success story video and share it with the world.


Updated: June 28th, 2017

How can marketing automation improve your fundraising events? Learn more with this article!

You’ve got a great idea for a fundraising event. You’ve started planning all the event details and now it’s time to go public. But how do you attract the right attendees and donors to make it really successful? And how do you keep them engaged during and promote your cause after the event?

Leave it to marketing automation to help you.

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is done by using software to set up automated processes around marketing to and engaging with your donors and members. It starts by integrating the software with your website, email, and social media platforms to create strategies that engage with customers, donors, and members to drive revenue and goals.

A popular example of what this looks like is Amazon. When a customer views a product on Amazon, their visit and interactions on the website will be tracked. If they become a member or order something from the online marketplace, they’ll enter into a system and become a lead or customer (aka converting).

From there Amazon’s software will send automated and personalized emails to the lead based on items they viewed or purchased.

Amazon can also target them on social media and personalize the website when the customer or lead returns. This process educates the customer on the company, nurtures the relationship, engages them with new opportunities, and helps turn them into a promoter of the brand.

How can it help my nonprofit?

Don’t worry if your nonprofit is a long ways from automating like Amazon: there are still marketing automation tactics that you can start to consider. Imagine you create a campaign that focuses on peer-to-peer fundraising. A new potential fundraiser visits your website after hearing about your efforts in their community. Your website displays information about your new peer-to-peer fundraising campaign and they decide to sign up.

This is where marketing automation comes into play. After signing up, the marketing automation software tags them as a new prospect. You can see their sign up information in the system and what pages they view each time they return to your website. Soon after they sign up, they begin receiving a series of helpful emails you’ve created beforehand.

As you have their information, you also target and engage them on social media platforms where they can spread your message. Finally, they finish fundraising and hit their goal. Your software sends them a thank you email and asks them to follow your organization on social media.

You’ve created a campaign that engages them throughout the process and keeps them talking about your message long after it ends. Now, you not only have a loyal advocate but lots of data to help you analyze your campaign and optimize your message for the next one.

Let’s run through what this marketing automation setup looks like.

Integrate into your website

Here’s how you can integrate marketing automation into your website:

  • Calls to Action
  • Landing Pages
  • Forms
  • Thank You Pages

Setting up some basic marketing automation within your website can be simple depending on the platform you use. Most website platforms (like Weebly or SquareSpace) and content management systems (like WordPress or Drupal) will have some sort of option for creating calls to action, landing pages, thank you pages, and tracking users.

I recommend doing some research into your website builder’s marketing tool options. There are a lot of free apps and plugins, but they will require a little technical knowledge to install and set up.

Now let’s see how marketing automation can be set up to help you run a successful campaign.

First, a user visits your website and lands on the homepage. They see that the main large image on your website is promoting a fundraiser using peer-to-peer practices. They want to learn more so they click on a “Learn More” button (aka a call-to-action button) that you’ve created.

Next, they are sent to a page with a form that discusses the fundraiser. This type of web page is known as a landing page. You’ve included great photos, videos, and content so they can learn more about the fundraiser and cause.

They see a form on the side and decide to sign up to raise money. This form collects basic information including an email address and is set up with an email marketing platform like MailChimp to start automated processes to send emails to new participants.

After submitting their information, they are directed to a Thank You page. This page not only says “Thanks” for their participation, but it also links to a few helpful resources on your site to get them started on promoting your cause and raising money.

Personalize your emails

Let’s break down how you can personalize your emails with marketing automation:

  • Setting up the workflow
  • Personalizing content
  • Make it mobile-friendly

You’ve now got their email address from the signup form on your website. The form was connected to an email marketing platform, like Mailchimp, Emma, or Constant Contact. They were added to what’s known as a workflow, or a process of tasks, that you’ve set up in the email tool for anyone signing up using the form. The workflow will automate sending them emails every few days or weeks.

As the series of emails go out, they include information such as a thank you for signing up, tips to start talking about the cause, how to ask for donations, and links to share the campaign via social media.

To achieve a higher open rate on the emails and to engage your new fundraisers, you add in personalization. Personalization is when you use personal information in a mass email. You can do this easily by adding in a special code that you can find within the email marketing platform. The most common personalization is personalizing a subject line or introduction of an email to display the first name of the email owner.

Lastly, the majority of emails are read on mobile, especially personal emails. You use a mobile-friendly template from the email platform so anything you send will be easy to read. With today’s attention spans being shorter, you keep each email concise. You send the emails to yourself and a few colleagues before you send them to your campaigners to make sure they work on different devices and achieve the tone of your organization.

Engage on social media

You can use marketing automation to engage donors on social media by doing the following:

  • Create an event
  • Use a hashtag
  • Schedule posts

You’ve got all your website pages and email workflows set up. Now it’s time to go live and create a Facebook event. The same message is on your social media sites as the landing page on your website. Plus all social sites displaying this fundraiser include a link to your landing page to sign up to fundraise, especially the Facebook event.

Now you log into a social media scheduling tool, like Hootsuite, Buffer, and SproutSocial, to schedule social media posts. These tools allow you to craft messages and schedule them to be posted automatically at a later date and time.

Before you plan and create any posts for all your social media sites, you create a fun and easy hashtag. You track this hashtag within the scheduling tool so you stay up to date when fundraisers post about your campaign.

Now you schedule all your posts using the same message, videos, and pictures from your website’s campaign landing page. You start out with announcement posts and then engaging posts about fundraising, and finally, countdown posts with tips to get those final pledges on the last days.

Pre-scheduling all your content has just freed you up to engage more in the community and raise more awareness about your fundraiser. Make sure to drive all social posts to a consistent landing page so that you can give people a chance to engage further with you.

Analyze and Optimize

Marketing automation can help analyze and optimize your data by answering these questions:

  • How many people viewed your landing page vs. signed up?
  • Were your emails opened?
  • How many people engaged on social media?

Finally, your campaign fundraiser has ended. You’ve hit all your goals and your fundraisers are excited. The day after your campaign ends you scheduled an email to go out to everyone thanking them for their hard work.

Now you can finally sit down, but you’ve still got some work to do. Don’t worry, analyzing your campaigns can be done from your couch.

First, you’ll take a look at your website traffic to the landing page you created. Did the call to action on your homepage send a lot of people to your landing page? How many people saw the landing page and filled out the form? How many did not? These are good questions to ask when analyzing how well your campaign performed on your website.

Next, you view your email platform to see how many participants received and opened your emails. Did the emails with personalization increase open rates? How many people clicked on the fundraising tips articles you sent? What articles were most popular? Knowing what engaged your campaigners the best will be helpful in your next campaign.

Finally, you look at all the pre-scheduled social media posts. Which posts got the most likes? Shares? Comments? Were there types of posts that engaged better than others, like posts with photos of participants vs. posts of articles? Make a note on what people engaged with the most and keep those types of posts in your social media schedule.

Get Started

As you can see, integrating marketing automation into your nonprofit’s fundraising campaign can greatly increase engagement with your fundraisers.

Make sure you set up the right pages and forms on your website to collect information from your participants easily. Using software for email marketing and social media posting can save you time when in the thick of the campaign. Sending out pre-scheduled emails and posts can drive engagement and funds. Just make sure to analyze it after it’s all done so you can see what worked best and use it again!

For more information on marketing automation and solutions for nonprofits check out our blog.

This article was brought in collaboration with Jacqueline Fassett, Marketing Coordinator at Idealist Consulting. Thank you for this valuable contribution to our blog!

Jacqueline Fassett brings us this helpful guide about marketing automation!

Idealist Consulting helps nonprofits and small businesses make an impact with their technology solutions. As Marketing Coordinator, Jacqueline helps educate nonprofits and small businesses on Salesforce, marketing automation, and CRM applications.




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