Online Fundraising: Top Tips
Find out how online fundraising can boost your audience and increase your donations.
Fundraising has evolved drastically over the years. Nowadays, the digital world is a powerful tool for you to boost your audience and increase your donations. Take a look at our tops tips for fundraising platforms and social media to help you get started.
Remember, there’s no magic formula to digital and online fundraising so take your time to experiment and have fun with it.
Note: Be sensitive to your audience – your fundraising topic might be a difficult subject for some.
Use Social Media
Social media is a great way to fundraise. Discover some of our tips below:
A powerful button!
Did you know Facebook has a donate button? If your Scout Group or chosen charity is registered as a charity on Facebook, you can donate straight to the charity.
Fun fact: There’s been a big increase in birthday fundraisers through Facebook donate – with lots of success!
Send an invitation!
Facebook events are another way to reach a wide range of supporters. They’re great if your fundraiser involves inviting guests to attend or selling tickets.
Note: Not everyone uses Facebook so don’t put all your eggs in one basket – don’t forget to use other online tools to promote your fundraiser, like email and other social media platforms.
To reach an audience a new and specific audience on Facebook you can boost your posts. Boosts are a type of paid advertising. You can tailor your boost to choose the duration of the boost, the amount you spend, age range, location and interests.
You need to have a payment option set up which your local Scout Group’s Facebook page Administrator can do.
Note: Only use paid advertising if it’s in your budget and agreed with all the relevant people in your team. Don’t forget to double-check your post before boosting it!
Time to experiment!
Your mission is to increase engagement. Engagement is the likes, comments, shares and (most importantly) link clicks to your donation page.
It’s great to keep your supporters in the loop with news and celebrations, but not every post will have a big impact. Here’s a few things you can experiment with to help find the formula for you:
- Time of day – before work, lunchtime, after work, night time
- Number of posts per day - don’t worry if you can’t post every day, do your best to do a few updates a week
- What’s your call to action (CTA)? – “please donate”, “read more”, “watch this video”, “please share”
- Do you find that one platform have more engagement than another? – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, email, WhatsApp, Snapchat etc.
- Short posts vs long posts – writing a story or letting a photo or video do it for you
- Photos vs videos
Fun fact: Every social media platform has a slightly different audience. Instagram’s biggest audience is 18-25 year olds, while Facebook’s largest audience is the 35-55 year olds. Think about your audience when posting.
A thank you goes a long way!
Show your donors how grateful you are for their support. Tag them in your next post or mention their name in an update on your fundraising page.
Ask your donor to share your page or post to their network – this is an easy way to boost your audience.
Catch your audience’s eye!
You may have noticed that we don’t all have a great attention span anymore. That’s why it’s good to include a photo or video in every post.
- Should be bright, colourful and happy
- Check your background for anything distracting or inappropriate
- Add a fun caption if it’s relevant
- The shorter the better – try to keep them below 2 minutes
- Remember, a lot of people don’t use sound so if you’re speaking it’s useful to have subtitles
- Think about your surroundings and any background noise
- Always include a call to action (CTA) – what do you want your audience to do?
Note: You must have consent from everyone in your photo and video before sharing your post.
Using Fundraising Platforms
There are lots of online fundraising websites for you to choose from. Each one has its own fees and charges – please check if your Scout Group or chosen charity has an existing account with a fundraising platform already.
The Scout Association has accounts with JustGiving, Virgin Money Giving. We ask that you avoid using our account for local Scout Group fundraising. Don't forget, if your local Scout Group is a registered charity, you can your own account on JustGiving and Virgin Money Giving. Thanks in advance!
Tiny tweaks, big rewards!
If you’re setting up a fundraising page, here’s a few simple tips to help your page stand out and draw in more supporters:
- Upload a profile image – a friendly face of your fundraiser
- Write a story – explain why your cause is important to you and the impact your fundraiser could make. Use lots of words like “you”, “your”, “together” to make the donor feel included and important (because they are!). Try and avoid using too many words like “me” and “I”
- The first donation is important – try and get a big first donation
- Self-donating – this shows that you’re passionate about the cause too
- Keep your fundraising page filled with photos, videos, updates and celebrate donation milestones. Don’t forget to share your page whenever you’ve got an update – the more you shout about what you’re doing, the more like your audience are to support you
- What deadline? You can keep fundraising for a few weeks after your event has taken place
- Increasing your target – most fundraising platforms will show a percentage of your target reached. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing it go above 100%. But, if you’re on a role, try increasing your target to inspire more support from your donors
Everyone’s chipping in!
Crowdfunding is a type of fundraising where a group of people band together to raise a small amount each. It’s typically done online. You can either have a fundraising page each, one have one page that you share between you.
Top tip: If you’ve got a page each, it can be good fun to create a bit of friendly competition with a leader board.
Every penny counts!
If you’ve got an online fundraising page and someone gives you cash or cheques it’s good to log these as offline donations on your fundraising page.
Different fundraising platforms have different ways to do this. If you get stuck there’s normally a help section – and the Fundraising Team are here to help too.