A great publicity plan will benefit from the following steps:
- Use a task list and timeline
- Have a pre-launch meeting
- Create engaging activities for your supporters
- A clear call-to-action (CTA)
- Overcommunication as a strategy
Use a task list and timeline
Consider when your fundraiser is launching and decide how much time you’ll need to prepare. Once you’ve figured out those details, you can begin crafting a timeline of actionable items for your charity to take throughout the course of your fundraising journey.
A great task list will outline and prioritize all the vital steps that need to be completed to ensure the fundraiser’s success. It may help to initially break up tasks into categories of, “Before”, “During”, and “After”.
As the fundraiser’s organizer, you’ll be working with donors, volunteers, sponsors, and other team members at your organization. Think about how everyone will play their role in meeting your fundraising objectives.
You’ll want to include a description of each task, designate who is responsible for what, note when tasks must be completed, and understand why these tasks are important to the overall fundraising plan.
Have a pre-launch meeting
We recommend planning a pre-launch conference or meeting at least one month before your fundraiser launches. You can use this time to share a plan with your team, present the fundraiser’s timeline, gather feedback, and check in on any plans that may need to be updated.
Create engaging activities for your supporters
Consider creating specific activities that donors, volunteers, or sponsors can engage with to assist with your publicity plan. For example, past donors can be asked to reach out to three people in their network to discuss your fundraising effort, volunteers can be asked to recruit one new volunteer, and sponsors can be asked to promote your fundraiser through their networks. Along the way, you can evaluate these activities and measure their effectiveness.
Consider adding a challenge element to your fundraiser where past donors can reach out to new donors using a prewritten template that your organization can provide.
If you’re noticing that some volunteers aren’t able to recruit new volunteers, you can ask volunteers that have successfully recruited volunteers to recruit more and reward them for taking action. Sponsors can be asked to promote your fundraising efforts through their networks, and if this sharing leads to more donations, you can consider asking your sponsors to share at a higher rate or in other ways, like social media channels, or in their email marketing campaigns. These suggestions help you get an idea of what success can look like.
Use a clear call-to-action (CTA)
Using a clear call to action lets your supporters know exactly how they can help and what the next step is. A CTA should always be short and to the point; ideally, there should be only one CTA in each email. The CTA should also be accompanied by a usable button, or a link, at the end of the email so supporters can take action. For example:
- Share [enter your charity’s fundraiser] on social media today!
- Send the [enter your charity’s fundraiser] to 5 people in your personal network.
- Check out [enter your charity’s fundraiser] on GoFundMe.
Keep in mind that every nonprofit’s audience is a little different, and it’s important to experiment with different CTAs to see which ones perform best with your audience.
Overcommunication can be a great strategy
Donors, volunteers, and sponsors may need to be contacted multiple times before they’re willing to help publicize your fundraiser.
Plan on sending at least three emails that communicate the sense of urgency surrounding your fundraising effort. The first email should introduce your fundraiser, the second email should remind donors about your fundraiser, and the third email should be sent before your fundraiser ends. These emails should serve to help you publicize your fundraiser while also inspiring the recipients to donate. You can send a variety of other emails while your fundraiser is active, but we’ve found that these three emails create a sense of urgency for your recipients.
Consider creating email lists for potential donors, volunteers, and sponsors. While it may take a moment to segment the email data, your contacts will appreciate the direct message that only curated email lists can provide. We’ve found that personalized emails have the most impact, and in most cases, the highest conversion rates.
While an effective email strategy is a must, your organization will also want to use text messages, social media channels, message boards, and depending on your bandwidth, personal phone calls.