How to Enhance Your Back to School Fundraising Campaign
WRITTEN BY COREY BLAKE
Summer is starting to wind down, parents, students, and educators are preparing for a new school year. As they become more engaged with school again, it presents an opportunity for fundraising. Whether you are a K-12 school, university, or an organization building a school in another country, running a branded fundraising campaign around back to school is a natural fit that can provide a boost to your budget.
When running a back to school campaign, consider including the following to maximize participation and gifts:
Provide an easy way for people to make a donation with a text-to-donate keyword. By sending a quick text, people land on a mobile responsive donation form that can be designed with eye-catching images, storytelling, and impact metrics, and a fast way to complete their gift with their debit card, credit card or PayPal.
Design your form to specifically reference your back to school campaign. This reassures your donors that they are giving in the right place. Videos and images are a great way to reinforce why giving is so important, and why it’s important to give to your back to school campaign. This storytelling on the form should build on the storytelling that they saw that compelled them to text the keyword or click on the link.
The donation form can also be configured to emphasize recurring giving when emphasizing covering the entire school year.
Text-to-donate keywords can be displayed on signage around campus and print mailings. It can also be promoted in videos and school announcements on YouTube and Instagram.
The associated donation form can be embedded on a page on your website or can serve as its own standalone page with a shareable link. Whichever link you choose to use, it can be included in emails, social media posts, and print mailings to alumni.
2. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to rally your community around starting the new school year. This allows individuals to become a fundraiser with their own page as part of your back to school campaign. They can then personalize and share their fundraiser page to their network of friends and family. This approach can be used whether you’re asking your supporters to help with a school in their community, or a school in another country.
The entire campaign has a text-to-donate keyword people can use to learn more about the campaign, donate or sign up as a fundraiser. And each fundraiser gets their own personal keyword based on the main keyword.
Teams of fundraisers can be created based on year of graduation, departments, majors, classrooms, sports teams, or clubs to build friendly competition.
As with any campaign, communication is key. People won’t know they can participate, much less feel compelled to do so, unless they hear about it. Social media and outbound text messaging, along with email and direct mail, are crucial to get in front of potential donors.
To spread awareness and tell your story, it’s important to use all four channels together. If they’re all working together to collectively tell your campaign’s story, people will stay engaged.
Telling the story behind the campaign will lead to a more compelling ask. Establish the need so people understand how important it is to take action. Then when the ask happens, they’ll be primed to make a difference. Including incentives are a great trick to add value to a donation.
Social media is great for visual storytelling and interacting with your supporters. An eye-catching image or video helps with visibility on people’s feed. If people comment or ask questions, make sure they know you saw them and reply. It can provide helpful information for others and it also cultivates your relationships with potential donors, who want to feel like they’re important to your organization.
Text messaging is great for immediacy and more direct communication. Because of this, you want to ensure you’re doing proper cultivation geared to specific segments before an ask.
We recommend at least three messages of value before an ask. This value can be emotional, such as a message of congratulations, gratitude or a heart-warming story that shows your organization making a difference. Or this value can be useful information such as resources they can use in their daily life, such as job hunting resources for new alumni.
It’s important to remember the experience of receiving a text. They will pop up on someone’s phone as a notification. Most are read within the first 3 minutes of being received. Keep this sense of immediacy in mind when writing your texts.
Branded and themed campaigns are a great way to get people focused on a need in your school or organization, and back to school campaign is a natural opportunity. So however you run your campaign, don’t miss your chance to take advantage of a fun and engaging way for people to donate. Good luck!
Digital Marketing Strategist
Our goal at MobileCause is to help nonprofit organizations create and manage successful digital fundraising campaigns, raise more money and retain donors longer. Request a free demo with one of our fundraising experts to learn, step by step, how MobileCause can simply help set up your campaigns while transforming your results.
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