Online Donation Fundraiser:
Step 3 - Promoting

The Online Donation Fundraiser is the perfect fundraising idea for most causes and needs!

Go here to read, download and print a simplified Step-by-Step guide to this article and setting up your Online Fundraising page SUCCESSFULLY.

It is not for general acceptance of donations online, but rather for specific campaigns or needs.

Also known as Crowdfunding, this internet fundraising idea works by getting friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, members, supporters and complete strangers, to donate to your cause online!

Just like these fundraisers below...

In part 1 of this online donations fundraiser I explained how to set your campaign up at a fundraising platform/site effectively. If you haven't read that yet, please do so now.

Although this, the second part of the fundraiser, is the most important to its success, without doing part 1 correctly, you're actually wasting your time then doing part 2.

So make sure you get your campaign page set up properly!

Driving Your Fundraiser:

I'm repeating myself a bit here from the setup article but I really want to get my point across...

The bottom line is:

For your fundraiser to be a success, you have to drive it! This means that you have to be actively promoting it, every single day, from start to finish.

It's not good enough to just set up a campaign page on a Crowdfunding Platform, and then expect people to just donate to you. A fundraising site like Fundrazr or Go Fund Me is just a platform that makes Crowdfunding online as easy to do as possible.

It's Up To You To Make It Happen...

It's you who has to get your online donation fundraiser rolling by sending potential donors to your online donation page!

Make sure you've read the "why people will consider to donate to you" in the setup article to fully appreciate what I'm talking about above.

And let me repeat this...

You must actively promote your fundraiser effectively every single day from its start to its finish! If you do this, you will have the most unbelievably successful fundraiser!!!

Promote In A Way
That Gets People To Donate:

Promoting your Online Donations (Crowdfunding) Fundraiser! Learn how.  (Photo by David Baron / Flickr)

This is also very important...

In the first page of this online donation fundraiser I spoke about connecting personally and emotionally to your potential donors.

Well the same applies for when you are promoting to people!

You want to promote in such a way that you are sending open, and ready to donate, people to your fundraiser page (where you will ultimately convince them to click the 'Donate Now' button!).

Through whatever means you promote, tell your story and need, and connect with your potential donors in a way that creates curiosity, intrigue, possibly sympathy, and the desire to help out or get involved!

Don't just say, "Hey, check my fundraiser out at..."! Actually tell them why they should help you out by going to your fundraiser page and donating!

Begin Your Story There!

And Don't Just Ask For Donations.... Also Ask For Further Spreading Of The Word:

In all your promotions don't just ask for online donations, but also ask for everyone to spread the word further by forwarding, calling, sharing, liking, and re-tweeting your messages and fundraising asks!

If you speak to all your friends and family... and they speak to all their friends and family... you would have reached a massive circle of potential donors!

The more people you reach effectively, the more successful your fundraiser will be!

Have Help:

The last thing that I would recommend, before we take a look at how you will promote your online donation fundraiser, is to find some helpers.

Get your closest friends and family members, or best organization members and supporters, to jump on board and help you promote and spread the word about your fundraiser.

The more help you have... The more effective your fundraiser will be!

Promoting Your Online Donation Fundraiser:

Start By Seeding:

I'll explain what the most effective ways of promoting are below, but the first thing you need to do is to seed your online donation fundraiser...

Get your closest friends and family, or organization members and supporters, to go to your page and donate $5 or more. If they are able to donate $50 that's brilliant, but if they can only afford to donate $1 then that's alright too!

This part of the online donations fundraiser is about seeding your donations and promotions. (Photo by Tom Rulkens / Flickr)

Now when potential donors arrive at your online donation page and see that others have donated they will immediately feel more confident that your fundraiser is a good cause.

How many times have you waited to see if someone else does something before you do it? Same concept here!

Seeing that others have done something gives you more confidence to do the same!

The same applies for the sharing tools on your page. Get those same people to seed all the sharing buttons by using them. This will also encourage others to do the same.

Best Results:

There are certain forms of promoting that will get better conversion ratios from people exposed to your fundraiser to people donating to your campaign.

While on the other hand those other forms will spread the word to a wider audience and will often be easier and less time consuming to do.

I'd suggest you use a good balance of all the methods to get your best results.

So What Are they?

Let's look at what the order of best promoting methods for conversion ratios are.

By understanding this you will be better able to manage your priorities and time, to get the best balance and best results!

  1. Face to Face - This will always get you the best results. It is harder for someone to say no or to ignore your online donation request when you're talking to them face to face! On the other hand it takes time to get around and see loads of people.
  2. Phone calls - This is the next best method and although it is not as impactful as face to face, it will still get you very good results. The negative is it also takes time to call lots of different people and can cost money!
  3. Direct Emails and Messages - Contacting people personally will always beat a general group message. Remember what I said about connecting personally earlier.

    So direct emails or messages (on Facebook, Twitter, via sms or text message etc.) that address the potential donor directly and personally will be your next best online donation converter!
  4. Third Party Direct Promoting - Sounds complex doesn't it. All it actually means is the use of the 3 methods above that your friends, family, supporters or members use for the promotion of your crowdfunding fundraiser.
  5. Follow Up - The next best online donation converter will actually be following up those that you have already contacted directly but who have not donated yet. People will often say yes and want to help you out but will then forget.

    It's not that they meant to but life often just gets in the way... So follow them up and ask again!?
  6. Social Media Word Of Mouth & Local Media - This form of promoting will get the word out there quickly and to loads of people. Good quick exposure for your online donation fundraiser!

    It will not convert as many of those people as the above though, but may be more effective as it will be a much easier way of spreading your need out to a huge audience of people.
  7. And finally the few other methods that I will mention down below!

Direct Personal Promoting:

Promoting your online donations (crowdfunding) fundraiser! (Photo by Ed Yourdon / Flickr)

Face to face, phone calls and direct messages.

The methods that are slower to spread the word, but will get you better results!

Like I said above, the first thing you should do is seed your fundraiser through your closest friends and family, or best members and supporters. And you will do this by obviously contacting them directly!


I would actually suggest that you spread the word quickly far and wide through the social media methods below before you continue to contact donors directly!

Once you've set up the below promotions you should write up a list of people who you will contact directly via phone, email and other forms of messaging (like Facebook).

At the same time you should be talking to everyone and anyone you see, telling them about your online donation page and asking them to donate!

Then start phoning and messaging all those people off the list that you have written. Have a set goal of how many people you want to contact directly (and follow up) each day. Then make sure you complete those goals every day!


Facebook will probably be your best promoting tool! So make sure you use it to its full potential.

As soon as you have set your fundraising page up, start your promoting on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook 'Like' button on that donation page!

Promoting your online donations (crowdfunding) fundraiser!

Setup Page or Group...

Then, if you don't have one already, you will want to set up a Facebook Group or Facebook Page to help promote you fundraiser. Do this as soon as possible!

If you are an organization or a cause that will continue to fundraise for years to come than I would suggest that you setup a 'Page'.

So What's the Difference?

The difference between a Page and a Group is that a Page - Someone has to like - and a group - you can just add people onto it (If their profile settings allow this; they can also then remove themselves of course)!

A group will then also send an email notification to all members every time you or someone else posts on the groups wall. Good continuous exposure! It will also post on everyone's Facebook news feeds!

On the other a hand a Page will only display your updates or wall posts on people's news feeds. So why do I suggest a Page for an organization then...

Well in the long run a Page will serve your organization far better than a Group and you really don't want to have ask people to join a "Page" again, that they think they are already a part of (the Group)!

All its functionalities are also so better suited for an organization than a Facebook Group is.

So what are the best practices for promoting your online donation fundraiser through your Group or Page...?

  • Fill in the required 'About' info and Title etc. effectively in the same emotionally connecting and storytelling way that you did on your Campaign page.
  • Add photos and videos!
  • Obviously invite or add all your friends while encouraging them to do the same with their friends.
  • Make your "Helpers" admins of your Page or Group and get them to do the same as the previous tip.
  • Post at least once every day, but no more than three times, an update of how your fundraiser is going while asking once again for help in donations and further spreading of the word! (Do the same on your profile status once every day or every two days.)
  • Every time someone donates, make a post on your Facebook Group/Page thanking them and asking others to help out as well! (Do the same on your profile status.)
  • If you do a challenge to help encourage people to donate (see below), post updates about your challenge daily and add photos and videos as well!


Twitter will be your next best promoting tool but could also be very ineffective if you don't use it correctly.

If you are not on Twitter yet, you will need to sign up and rely heavily on friends, family and supporters who are already on Twitter, to follow you and retweet all your tweets to get the word out there.

If this is the case you will need to contact as many people directly asking them to follow you and retweet your tweets to get the word out to a wide enough audience.

So What Activity Should You Have?

I would recommend that you tweet 4 to 6 times a day with updates and general thank you's...

And then tweet every time someone donates, thanking them in name (or referencing their Twitter profile if they have one; you do that with the 'at' sign like @fundraise_ideas which is my twitter profile).

Remember that even though you only have 140 characters to work with you still need to connect personally and emotionally!

You still need to tell your story!

Some Additional Advice...

I would suggest you find people on Twitter with similar interests as you, or who are related in some way to your need/fundraiser, and then follow them and connect with them.

Look for people with strong followings and try to connect with them and get them behind your fundraiser!

You should also be using tagging when you Tweet!

Word tagging helps list your tweets for when people search for certain subjects or keywords on Twitter. It's very easy to tag a word... All you have to do is put the #Hash sign before it like I have here!

Only tag a few specific words that will be likely searched for. Some examples are: donate, donating, cause, need, fundraiser, fundraising, and help.

Local Media & Other Social Media:

Local media is a great way of creating positive exposure for your online donation fundraiser but it will sometimes be hard to actually get local media behind you.

Simply put, you have to contact them directly and pitch your need to them. Ask them if they can help your fundraiser by writing an article about it or by broadcasting something about it.

If they agree to help out they may write an article themselves, or they may ask you to send them a press release. Make sure you read up about how to write a Press Release correctly. You can also send that press release to loads of online Press Release sites as well!

There are other Social Media sites that you can also use like My Space and now the new Google +, and Pinterest.

My advice, if you do use these other forms of Social Media, is to just follow the same advice as above for when promoting through them!

Local Businesses & Posters/Flyers:

These last couple of promotional methods are to be used only if you have the time and you're doing the above methods effectively!

You can contact local businesses and ask them to help you out by, firstly donating to your cause, and then by raising awareness for it through their website, employees, partners and customers/clients.

Ask them to place posters at their offices and to hand out flyers to their employees and customers.

You can also print flyers and hand them out at local shopping malls or high traffic areas (by 'traffic' I mean people not cars)! And you can also possibly post posters up on local news boards.

Do A Challenge:

A challenge could be a way to just add that extra bit of impact to your crowdfunding efforts that gets those borderline people to donate. It could be that statement that says "I'm completely serious and dedicated to my cause!"

It's also a way to create an extra "story" that will help spread the word better and further about your online donation fundraiser!

People won't just have to talk about your online donation fundraiser, they can talk about the mammoth 5 day cycle you're doing to create exposure, and get sponsorships and donations for your fundraiser!

So What Challenge?

A challenge could be anything from a skydive, to sponsored cycle, to a cross country hike, to 24 hour marathon, to a stilt walk, to a dance marathon, to a gig marathon...

It could be absolutely anything that is a challenge to you, and that will stand out and grab people's attention!

Or you could do something funny like be a human target for pie throwing if you raise your targeted funds.

This is all optional of course!

Finishing The Online Donation Fundraiser:

Crowdfunding through Online Donations is one of the best forms of fundraising for any cause, need, project, or campaign!

But like any fundraiser it will take effort and thought to be successful!

So please do follow all the steps and advice outlined here on these three pages... If you're really serious about your fundraiser or need, you don't want to let yourself down by doing it half-heartedly!

And if you do everything right and don't get donations then maybe it's time to ask yourself, that if it was someone else's fundraiser would you have donated to that cause?!?

But that's maybe something you should consider before you set your fundraiser up!

For more advice on how to run this fundraiser successfully I'd suggest you look at the tips and advice section of the this Blog. There's some great advice there.

And remember to come back and tell your success story once your fundraiser is done at the Fundraising Success Stories page!

Where are you?

› Step 2 - Promoting

› Online Donation Fundraiser

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