Let’s face it. Fund raising is not the most exciting thing on the planet. It’s about as exciting as plucking your nose hairs or waiting at the DMV.
If you’re running a pet rescue organization, the LAST thing on your mind is fundraising.
Sure, what you’re doing is very commendable, yet like any person running an organization, for- or non-profit, you can’t ignore the bottom line. Because, well, money does make the world go round.
Ok, you might’ve heard that doing online fundraising is great… but where do you start? What do you do? Carpet bomb your existing members with spam mail asking for donations?
Even if the emails DO get delivered and people don’t click on “Spam”, what are the odds that people will give you money, say through paypal?
Unless your organization is REALLY well known AND you keep in touch with your fans and subscribers, AND you’re really good at copywriting, the odds are very low.
On top of that, people are constantly bombarded with spam, people trying to sell them stuff, and donation requests.
In another words, your message will drown in a sea of chatter. But don’t lose hope just yet!
Remember, key to any fundraising is really emotions. You’re selling something: an idea that people should give you money so you can help more pets in need. They’re buying something: that giving you their money will give them a sense of satisfaction.
In another words, if you can tap into their emotion, that raw human emotion, that connection between man/woman and dog/cat, you are above the game. In another words, emotion sells. And that’s why selling online will NEVER be “better” than selling offline.
So what’s the best way to sell? IN PERSON. That’s right. The best way to raise money “online” is to bring people “offline” into your physical world of fundraising event.
(Yes, you actually have to do some REAL WORK and create an event. *gasp*.)
But why an event?
Because psychologically speaking, something that has
1) an upcoming event that has a finite end
2) a limited quantity
will cause a sense of scarcity. Of course, if people perceive scarcity, they want it MORE. Their “greed” kicks in:
So you a one day fundraising event where you bring people in, maybe even give them some free food + drinks, and perhaps even let them schmooze with the people and animals from your organization. (Remember, emotions? Can’t really drive emotions when people are staring at their computer screens.)
But you still need to bring people in, right? So the question remains: “how do I get people, lots of people, to show up?”
Excellent question, Sherlock Holmes.
Where do you know, on internet, where lots of people just “hang out” on daily basis? Yes, correct-o-mundo. Facebook!
Here’s how to create an event, step by step:
Part 1: Create the event
1. Login to your Facebook. (Give yourself a pat on the back)
2. Click on “Events” on your left hand side
3. Click on “Create Event” on top middle
At this point you should see something like this:
For event photo, use a picture of a closeup of a really CUTE puppy or kitten. Why? People on internet love clicking on puppies and kitties. I’d say even use funny dog or cat images.
Make sure “Anyone can view and RSVP” is checked off!
For “Show the guest list on the event page”, it’s a total judgement call whether or not you want to show it. This works really well if you have a lot of people who RSVP “yes” because it gives social proof that this event is really worth it.
However, if you have 95% of the people RSVPing “no”, it might backfire. Who wants to eat at an empty restaurant, right? You want to go to a restaurant with LOTS of people in it. Why? Because, we innately “follow the crowd”.
So you have to use your discretion on whether or not you want show this.
Give you event plenty of time, but not TOO much that people forget. There is no “rule” for this but larger the expected turnout, the more time you should give. And as far as when, I would personally target Thurssday night or weekend afternoon when people are most seeking events to go to, and do not have other social or work obligations.
One thing to note is that you should “push” the event marketing harder towards the end. Why? You’ll notice 60-90% of the “yes” RSVPs come towards the end. People sitting on the “maybe” line will eventually shift when the “critical mass” RSVPs “yes”.