Top Ways to Promote a Fundraising Campaign


Top Ways to Promote a Fundraising Campaign

When it comes to promoting fundraising campaigns, the options are infinite. Figure out what’s right for your organization with these foolproof strategies!


Types of Fundraising Campaigns

What type of fundraising campaign are you planning? Here are some of the most common:


  • Facebook Fundraiser

  • Virtual Auction

  • Online or In-Person Auction or Gala

  • Golf Outing

  • Telethon

  • Raffle

  • Livestream

  • Direct Mail Appeal

  • Giving Tuesday

  • Year-End Appeal


The type of fundraising campaign you select will anchor which places will be the most effective to promote it. Take, for example, a golf outing versus a Giving Tuesday campaign.


Golf outings tend to happen in the springtime, whereas Giving Tuesday happens the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving.


Golf outings are in-person events, whereas Giving Tuesday is a digital event.


Golf outings are half-day events, whereas Giving Tuesday is a 24-hour event.


Golf outings need sponsorship, whereas Giving Tuesday campaigns don’t.


These factors, and more, are why golf outings focus on more traditional forms of promotion (direct mail, email, phone), and Giving Tuesday campaigns focus on digital forms of advertising (text, social media, Livestream).


So, start by asking yourself: Where is our campaign occurring (online or in-person), and where are people most receptive to promotion for this type of event?


Longevity of Fundraising Campaigns

Next, consider the length of your fundraising campaign.


Is it…

  • A couple of hours? (e.g., gala)

  • A day? (e.g., telethon)

  • A week? (e.g., crowdfunding)

  • A month? (e.g., year-end appeal)


As a general rule of thumb, the longer the fundraising campaign, the more promotion types you will need.


Year-end appeals are a great example! Multiple touchpoints go a long way to help supporters remember to give during the most wonderful (and busy!) time of year. Many year-end appeals kick-off with a direct mail letter, once-a-week emails, a couple of text messages, several social media posts, and major donors phone call the last few days of the calendar year.


The build-up for shorter events should include at least 2-3 different types of donor touchpoints. For galas, for example, supporters might receive a save-the-date in the mail, a follow-up email, and see a few social media posts.


Repetition is key! Promotion for fundraising events should start 3-months in advance so that you can capture the attention early on. Studies have shown that people need to see a message at least seven times before it even sinks in.


Target Audience’s Communication Preference

Finally, remember who your campaign’s target audience is. If you’re thinking your target audience is “all of our donors,” you may need to spend some time narrowing in.


Think back to the type of fundraiser you’re hosting. The majority of fundraisers are for specific segments within your donor base. Even when fundraisers are relevant to your entire supporter base, like year-end, you still need to segment different types of promotions for each giving group.


Consider the generational gap in giving when promoting your next event:

  • Gen Zers: Prefers text messaging and social media; more concerned with connection than mass communication; mobile giving.

  • Millennials: Prefers email and social media; concerned with the communication experience and making a difference; Text-to-Give.

  • Gen Xers: Prefers a combination of physical and digital promotion; values immediate results and impact of their donations; option of online and in-person giving.

  • Baby Boomers: Prefers direct mail; 49% want to know about a nonprofit’s finances before giving; safe and secure online giving page.

  • Matures: Prefers direct mail or phone; concerned with trust and loyalty; mailing a check.

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