Free Ways to Promote Your Fundraiser
Six Ideas to Help Get the Word Out That Will Lead to Fundraising Success
The more people who hear about your fundraiser, the greater the opportunity to garner support, and reach your goals! Learn how to take advantage of these free ways to promote you fundraiser.
Post Date: Nov 19 2019
A successful outcome for your fundraising campaign comes down to a fairly simple equation. You need to maximize profits from supporters, while keeping your group fundraising costs as low as possible.
What is the not-so-secret path to stellar results? It is effective, low-cost promotion of your fundraiser!
Sometimes, any expenditure feels like you might be robbing from your final result. So you may be tempted to go as far as skipping out on marketing for your fundraiser. But the great news is: you don't have to! Actually, there are quite a few ways to spread the word — at zero cost!
1. Your Organization’s Own Website
This may seem obvious, but if your organization already has its own website — you will definitely want to use it to promote your fundraiser. Place a catchy announcement in a prominent spot on your homepage. Or direct visitors to a separate page with all of your fundraiser details. Or do both! Make it as easy as possible for viewers to find information about your fundraising drive and ways to support your cause. You could also ask website visitors to provide their email address, and help you to build up your potential-supporter list. (More on that below....)
And don’t forget to use your organization’s website to create a clear path to your fundraising partners. For example, your organization’s website should provide a link to your free Terri Lynn Webstore and promote products for sale that support your cause. Proceeds from the sale of Terri Lynn product purchases will come back to your organization in a check each month all year long.
For example, see how the Magic of Manatee, a women's A Cappella chorus, included a link to their fundraiser on their group's home page.
2. Email Marketing
Promoting your fundraiser through email marketing is a proven selling technique that delivers great results. It’s a successful strategy to help get the word out about your fundraiser both in and outside your local community — emails can cultivate support for your cause, motivate potential supporters to contribute, and turn current supporters into repeat contributors, or even future members of your organization. .
The trick to effective email marketing is to keep your organization’s emails exciting, and interesting to read. You want to inspire supporters in order to reach your profit goals. Use your email newsletter to tell heart-warming stories about the difference your organization is making in your community. Share your big wins, and celebrate your successes over email. And use them to give recognition to your volunteers too.
Want help to make your email marketing happen? If you don’t have a team of volunteers to send out emails, there are services who will do it for you. MailChimp is a leader in the category, and they offer free accounts to groups with 2,000 or fewer contacts. (If your email contact list grows bigger than 2K, they also offer a discount to nonprofits.)
3. Press Releases
When your fundraising campaign IS news, you have the opportunity to spread the word without spending on advertising. Here are a few ways to get free press coverage:
Near the beginning of your fundraising campaign, reach out to local radio stations. Tell them about your cause and the impact it will have on their listeners. Offer to have someone from your organization do an interview about your cause and the fundraiser. Craft the story (or use a free press release template) and you'll be helping the radio station with their primary need: good content!
Newspapers and Blogs
Similar to radio, submit a press release to your local newspapers, community bloggers, or other related specialty publications. Give their writers all the information about your fundraiser and volunteer an interview if they want more scoop.
Use a free press release template or write your own, using these tips.
For example, see how the TCGHS got the word out about their fundraiser on a news outlet here and on their own website here.
Many communities have a local cable tv station. Contact your local station to offer to have someone from your organization do a tv spot on your group’s fundraiser. If you send them a press release, make someone from your group available for the “show.”
For all of these free press strategies, give the editors and writers everything they need: complete details, a newsworthy angle, and other information that makes your fundraising campaign a good human interest story. Help them, and they will most definitely help you.
4. Google Ads
Everyone has heard of the Google search engine, right? And you’ve probably seen some Google advertising near the top of Google searches you’ve done. This advertising is not free. It costs the company promoting the product money to appear at the top of the search results - quite a bit of money, as a matter of fact. But did you know that there are grants available for Google ads? If your group is a nonprofit organization, you could be eligible for one of these grants for free Google advertising. Nice to know, right?
The Google Ad Grant Program allows nonprofit groups to create ads that appear in the Sponsored section of related keyword searches near the top of the page—at no cost to the group. You can use that free ad to promote your fundraiser. Interested supporters who click the ad will be directed to visit your organization’s website and learn about your cause and your fundraiser.
It’s a terrific way to reach new supporters that have not yet heard about your cause. Full details, including eligibility, for this program are on the Google Ad Grant website.
5. Social Media
The “Big Four” social media platforms are also natural places to promote your fundraiser. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram — they’re called SOCIAL for a reason! These platforms are an easy way to stay in touch, have conversations, and promote your cause — and you'll be able to reach lots of people, all over the country and the world.
Each of these social media platforms is free for your group to use, and they all have simple set-ups to make promoting your organization and fundraiser easy. Once your account and each social media page is created, you can begin to drive traffic to your organization’s website (as well as your group’s free Terri Lynn Webstore).
One more handy thing about using social media: it’s another way to try to obtain your supporter’s email addresses. Even if your posts don’t immediately generate a donation or a sale, you may be able to get an email address. Then you can email these followers and turn them into supporters of your cause. See “Email Marketing” above!
6. Local Events
Many communities have City Calendars. Your group can contact your local city or village, and neighboring cities too, to list your fundraiser in those calendars. The community calendar is also a terrific place to find other local events where your organization can have a presence. Local festivals, sporting events, club meetings, and other similar events can be good venues to promote your group’s fundraiser.
For example, see how New Horizons United Methodist Women promoted their fundraiser in the Herald Bulletin.
Promote, promote, promote! And whenever you can, do it for free.
Because the more people that hear about your fundraiser, the greater the opportunity to garner support, and reach your goals!
Terri Lynn Fundraising has been working with clubs, schools and organizations nationwide to fundraise for over 80 years and we can help your group, too! We have three fast and easy fundraising programs—including a free Webstore—for your group to raise money quickly. To email us or ask questions about how programs can work for you, please go to our Contact page. Or to speak with one of our Dedicated Fundraising Group Experts, call 1-800-323-0775 or email us at email@example.com.