Promoting your charity page
Once you've published your page, you'll also need to think about how to promote it to your supporters. Like all other types of fundraising, your supporters need to know what you need money for and how they can help.
The best marketing campaigns use multiple channels (eg. newsletters, social media, email) and the messages are repeated with a similar tagline to remind everyone what you're trying to achieve. Here are a few suggestions to help you maximise your fundraising success.
Hint: Before you start promoting your page... Have you thought about adding some offline donations to the page, so it's not empty for your first visitors?
Create a landing page on your website with information about your appeal. Why are you asking for donations and what difference will they make at your charity?
Your supporters will want to know how they can help, so your page should include a hyperlink or 'Donate here' button, which directs them to your Visufund page.
You could even embed a live preview of your page onto your site, so that your supporters can watch the page fill up with donations without even leaving your website! Read more about embedding pages on your website.
Using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, is one of the easiest and most effective ways to promote your page. Your social media posts should contain intriguing content and a link to your fundraising page so your supporters can easily click through and donate.
In just a few words, you want to convince someone to click through to your page and donate. Try not to make your post too long, as this causes social platforms to limit the display of your text. Don't forget to ask people to share or retweet your post to their friends and followers.
You can set an image to be displayed when your page is shared on social media - this is in 'Page Settings'. It's better not to include any other images in your social media posts, as this will result in the image being displayed rather than the full link summary. The link summary image takes your supporter straight through to your page, rather than just displaying a larger version of the image you have included in your post, so you're more likely to get a better click-through rate this way.
Timing & Frequency
Most people have a daily routine, and that includes what time they check their social media channels. It could be on their morning commute or straight after their favourite programme finishes on TV. If you can schedule your social posts to go out when your supporters are likely to be online, your engagement rates are likely to be better. Test a few posts throughout the day and see what works best for your audience.
We advise trying a few test posts at different times of day to see what works best. It's important to schedule several promotional posts throughout the duration of your fundraising campaign - a lot of your supporters will miss it if you only send out the link once! There are various tools available to help you schedule and automatically post content on your social channels.
Advertising & Boosting
Most social media platforms offer products to help you reach out to more people, such as creating adverts or boosting a post that's performing well. You'll need to decide how much to spend on advertising to ensure the best return on your investment. Make sure you keep an eye on how your advert is performing so you don't end up spending more than necessary.
When creating your page, you can configure certain settings that affect how your page appears when it's shared on social media. This includes:
- Uploading a picture to be displayed when your page is shared (Page Settings)
- Writing a default tweet when the page is shared on Twitter (Advanced Settings)
We'll automatically complete these settings for you, but you can edit them to make them more on-brand if you wish.
Send an email, including a link to your page, to help you to reach your fundraising target. Tell your supporters why you are raising money and how it will help, and ask them for their support. Whether they choose to make a donation or simply forward on your email to someone else who can help, this will help you to get closer to your goal. Important: Make sure you have consent from a supporter before emailing them.
You don't have to keep your marketing online just because you are promoting an online fundraising page. There are lots of offline marketing options available to you that will help to reach a wider audience. For example, you could hand out leaflets at an event containing your web address or write a story to include in a newsletter. If your fundraising appeal might interest the general public, local newspapers may also be able to provide space for a short promotional article.
If you have produced a leaflet or poster, you might like to add a QR Code linking to your Visufund page. This will allow your supporters to scan it with their smartphones and easily navigate to your page, without needing to type a full web address.
You can create a free QR code by entering the URL of your Visufund page into any online generator. If you search on Google for 'QR Code Generator', you will find lots of sites that can provide this service for no cost.
Try something different
The best marketing campaigns really capture the attention of the audience, so don't afraid to be creative and try something new if you think it might resonate with your supporters. You could think about running competitions to ask your supporters to come up with the best tagline for your fundraising appeal or ask a celebrity to endorse and share your campaign.
And finally... always say "Thank You!"
Always thank your supporters who have shared your page, as they are helping you to reach an even wider audience. If someone has shared their donation online to a public audience, make sure you join the conversation and thank them publicly too, so they know how much you appreciate their support. This may also encourage others to support your page.