If you are in the beginning stages of a campaign election, you might be wondering: how do we raise money to fund our campaign? There are many ways to gain fundraising. After all, it is needed. The 2020 elections spent nearly 8.5 billion dollars across various advertising platforms like TV and social media. Where do you think all that money came from? This is why having a top of the line fundraising campaign is key to your election success.
Below you will find some fundraising strategies that are straight from the pros fundraising playbook.
Have a Website and Donation Page That WOWS
How are you going to collect donations? The best campaigns have websites and donation pages that speak for themselves. Nobody wants to visit a website that looks unprofessional, unorganized, or clunky. Hiring a professional to create your website is the best thing that you can do. It does not have to be a million dollar website, sometimes less is more, but it should provide a seamless user experience.
It should look custom. You do not want a “copy and paste” website. That is, one that looks like the rest, lacks thought, or creativity. It should include your campaign logo, colors that correspond to your campaign colors, and a touch of personalization so people know exactly what candidate’s webpage they are on
It should be functional. Assuming your donation page is somewhere linked on your website, is it easily accessible? And does it work? Not only does it work, but does it load properly and without delay? Remember, if a web page takes more than just a few seconds to load, the chances of the visitor exiting your webpage significantly increases. To go with functionality, your website and donation pages should be mobile friendly. This way, wherever voters are accessing their page, they are free to navigate it as they please, without things being cut off or not loading properly. Lastly, make sure that your methods of accepting payments are seamless. If people are having issues submitting donations on your donation page, chances are they are going to give up and you are going to lose out on donations.
Is your donation page easily shareable? The best donation pages have links attached to them that say “share to” with options to click like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, etc. This way, if people want to share your website, they can do so with just a click of a button. Social media is incredibly powerful, and with each share, your donation page can be exposed to tons of other potential voters. Not to mention, social media is extremely influential. If some celebrity or nowadays TikTok star reposts your campaign, other people will flock to your page just because their favorite person shared it.
Adjust Your Approach
Are you getting the results that you want? Asking people for money and donations is not always an easy thing. People want to donate their hard earned money to something that matters, something that makes a difference. If you are putting out advertisements via various platforms but you are not meeting your goals, then maybe it is time to rethink your approach.
The pros utilize intense digital marketing strategies in their campaign’s advertisements, and this is how they get the funding needed for their election. It would benefit your campaign to have a small digital marketing team at the least. This way, you can successfully create ADs requesting donations on various platforms and utilize A/B testing to find which ADs do better.
One A/B advertising campaign showed that a red button outperformed a green button by 21%. What are some other things you can change up in your advertisements and donation requesting approaches?
- The headlines
- The keywords or copy you use
- Your CTAs
- The image you use
- The audio that plays
- The video, in terms of length, editing, etc.
- If it is an email, then the subject of the email can be switched up
- Length of the overall content, 150 characters versus 300 characters for example
These are all things that you can play around with on your website, social media platforms, SMS, email, and more. Find what the people like, and go with it! This is how you will maximize your fundraising efforts.
Make It Fun
People love a good old fashioned competition. Make donating fun by hosting events, having an online donation leaderboard that shows the highest contributors, or a fundraising meter that shows how much of your fundraising goal you have made so far. It also helps to break things down for voters. For example, say your Instagram has 10,000 followers, and your goal was to raise $250,000. You could advertise that if each of your followers donated just $25, that you could easily reach your goal. This seems attainable, right? It seems realistic and not too scary, for both you and your voters. Now, when you say: “Help us by donating so we can reach our goal of $250,000,” that seems a lot more intense and unrealistic. People might start to think, wow that goal is so high, my little contribution will not make a difference. This is how donations work though, you have to start small in order to see big results.
Hosting local events is also a great way to get people excited about donating. Especially as COVID-19 restrictions lift, hosting events is becoming more and more plausible. These local events can even turn into fundraising events. Perhaps you host a dinner where everyone has to buy a plate and entry ticket for $100. Events like this allow your supporters to pay for something that they are going to enjoy while also feeling good because they donated to something important.
Lastly, on your website and social media pages be sure to update your contributors with your fundraising progress. This is super fun and gets people excited, you can make posts saying: “We are halfway to our goal!” Those who make large donations you can even give shout outs to, thank you’s and include their name on your donation page for their large contribution.
SMS donations are a great way to reach voters directly. They can help you reach out to voters directly, and with RoboCent you can utilize peer to peer texting to encourage donations even further. With our SMS marketing platform, you can:
- Send links to your donation page.
- Send thank you texts to those who have donated AND send thank you texts to those who have previously donated, encouraging them to donate again.
- Send links to your social media pages, asking them to share the donation link with their friends and family.
- Use SMS to follow up with those who said that they might donate at a later time.
The possibilities are endless. In some cases, SMS is even better than traditional advertising or social media. With these forms of advertising, you are in a sense just hoping that people see your AD, but with SMS you are getting directly to the source.
Small donations do add up, yes, but big donations are where it is at. Many sales representatives use top-down selling. Which might look like this: can you donate $100? No? Ok can you donate $75? How about $50? $25?” The idea is not to sell yourself short. You never know when people might be willing to donate more, and if you do not start big then you might never get those big donations.
Finding donors is an even better way to score those larger donations. Donors can be:
- Local or small businesses and organizations
- Past elected officials from your same party or desired role in office
The key here is to seek out big donors who not only have the funds to back you but who also support you and have viewpoints that align with yours. This means you care about similar issues, and if you are elected you will be able to address and contribute change to these key issues. You might share an interest in similar organizations or even be a part of similar groups and committees. It also would be beneficial to know if they have been generous donors in the past to other organizations or elected officials.
Let the Fundraising Begin
There are many ways that your campaign can get the funds it needs. The pros do it and now so can you. However, it is always important to know the legalities of fundraising and accepting donations. For federal candidates, donations over $200 must be disclosed to the proper entity. Depending on the role that you are running for, there could be rules and regulations to your fundraising as well.
RoboCent is here to help with your fundraising strategies and goals. By utilizing the above strategies and our SMS campaign, you will have the means to fund your election in no time at all. Remember, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.” —Robert Collier