Each November, our friends at Emmaus House, a nonprofit that fosters youth development and promotes economic self-sufficiency among its neighbors in the Peoplestown neighborhood of Atlanta, sponsor a Thanksgiving at Home program to provide turkeys and groceries to families in the community, so they can prepare and enjoy Thanksgiving in their own home.
Turkeys, of course, aren’t cheap so Emmaus House relies on the goodwill of others to help purchase turkeys for the families in Peoplestown.
In recent years Emmaus House has launched online fundraising campaigns through Indiegogo to raise money to purchase turkeys, and again this past November, they quickly surpassed their goal of $3,500 and were able to provide turkeys to over 350 families!
With the rise of crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo, Kickstarter and GoFundMe, raising money online has never been easier. By taking your fundraising online you can quickly reach donors near and far, and thanks to social media your campaign will have the opportunity to resonate among an even wider base of potential donors.
There are a few tips and tricks you should consider before launching an online fundraising campaign. Here are a few we think are most important:
1. Incorporate visuals.
You’ve heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” When it comes to online fundraising, a picture may be worth a $1,000.
Photos and videos are going to be one of the most important elements of your fundraising campaign. With strong photos and an engaging video, you’ll connect (see tip #2) with donors in a way words can’t. And quality is important — blurry cell phone photos won’t cut it. If you have a budget to hire a professional photographer or videographer, it’s a good investment. Once your campaign is over the photos can be repurposed and used on your website, newsletters and social media.
2. Tell a story.
Connecting with donors is critical for a successful online fundraiser, and one sure-fire way to connect by telling a story.
For their campaign Emmaus House used a video to share the story of their Thanksgiving at Home program and how contributions to their campaign would help families in Peoplestown. It was short — less than two minutes — and it clearly relayed their objective to viewers.
Additionally, further down on their campaign page, Emmaus House gave a brief overview of the neighborhood they serve; how it’s located in a food desert; and the implications living in food desert can have on families especially during the holidays.
3. Update donors.
Throughout their online fundraising campaign Emmaus House updated donors and thanked them for their contributions. When they reached 30 percent of their goal after just two days they explained how those contributions would feed 113 families and they continued the updates until they surpassed their goal.
In one month Emmaus House raised 108 percent of their goal with 75 individual online contributions, 58 first time donors — all by incorporating visuals, telling a story and updating donors on their progress. We can’t wait to see how much they raise next year for this awesome cause!