As part of our Charity Spotlight Week, we were lucky enough to hear from Virgin Money Giving’s Campaign Manager, Carolyn.
“My role at as Campaign manager at Virgin Money Giving is to deliver marketing communications to both charities and fundraisers to help raise as much as possible for the charities we work with.
Having been the official fundraising partner for the Virgin Money London Marathon, we’ve developed our skills and knowledge of what makes a successful fundraiser, and have helped many hit some pretty daunting targets. Given the focus of today’s Charity Spotlight is Marketing, I want to share with you some of the learnings that I’ve gained over the years having delivered many activation campaigns/programmes. Although these tips are aimed at charities, most can also be used by fundraisers when contacting donors.
Tip 1 – Plan your contact strategy
Its important to think through the journey your supporters will be going through during their fundraising, as well as bearing in mind the reasons they may be doing it. Fundraising can be an emotional time for many, so regular contact from their charity will help them to feel supported and give them a real sense of purpose. The three key things for a charity to do is welcome their fundraisers from the start, support them throughout with fundraising tips and inspirational stories, then congratulate them after. Everyone likes to be told they’ve done well and feel like they’ve contributed to a greater good.
Tip 2 – Start talking early
When someone chooses to fundraise, they have made the conscious decision to pick their chosen charity and it’s important right from the off they feel supported throughout their fundraising journey. Helping supporters understand how important their fundraising efforts are is likely to give them a real boost and make them want to raise as much as possible.
Tip 3 – Email marketing
As more and more emails are sent from companies, more and more are being left unread, but when you receive an email that’s relevant to you and serves a strong purpose, you are likely to read it and take it in.
The best time to send emails to donors or fundraisers is evenings and weekends, as most people give their personal email address. Subject lines should be short and to the point, as this is what will determine whether an email is read or not; a maximum of 50 characters is the ideal. When sending emails, try to make sure they are mobile optimised; we have found the majority of our emails are viewed on a tablet or mobile device.
Remember, a large amount of content doesn’t always make your email look better. If there’s a clear message or action you would like the recipient to take, then just stick with that. Another tip is to re-send the email with a different subject line to those who don’t open it first time around. We’ve found this can increase open rates by more than 10%!
Tip 4 – Help your fundraisers improve their pages
Fundraising can often be a hard task for people, especially given how often people are asked for donations these days. We’ve discovered a handful of things that fundraisers can do once they’ve set up their Virgin Money Giving Page which can really help drive the fundraising up. These are:
- Set a target; people who do raise a lot more than those that don’t
- Personalise your fundraising page with a story and photo
- Share your link on social media
- Try to ask people for donations around payday
- Explain to donors how the money raised will be spent
Tip 5 – Spread the word using social media
Social Media can be a cheap and effective way of getting your charity work out to a larger audience, as well as bringing people together. Sharing fundraiser stories, talking about up and coming events as well showcasing how the money raised is being put to good work are all great stories to tell on Social Media.
It’s also a great way to keep up to date with what we at Virgin Money Giving are doing to support charities and fundraisers; we often run incentives, competitions and promotions to help drive interest and will always talk about them on Facebook and Twitter.
If you would like more tips and advice, I would recommend booking onto the free Marketing, Social Media & PR training webinar as well as browsing our website and our blog which are full of tips and tools for charities and fundraisers alike.”