With the advent of peer-to-peer fundraising, more charities are implementing micro-campaigns as an essential part of their fundraising strategy. A micro-campaign is any program conducted by an individual, over a short period of time, targeting a relatively small fundraising goal. As organizations realize the advantages peer-to-peer fundraising has over traditional charity-to-donor appeals, micro-campaigns are beginning to form an integral part of the “isosceles donor triangle.” Considering the nuances of this type of fundraising, there are three key elements to making sure your micro-campaign is as successful as it can possibly be.
Make it personal.
Micro-fundraising has one primary advantage over regular fundraising: you begin your campaign with existing relationships, to varying extents, with every donor. Whether or not they are passionate about contributing to a cause or an event, your donors are likely to have at least a passing interest in contributing to you. Therefore, a micro-campaign should begin and end with your story. Why do you care about this cause? What has been your experience with the organization you’re fundraising for? How has your participation in this organization or this campaign affected you? What are you going through to train for the race, compete in the dance-a-thon, or participate in the protest? A micro-campaign hinges on your relationships – you are the biggest draw for your donors at the outset, so make it personal.
Make it high-tech.
Perhaps as important as what you say, is how you say it… not to mention where and when! The Internet can be your best asset when it comes to engaging your donors. Peer-to-peer fundraising tools streamline your donation and appeal process, and using any of the wide variety of social media platforms can help make the appeal stronger, timelier, or more accessible. You can expand the reach and portability of your campaign by using an application on Facebook, posting notes, inviting friends to attend your event and keeping them updated on your progress through status updates. For more detailed progress reporting, you can keep a blog and allow donors to subscribe via RSS. An indirect but important way that social media can help your campaign is by connecting you with other micro-fundraisers and cause leaders to share inspiration, motivation, tools and tips for meeting your goals.
Make it matter.
By running a micro-campaign, you have the unique opportunity to cultivate not only donors, but fellow cause champions. Use your appeals to educate friends and family about the cause or the organization you’re supporting. When doing this online, you equip them with the resources they need to engage as deeply as you have. While the primary purpose of a micro-campaign is to generate funds, one of the largest influences you can have on your cause is to generate the type of passion that spurs others into action, allowing your micro-campaign to multiply organically and at no further cost to you. One evangelist is worth much more than one donation.
Though micro-fundraising takes place on a small scale, the difference between a good micro-campaign and a great one can become exponential when applied across a dedicated base of cause champions. Fundraisers need to recognize the tools at their disposal and work to make their communication with donors as personal as possible. Organizations should always be on the lookout for ways to give their volunteers technology that will increase the reach and convenience of their fundraising efforts. Ultimately, fundraisers should strive to create fellow fundraisers in parallel to creating donors. When participants craft their appeals with these principles in mind, micro-campaigns can have enormous impact on a nonprofit’s total fundraising strategy.