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Although there are several times during the year that are better for requesting donations at your independent school, there are dozens of ways to ask for them. From newsletters to flyers, use your imagination and creativity to reach your community.
Although some of the more well known campaigns are the result of large, well known nonprofits, there is no reason you can’t emulate their strategy and be successful. Below are some creative ideas for requesting donations:
Newsletters, landing pages, placement on your homepage, letters, and even bake sales are all common ways for schools to raise money. While each of these are helpful, perhaps even essential to raising money, there are many ways to either incorporate these into a larger campaign or find more creative solutions.
In a campaign created for North Kingdom, a nonprofit seeking to eradicate poverty from Africa, they focused on educating people through an interactive website. Although many focus on evoking a sad emotion, this campaign was fun and engaging. A donor would initially drag a coin into a virtual machine, and see all of the things the donation affected. Then users are prompted to use real currency, and view other areas where their money will actually go in a similar interactive format. Although the budget was probably extensive for this campaign, it shows how effective interactive and educational elements can be when combined.
Between Indiegogo, donorschoose, and kickstarter, there are plenty of resources available to help you create a crowdfunded campaign to request donations. Rather than being added to your general fund, these campaigns are most effective when you set a specific target for the money being raised. Donorschoose is best used by teachers seeking to create field trips, get class supplies and technology, and other resources; and Indiegogo and Kickstarter can be used for larger fundraising activities.
Each of these have one common element though, a compelling story. When you look into these options, make sure you have a completing story to go along with it. In fact, for almost every campaign you create, this is an ideal practice.
What happens when you create a tool or find a solution that your entire school can use to raise funds for projects? If the Salvation Army’s approach is any inclination, it will be a huge hit. Rather than a single location to donate, they developed a mobile app and later a Web version that volunteer groups can use to raise money in their community. Their initial release was so successful that they advanced their goal from $2 million to $3 million the following year.
Although your campaigns should include social media, there are some campaigns and activities that can be produced directly through the communication tools.
Pinterest can be used to show progress boards. As you receive donations towards a project, you can show what items the school will then be able to provide students, construction updates that were made possible by donors, or simply highlight things that inspire people to give.
Twitter chats are also a great way to create awareness. With a little planning and notice, your community can join in on the conversation, hear from your educators, and explain where community contributions will go. In general, Twitter is a great way to spread news, and even find sponsors for your auctions as well.
Facebook is particularly good when it comes to sharing visual elements. If you have a video or series of images that highlight what you are raising money for, it’s easy for your community to share it with others and become engaged. You can also run a content to give away student art or other sponsored items, based on donations in a given period.
Overall social media is fantastic for spreading the word about and increase awareness.
Although one time donations are certainly common, recurring donations are becoming popular. If you have the right tools in place, especially for online giving, your school could be receiving regular donations from your community. To learn more about how you can start with recurring donations, speak with one of our team members today!