Even the best, most successful crowdfunding campaigns can benefit from a well-timed boost–so, if you’re feeling like your crowdfunding campaign has wilted, it’s definitely time to energize your fundraising plan by remembering and engaging in some basic fundraising principles! Knowing that a failure to connect with donors can feel like a major setback when you’re trying to fund the meaningful travel experience of your dreams, remember that even if you’re feeling discouraged, the best thing you can do is shake it off, take a step back, and make a few changes that will help you get a fresh start on the final push of your fundraising campaign!
So where should you start? Well, as with any campaign or fundraising project, the key to keeping interest (and donations) high is reaching your donors and supporters with messaging that sparks their interest and makes them want to commit. Your ability to connect the people you’re hoping will help you to the importance and worthiness of your cause takes equal parts thoughtfulness, strategy, media savvy, and finesse. So, if your fundraising campaign seems like it’s dying, there are some easy ways to get more participants to your fundraiser and bring it back to life:
How to energize your fundraising plan
1. Check your messaging for passion, connection, and authenticity.
Fundraising is a lot like marketing. You want to make sure you have the kind of copy and content that feels authentic, sincere, and fresh, rather than scripted. Are you sharing your excitement for the opportunity with your audience? Are you smiling in your video? Do you make it clear how important this opportunity is for you–and do you highlight the good things you will do during and after your travels? If not, then it’s time for some quick edits!
And, while you’re at it, check to make sure that you’re avoiding clichés (things like “life-changing experience” or “every little bit helps”) and opting instead for passionate messaging that is all about you–and what this unique opportunity will do in real (rather than generic) terms. Think about the last time you were moved to sponsor, purchase, or donate. What made you open your wallet? Are you giving your potential supporters that same opportunity to connect? When it comes to how to fundraise for a cause, the cause is often perceived as being only as real and vibrant as its spokesperson. Look at your campaign as your audience would–and make sure you’re using the messaging to get more participants to your fundraiser by connecting in sincere and meaningful ways.
2. Reach your audience where they live, work, and play.
Did you share your campaign once in an email, once on Facebook, and then set it and forget it? Or, did you take advantage of the incredible opportunities to connect with donors where they live, work, and play? If you want to energize peer-to-peer fundraising, you can hardly find a better way than to include the campaign link in your IG bio and post images of you doing things IRL that will help your audience see how this travel adventure is worth funding!
Did you share the link on your LinkedIn profile along with some information about how this opportunity will advance you professional development? If so, great! Do it again–and be sure to include your final push fundraising letter. And if not, get on that!
You might end up getting donations from people who don’t even know you personally, just because they had a travel abroad experience that impacted them. And don’t forget the blogs, newsletters, and emails that you read, follow, and send or receive. This is the time to energize your fundraising plan by reminding your friends, family, fans, and followers that you’ve got an amazing opportunity ahead of you–and need their help to make it happen!
3. Think outside the box about potential donors and contributors.
When you shared your campaign, you most likely focused on the people you knew and the communities you were part of–but as outlined in tip #2 (reaching people where they live, work, and play), you could benefit from being bold and doing outreach in communities that you don’t necessarily have a super strong, immediate, or direct connection to.
Think about second and third level contacts and relationships, for a start. Let’s say you enjoy playing volleyball on the weekends with a group of friends. Ask your teammates to share the campaign link–but also ask the members of the organizing group or gym you play in to see if you could share it with the larger group or friends of friends. In other words, leverage the relationships you have to try to forge new relationships.
And, as you consider others you might interact with during the course of your week (your favorite coffee shop, your place of worship, even your favorite veggie stand)—make sure you take the extra step to connect with someone at each of those places, asking the people you know to help you get the word out to people they know. This kind of networking will help you energize peer-to-peer fundraising by making use of the organizations, relationships, and activities you’re already connected to in the course of your life.
4. Connect to mentors, teachers, and those who’ve helped along the way.
The people you know who have helped you, guided, you, and supported your success along the way (everyone from your scout leaders, teachers, and coaches, to your advisors, professional mentors, and bosses) are likely going to be among those you can count on to help you energize your fundraising plan. If you reach out to them and let them know that you’re looking for their support about how to fundraise for a cause, they will be inclined to provide you with direct support, offer some ideas about other people you might speak to, or even share your campaign with others in their own networks.
When you’re speaking to people who have helped you, you’re best bet is to make a connection between what you learned from them, and how you want to learn more through your experience so that you can share that information with others. Go the extra mile and send them your final push fundraising letter before you reach out to them, giving them time to prepare for the conversation, and anticipate your ask. And remember, people in these roles are used to getting requests for recommendations, support, and advice all the time, so you can be direct in your request, as long as you remember to treat the conversation with professionalism.
5. Get back to basics and make the most of the time you’ve got.
While you might think of even more ways to revitalize your crowdfunding campaign than the ones outlined here, whatever you do, make sure you remember to get back to basics and make good use of the incredible resources found in the FundMyTravel Fundraising Toolkit! The basic fundraising principles that you used to make your initial campaign are the same ones you’re going to want to revisit as you make the final push of your fundraising campaign. And don’t forget the creative, fun, and playful opportunities for incentives listed in the toolkit.
The “Dress Yourself According to the Decade that Best Matches Your Donation Totals” is a great example of just that kind of fun! Basic doesn’t need to mean boring–so when you’re thinking about how to fundraise for a cause while still having fun, refer to those suggestions offered by other seasoned travelers–and be sure to make note of any of your own.
Rock the final push of your fundraising campaign!
Ultimately, whatever you do to make the most of the final push of your fundraising campaign, you’re going to pick up at least some of the energy and steam you need to power through to the end, as long as you make some kind of committed effort. But if you really want to finish strong, now is the time to pull out all the stops and have fun with your appeal! Do what you need to do in order to dig deep as you share your goals (and that final push fundraising letter!) with anyone and everyone you think might help provide value. The impact of your actions will go far beyond the opportunity you have to connect to your goal and have a meaningful travel experience–because when you work to get more participants to your fundraiser, you’re ultimately gaining more participants in your adventure!
The basic fundraising principles outlined here are the kind that will serve you well in your campaign revitalization–but they will also serve you well as you embark on your journey! The mindset of someone who advocates for their own opportunities is the mindset of someone interested in providing increased value as they travel to their destination. For you, this means you can count on developing an even more thoughtful preparedness as you prepare to pursue your goals in your specific travel abroad program.
The tools you use to create your video, develop your content, grow your audience, and share your message will also help you by giving you practice in cataloging your trip. And the skills you gain by working on the campaign–but also on the activities required to energize peer-to-peer fundraising–will only add valuable bullet points to your professional development portfolio. No matter how you look at this next step toward your adventures abroad, when you throw your energy behind the final push of your fundraising campaign, you’re going to gain more than just financial contributions–and while the goal is to gain those necessary funds, you will be even better prepared for whatever adventure lies ahead!
This article was written by Andi Sciacca. Andi is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and their four-legged family. She works with inspired professionals who are expert practitioners, experienced educators, and well-known contributors to their field. Andi helps them take ideas and put them into practice. When not working, or writing, she loves to experience music, see the world, and learn new things. Andi’s favorite places to travel include anywhere she can eat good food – and swim.