Category: Campaign Best Practices (page 1 of 2)

How to Ask for Donations Over the Phone + 3 Easy Scripts

We are huge fans of fundraising in the digital age. You can get your mission out there, en masse, in a matter of seconds, by setting up a FundMyTravel page, sending an email, or posting on social media. When bringing in moolah is the goal, there’s nothing better than reaching as many people as possible with the least possible effort (life’s busy enough, you know?). Still… there’s something to be said for a good old fashioned phone call.

rotary phone next to sofa

We said old fashioned, not ancient. Make sure your phone script asking for donations is fresher than this!

Asking for donations over the phone can sound intimidating, but in all reality, it’s one of the best ways to know you’re being heard. That one-on-one time with someone gives you room to explain all your key points, and it gives that person the opportunity to ask questions that they might skim over by only seeing your post online.

We get it — most of us swapped phone calls for texting about 10 years ago, making fundraising phone calls feel even more awkward, unnatural, or nerve-wracking. Snagging that donation through an interpersonal connection can be huge, though, so we’ve compiled some tips and tricks on how to ask for donations over the phone.

5 tips for asking for donations over the phone

1. Have a clear mission

This is big in fundraising no matter what, but especially when asking for donations over the phone. You don’t want to be that person asking for money with no clear explanation as to why. 

Don’t start your fundraising journey by having a vague idea of studying in Argentina over the summer; however, do start your fundraising journey by choosing a city, a program, and budgeting costs. It’s important for contributors to feel that they’re giving to something important, so don’t lose their funding by going in unprepared!

The more evidence you can give for how beneficial their funding would be, the more convincing you are. Plus, it’ll make for a smoother, more enjoyable phone chat for both of you.  

2. Know your audience

Fundraising phone calls do not (we repeat: do NOT) have to be awkward. They can sometimes even be fun! Are you reconnecting with a family member or friend? Maybe you’re reaching out to a previous teacher or employer. They’d probably love to hear how you’re doing, what you’ve been up to, and how much their support would mean to you.

Maybe you’re calling up some of your parents’ friends, or your friends’ parents. Ask how they are! Tell them how your parents are doing, ask how their kids are. The point is, be personable. Nobody wants to answer the phone only to feel like they’re being solicited. Show your personality, and let them know that you put consideration into choosing to reach out to them directly.

[Related: How to Ask People to Donate Money—The Nice Way]

3. Think through questions ahead of time

person holding coffee cup and cell phone

No judgement if you need to caffeinate before fundraising phone calls.

This can be one of the most frightening parts of talking on the phone, no matter what the conversation is about. Whether you’re interviewing for a job, talking to your student loan provider, checking in for a doctor’s appointment — being asked questions over the phone that you’re unprepared for can be flat-out uncomfortable.

Don’t get stuck in a situation where someone’s interested in your mission and you can’t fill in all their questions. Think about what you would ask a fundraiser over the phone, and prepare those answers. What will you be doing? For how long? With whom? Why? Is it safe? These questions can sound a bit grueling, but trust us, it’ll be worth it to avoid the awkward phone silence.

4. Practice never hurt nobody 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing down, word for word, what you plan to say. There is absolutely nothing wrong with standing in front of your mirror and rehearsing that fundraising phone call script, for hours if you need to!

Practice with your mom or a friend, if that’ll help make your tone more fluid. Whatever it takes to get you feeling comfortable is exactly what it takes to make the most of your conversation and do the best you can by your campaign. 

5. Be confident

Here’s the thing — anyone can be a successful salesperson. As long as they’re confident in what they’re selling, others are going to be confident about getting on board. Each of these steps certainly matter; plan to know your information before you put it out there, and always, always be polite on your fundraising phone calls.

But beyond that, the heart of how to ask for donations over the phone is being excited and sure of what you’re doing, and your donors will feel that. In the beginning, it might feel unnatural. You know what they say — fake it ‘till you make it. After all, you’ve got money on the line!

[Related: 6 Steps to Fundraising for Meaningful Travel]

Line please? 3 fundraising phone call scripts

A phone script asking for donations won’t necessarily feel like the most natural thing to start writing, so we’ve got you started with a few options that you can transform into your own.

  1. Hi <name>, this is <name> from <reason you know each other>. Do you have a few minutes to talk? I’d love to share a bit about my fundraising campaign with you. I first got interested in this topic due to <insert event>, and since that time, I’ve dedicated myself in <x> ways to pursue this field. I’ve done my research, selected a program, and feel confident about what I can get out of this experience. All that being said, saving the money for this journey has come with some challenges! I’m reaching out today to you, someone who has always been generous in your support of me, to see if you’d consider contributing to my campaign.

 

  1. Hello <name>! I know it’s been a while since we’ve been in touch, and I’m eager to hear about how you’ve been, and excited to share an upcoming opportunity in my own life with you. If you have a few minutes, I’d love to tell you about the journey I’ve been on, and humbly ask you for your support in my endeavors.

 

  1. I’m calling today with a business proposition. As someone who’s always been interested in <XYZ> and supportive of <XYZ>, I’m hoping I’ll be able to win you over in support of my upcoming fundraising campaign. If now is an ok time, I’d like to share some of my ideas with you, and make a case for why this is an excellent endeavor to be a part of.

Use FundMyTravel and avoid fundraising phone calls completely!

We’re a fan of how personable and direct fundraising phone calls can be — but hey, they’re not for everybody! If you know you’re just not interested in picking up the phone and dialing, then get started on your FundMyTravel page!

Crowdfunding dedicated to getting abroad — for volunteer work, schooling, studies, or even just travel — has never been easier through this free, user-friendly, easy-to-share resource. Get to creating your campaign, start sharing your mission with the public, bring in that money, and get yourself on your life-changing journey abroad.

Get your script ready for asking for donations over the phone!

person holding cellphone

With these tips and a solid fundraising phone call script, you’ll be set.

You’ve got this! Now that you (hopefully!) have some bolstered confidence, you’re ready to start detailing out your phone script asking for donations. The first step is to compile a list of all the people you’ll reach out to. It’s a good idea to have the bones of your script in place, and then add some details and personal touches, depending on who you’re contacting.

Once you get started sharing your passions and ideas, hearing that positive feedback of a supportive human on the other end of the call is going to give you a rush you’ll want to repeat! Good luck — you’ve got our backing all the way.

Sign Up for the FundMyTravel Newsletter for More Fundraising Tips!

samantha harperThis article was written by Samantha Harper. Samantha’s quest to learn about her family heritage in Prague ignited the travel flame within her. A Wisconsin native and Pitt alumna, Samantha’s insatiable appetite for the world led her into an International Relations master’s program in Italy. Still not feeling like she’d seen enough, she finagled her way into spending a summer in Spain and teaching for a year in Thailand. She is (temporarily) settled in Washington, D.C.

7 Social Media Fundraising Tips (+ 5 Examples)

Social media has changed the game for—well, just about #everything! From fast fashion, to gig-sharing, to hive mind research, to political activism, social media platforms have become the town criers we look to for knowing what’s up. And with that kind of reach and impact, if you’re thinking about sharing your travel campaign fundraising goals via social, you can really cash in…as long as you make sure that you have a social media fundraising strategy that works for you!

phone taking a photo of a woman

What will be the most important component of your social media fundraising strategy? YOU.

When it comes to social media fundraising, one of the key factors for success is sharing copy that supports your cause and feels like it’s unique to you. No generic copy, no stock photos, no boring or cliché language here! The posts you share need to inspire others to click, to get to know you, and to want to support your cause. So, how do you do it? Well, we’ve got seven tips—and 5 social media fundraising examples—to help you get started. So, let’s go!

7 tips for social media fundraising

1. Decide on the best platform.

If you’re trying to share the power of your cause to a wider audience, exploring social media fundraising ideas is a great place to start to expand your reach!

Just remember that all platforms are not created equally, and some even have prohibitions against asking for money or hidden costs. Some platforms (like YouTube or Vimeo) are great for video, while other platforms (like Twitter and Facebook) make it super easy to repost or share. And some (like FundMyTravel) are geared toward specific causes, like meaningful travel experiences around the world.  

2. Make sure you’re maximizing the power of your photos and videos.

Images make all the difference when you’re fundraising through social media. The right photo will inspire curiosity, motivate viewers to click through, and share the unique opportunities that your individual campaign will provide. And while all of that is the goal, you need to make sure that the photos you’re using are your own, safe to post, and don’t include any unintended people, places, or details. With that in mind, do a little research on the power of photos and videos to help support your campaign!

[Related: What is Online Fundraising?]

3. Use written copy that sounds like you.

When you’re exploring ways to use social media fundraising in your campaign, you’re going to need to share your message with your audience. Yes, you want to write copy that converts, but even more importantly, that written messaging needs to sound like you wrote it. The messaging on your social media should sound like an actual conversation with you, not like it came from some kind of generic copy-bot. When in doubt, ask a friend, “Does this sound like me?” and listen to what they tell you. Remember, feedback is a gift!

4. Be certain that the message is clear about how people can help!

If you have just the right photo and perfect written copy, but don’t make it clear how people can help, your social media fundraising strategy has some big gaps! This means make the ask specific, time-bound, actionable, and super-clear! You might think it’s obvious by looking at it, but given that everyone spends so much of their social time connecting online, the difference between a general update and a clear call to action can make all the difference in the world!

5. Allow cross-posting—and invite others to share your posts.

When you share to social, you need to make sure that your posts are easily shareable so that your friends can share with their friends, and inspire others to get your message out there! If your goal is to maximize fundraising through social media, you want to grab that first opportunity to get others to share. And don’t be afraid to look on social media sales, marketing, and advertising sites for tips! The end goal might be different, but the motivations can be the same.

6. Refresh your message periodically, but don’t get spammy.

Be sure to post your message in multiple places, but don’t forget to refresh that content! At the same time, if you’re looking at the best social media fundraising examples, you’ll notice that they seem to have a magic touch about posting, reposting, and helping their message have real staying power. Not to worry if this particular tip gives you some anxiety; there are all kinds of metrics and data points out there about the perfect posting schedule, but the best thing to do is keep it simple, fresh, and relevant—and make your message timely and genuine, just like you!

7. Learn from others about campaigns that really work!

When you do your research and really do the groundwork to prepare for a project, you learn about the mistakes that could be made (and how to avoid them) but you also get to see what works! And even if companies like Starbucks, Spotify, and Gillette aren’t raising funds for specific campaigns, they’ve done a great job at encouraging their followers to be a part of their story. Don’t forget about the power of inclusion in your messaging—it really makes a difference!

[Related: 8 Fundraising Mistakes Made Online (and How to Avoid Them)]

5 social media fundraising examples

1. World Wide Fund for Nature

social media fundraising examples

Why we like it: This powerful campaign uses the exceptional imagery, short but high-impact copy, and a #LastSelfie hashtag that inspires viewers to action (whether that’s to donate or share)! It even includes an easy text option, making this a social media fundraising worth copying!

2. #TapCancerOut

social media fundraising examples

Why we like it: This fundraiser combines the high-octane energy from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu matches with the opportunity to save lives by raising money for cancer research. By creating a simple but effective hashtag (#tapcancerout), and sharing all kinds of real-world action shots, the energy of this campaign is intense and contagious! 

social media fundraising examples3. FundMyTravel

 

Why we like it: When you consider the energy of the copy in this post, and you look at the ways in which the poster engaged their own social media fundraising strategy, it’s no surprise that this campaign has more than reached its goal! The tone and message is specific, but also genuine—and the copy includes a great balance between passion and action plans.

4. Charity Watersocial media fundraising examples

Why we like it: When you combine high-impact prose, your own campaign hashtag, an invitation to engage with a video (meaning the opportunity to see real people), and some striking imagery, you can see why this is one of the featured social media fundraising examples for you to take some inspo from!

5. The Humane Society of the United States

social media fundraising examples

Why we like it: Everyone knows that puppies and kittens are practically irresistible, but people tend to click off (rather than on) animals that appear to be in distress. This social media fundraising campaign makes the discomfort easier to engage while giving voice to the pup in the photo. And there, right in red, is that call to action that makes all the difference to their cause.

Don’t forget to add FundMyTravel to your social media fundraising strategy

Now that you’ve seen all kinds of tips and social media fundraising examples to help you work with your content and campaigns in a more engaging way, what’s next? Well, if you’re considering how best to connect with your audience for getting the funds you need for your next big adventure, be sure to sign up for a free account with FundMyTravel today!

Not only do you want to use all the general platforms, but if your goal is to raise funds for meaningful travel experiences, this targeted platform for sharing travel-related fundraising campaigns includes all kinds of free resources, a blog with useful information, and even a social media wall with active campaigns that will help you see how it’s done.

Fundraising through social media will make your life MUCH easier

iphone screen full of apps

In today’s global, digital world, social media fundraising is one of the best ways to get your campaign off the ground!

It might seem like there are all kinds of rules to follow when developing a social media fundraising strategy, but actually, once you get your structure set up, fundraising through social media will make your life much easier! Just think about how many times you engage Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or SnapChat. Those platforms offer billions of users combined, which means millions of options for sharing your social media fundraising ideas with a wide, global audience!

When you want to expand the reach for your cause, fundraising through social media also brings your campaign to life. You can feature real people, places, and things through video and imagery. You can appeal to your funders and donors using your own voice. You can enhance your written requests with compelling multimedia, and you can make it as easy to give as it is to tap a screen or click a button. When you focus on fundraising through social media, you can increase the opportunities to share your message and reach your goals!

Subscribe to the FundMyTravel Newsletter Today!

andi sciaccaThis 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.

6 Free Fundraising Letter Templates

Are you jazzed up and ready to become a professional fundraiser? We sure hope so, because this guide is all about getting down to business (letter-wise, that is). While you might be wondering what makes a good fundraising letter, fret not! We will not only explain, we will also provide 6 free fundraising templates for your perusing! And who doesn’t like free things? *cough* everyone *cough*. 

shia labeouf gif

Ready for some free fundraising templates that are the bomb dot com?

While fundraising letter templates are not always necessary, they can definitely help to get the ball rolling. This guide’s purpose is to get you familiar with various fundraising letter templates, including fundraising templates for donations and sponsorships. Trust us, you don’t need to be an English major to write successful fundraising letters. With the right info, you’ll soon be a letter-writing pro! 

What makes a good fundraising letter? 

There are lots of fundraising letter templates out there, which is why it can understandably be overwhelming to decide on one to best fit your needs. With that being said, there are certain bullet points you’ll want to hit. 

First, you’ll want to make it as personal and specific to your fundraising needs as possible. Nobody likes reading a boring, generic letter! Next, it’s important to list or explain your fundraising goals. This way, your audience will understand why they are donating as well as what and who it will benefit. Again, nobody wants to give money to a cause they don’t believe in. Your job is to make them believe!

[Related: What Makes a Good Fundraiser? 9 Important Components]

Have you ever heard of the phrase “Call to Action”? You’ll need one! A Call to Action (CTA) is basically the how of your fundraising letter. How can your supporters donate? Can they donate online through FundMyTravel (we hope so!). Can they donate through the mail? This is a good option for those of us who are less tech savvy (shout out to grandma and grandpa). 

6 fundraising letter templates 

1. The Standard Fundraising Letter

Free fundraising templates

Why we like it: This template fundraising letter is pretty basic, but it gives you a general idea of what they should look like to get you brainstorming. As you can see, it has a subject title, call to action, a URL, and contact info. Check out this template here!

2. Crowdfunding Campaign Fundraising Letter

Free fundraising templates

Why we like it: If you’re planning on using a crowdfunding campaign fundraiser, then a letter focusing on your online campaign will do wonders! Make sure to note the bottom of this letter; adding a blurb about sharing your crowdfunding page with others will help to get the word out! Download the template here!

3. Student Travel Sponsorship Letter

Free fundraising templates

Why we like it: This letter gives a stellar example of how to appeal to your audience with awesome student travel, that is! Remember to not simply ask for money to travel, but explain what you will learn from the experience. People are more willing to support someone who is willing to work hard while living it up abroad! Check out this travel-themed letter here!

[Related: How to Ask People to Donate Money—The Nice Way]

4. Event Donation Letter

Free fundraising templates

Why we like it: You’ll definitely want to check out this fundraising template if you’re raising money in connection with a non-profit or hosting an event. Be sure your letter includes an invite to the event as well as info about your organization. You can find this template here!

5. Corporate Sponsorship Letter

Free fundraising templates

Why we like it: If you live in a city with abundant corporations, or even just a small town with local businesses, then you might want to check out this corporate themed letter. You might be surprised at who all is willing to donate towards a good cause! Download the template here!

6. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Letter

Free fundraising templates

Why we like it: It might seem like crazy logic, but people who already support a similar cause, are more likely to donate to your cause! Crazy, right? Here’s an example: Say your friend donates to a local animal shelter because she’s passionate about finding animals a good home. Now what if you were trying to raise money for your sick dog? Relating the two causes might make your friend even more willing to donate! This is what a peer-to-peer fundraising letter does. Check them out here!

Fundraising letters will help you reach your goal—and so will FundMyTravel!

Fundraising letters are more traditional in the fundraising world; however, using FundMyTravel in addition to a letter would certainly boost your donations. Plus, mentioning your FundMyTravel link in your letter is a perfect Call to Action! Having some form of an online donation platform, whatever it might be, will greatly help you reach a younger audience.

Of course, the first step is to create your FundMyTravel fundraiser! By starting your campaign, donations will automatically be sent to your account. Plus, it’s free to create an account and share your campaign! FundMyTravel only takes 5% of all donations to keep the site running and to be able to provide technical and customer support. Sounds pretty nifty, right? We think so!

Did you find your best template fundraising letter?

wayne’s world gif

Two thumbs waaaaay up for these fundraising letter templates.

With so many unique fundraising templates out there, we’re pretty confident you’ll find the right one to fit your fundraising needs. And if our examples above haven’t quite cut it, check out more free fundraising templates from the websites linked to above, or check out our FREE Fundraising Toolkit!

Once your fundraising template is ready to go, it’s time to pick out some snazzy stamps (travel-themed stamps are not required, just strongly preferred)! While we can’t guarantee donations, simply putting in the time and effort to make a fundraising letter will show you that you have the drive and determination to make your goal a reality. Happy writing! 

Subscribe to FundMyTravel’s Newsletter for More Helpful Fundraising Tips and Tricks

kaila forsterThis article was written by Kaila Forster. Kaila is a recent graduate from the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in international business and history. During college, she embarked on her first adventure abroad, studying in Chongqing, China. Upon graduation, Kaila returned to China as a marketing intern with a trading company outside of Shanghai. Sheis currently working as a Revenue Tax Specialist at the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Kaila enjoys spending her free time cooking, incessantly bothering her cat, and volunteer teaching immigrants and refugees.

How To Ask People to Donate Money—The Nice Way

If you have to ask people for money for your trip or cause, you’ll want to approach it the right way. Check out these polite ways to ask for money for some fundraising inspo! ☆ For some people, asking for donations is a breeze. You know the type—they’re absolute experts in making just the right connections between the donor and the cause. These folks make it all look effortless. But for the rest of us, just thinking about how to ask people to donate money can leave us with sweaty palms and a case of the jitters!

view of jar of coins from above

If you know how to ask people to donate money, you won’t have to dig around in the couch cushions as often.

We know it’s important to know how to raise funds (especially when it’s for meaningful travel or a dedicated cause), but it can be intimidating. It’s important to build this skill, and we’re going to show you how.

First things first: It helps to have a go-to guide filled with nice ways to ask for money. Whether it’s figuring out the most polite way to ask for money donations, or brainstorming some fun ways to make the asking part a whole lot easier, we’ve got you covered! As you read on, you’ll learn some creative options for getting the money you need—including some ways to make it possible to get help from strangers, just by reaching out.

7 polite ways to ask for money

1. Write a letter.

It might seem super basic, but in our hyper-digital world, a well-written letter that speaks from the heart and conveys a direct but thoughtful message is a great way to make an impact. In fact, your potential donor might consider this a particularly polite way to ask for money simply because you took the time to write it out, address an envelope, put a stamp on it, and mail it rather than just type up an email and zip it off. Just make sure your penmanship is clear, your message is strong, and your grammar and spelling are on point!

2. Host a dinner party.

You know your audience best, and while some people might be willing to contribute to your cause after a couple of slices of pizza or DIY tacos, one of the truly nice ways to ask for money is to feed your potential donors an excellent meal. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or exotic. Whether you cook it yourself or get some help, the big thing is to make it a special occasion by serving up an experience along with the meal. You can serve vegan strudel or steak Oscar (it’s up to you!), but whatever you do, just make sure your donors feel welcome.

people eating dinner

One polite way to ask for money is to butter up your donors first. As in, bread and butter.

3. Partner with your four-legged friends.

If you’re a fan of our four-legged friends, remember that one of the most polite ways to ask for money from a pet person is to offer to give some TLC to their furry family members in exchange for some cash! You can walk pups, babysit gerbils, and scoop litter box gold to get funds for your travel dreams. Your extra pet support means extra time for your potential donors, and your kind, thoughtful, and caring approach only sweetens the deal. Plus, puppies and kittens—yay!

[Related: 6 Steps to Fundraising for Meaningful Travel]

4. Have a bake sale.

Dinner parties are a great way to raise funds, but a good bake sale is also super-high on that list of nice ways to ask for money. Whip up some gooey brownies, ginger snaps, lemon bars, and cheesecake bites; add in some chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies; and have an oatmeal raisin option for the “healthy” take on the event. Then you’ll have a solid menu that’s sure to please! Partner with a church or community center, and watch your contributions climb right alongside your sales as you put a big smile on some sweet-toothed donors.

5. Go the traditional fundraiser route.

Those companies that help individuals and organizations sell everything from pens and wrapping paper to candy and pizza kits are mega-successful at providing items that sell. They also include materials that market well and scripts that include what they’ve found to be the most polite way to ask for money donations. Even better, why not sell something that connects with your trip. Going to Italy? Sell cannoli. Going to Costa Rica? Sell fair-trade coffee. Get creative and your rewards will multiply! Easy-peasy.

lemonade sign

Will anyone ever take our lemonade stand suggestion?

6. Have a -thon of some kind.

If you’re looking for a polite way to ask for money donations, don’t forget that people like to give to a cause while they dance, run, walk, cycle, sweat on a yoga mat, or do anything involving an active option. Even better, most people feel good about being asked to participate, and they will more often than not bring their friends. This means more fun, more donors, and more funds for you! And, if you’re stuck on how to make it happen, most community centers and local gyms will have an option for you to choose for planning, marketing, participation, and support.

[Related: What Makes a Good Fundraiser? 9 Important Components]

7. Let FundMyTravel do the talking for you.

What could be better than a dedicated platform for raising travel funds? Well, if you’re looking to get donations for your upcoming trip, not much! A campaign on FundMyTravel is a polite way to ask for money donations that will definitely leave an impression on your donors. From the free resources available in the toolkit to the super-clear instructions for getting started, you can learn all kinds of tips from the fundraising experts and increase your impact. As the saying goes, if you want to learn something new, it makes perfect sense to learn from the best!

Finding the polite way to ask for money donations will be a game-changer

women hugging on beach

Using nice ways to ask for money to propel your campaign will leave everyone smiling. Win win!

The polite way to ask for money donations can be as simple as offering a dog walk, baking a sweet treat, inviting people to a dinner, writing a letter, selling a pizza kit, or planning an activity for people willing to join in the fun and support your travel dreams. But don’t forget, a campaign on FundMyTravel will give you access to all the same fundraising benefits, from right within the comfort of your home. Launch a campaign and share your message with like-minded travelers and donors all over the world.

Once you have the right mindset, the necessary skills, and the tools required to meet your goals, nothing can stop you! When it comes to how to ask people to donate money, there are countless ways to do so. As long as you’re focused on nice ways to ask for money, you’re going to raise more funds, have more fun doing it, and build some relationships along the way. The opportunity to pursue meaningful travel abroad is something that most people would enjoy, so if you put your best foot forward and inspire others through your ideas and your kindness, you’re going to get to where you’re going in a way that feels pretty great!

Sign Up for the FundMyTravel Newsletter for More Fundraising Tips

andi sciaccaThis 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.

8 Fundraising Mistakes Made Online (and How to Avoid Them)

The key to avoiding common fundraising mistakes is to stay one step ahead at all times. But first, you’ll want to know what they are! ☆ It’s no secret that online fundraisers succeed or fail based on the impact they make with their audience. While that impact is typically measured in clicks and impressions, it’s important to remember that real people – with real expectations – are poking around in your content. Every opportunity to be viewed online by a potential donor is a golden moment. It can mean the difference between a sizeable donation or a big fat zero in the funds column of your online campaign. 

jar full of coins

Another fundraising mistake to avoid? Not realizing that every little bit helps!

So how do we make sure that every click and every connection has a reasonable chance of converting from a casual look into a successful contribution? To start, we want to avoid some of the most common fundraising mistakes. Sure, they’re easy to make—but they’re even easier to prevent. If you take the time to review your content and check for these possible errors and missed opportunities, you’ll be able to launch a fundraising campaign that is polished, professional, and (most importantly) successful.

8 common fundraising mistakes made online

1. Bad grammar and spelling errors

There’s just no reason to post online content with bad grammar, and that goes double for spelling! Whether you write your initial copy in Word, Pages, gDocs, or something else, be sure to pay attention to those green, blue, orange, and red squiggles that pop up under your words. It turns out that all of those criteria from Freshman Comp really do matter, from mechanics to word usage, so be sure to double-check your work. This will help you prevent one of the most common fundraising mistakes!

How to avoid this mistake: Here’s a helpful hint—read your content out loud to yourself. If you try to read a sentence aloud and run out of breath before it’s over, it’s a run-on and it should be edited or clipped. Another solution would be to check for passive voice; replace the trouble spots you identify with something more active and high-impact. Here’s a helpful resource to guide you!

2. Content that loses the reader

Grammar and spelling are only part of the story. Another big consideration is the way your writing flows (or doesn’t!). You might already be thinking about how easy or difficult your writing is to understand, but are you equally thoughtful about how easy or difficult your writing is to read? By this, we mean things like its level of sophistication, word choice, consistency, and even its appeal to your target audience or demographic. If you’re writing for anyone other than your ideal funder or donor, you’re wasting time—and you’re also making one of the more common fundraising mistakes!

How to avoid this mistake: You can check your work (freely, easily, and reliably) with a variety of tools that will help you measure for readability. These kinds of reports are based on algorithms that measure your writing using mathematical equations. They can’t really factor the pizzazz (that’s still on you!), but they will give you a clear sense of whether or not your story is built well.

3. Forgetting to include photos or images

person holding out fan of twenty dollar bills

People love visual aids. Kiiiinda like this, in fact.

It’s a cliché, for sure, but you know the saying—a picture is worth a thousand words. So, make sure you add some visuals into your fundraising campaigns to prevent fundraising mistakes! Not only do images attract views, a well-placed image can add tremendous impact to the power of your campaign. If you’re planning to go abroad to volunteer with pandas in China, think about the appeal of a text-based campaign without images, compared to a campaign that includes some well-positioned shots of pandas munching on bamboo. Using images can make the opportunity and experience feel more real.

How to avoid this mistake: Select images that are personalized to your cause, but make sure you’re able to use them and post them without violating copyright issues. The images you want to look for will be high-impact, and available for free (and fair!) use in your campaign. There are all kinds of sites claiming to offer free use, but many of them have specific rules (even Google) so make sure you review the requirements before you post that photo, just to be safe!

4. Not posting shareable links for social media

When you build your campaign, you should think about your ability to share it as widely as possible, but you also want to think about how you can make it easier for others to share your campaign in their networks. If you’re trying to avoid fundraising mistakes, you will include links to readily share your campaign to all the big social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Insta, etc.), but also try to make it simple enough for your readers, donors, and general supporters to quickly share your message with others via email. The easier you make it for others, the more inclined they’ll be to help!

How to avoid this mistake: You don’t need to be a computer programmer or web expert to make this easy to do. In fact, there are (free!) resources all over the web with tips and tricks to help you increase social media shares, encourage click-throughs, and inspire others to help you spread your message. With fundraising campaigns, the more you share, the more you stand to earn, so don’t let fundraising mistakes like this one get in the way of your success.

5. Not providing enough detail about how the money will be used

Sometimes, the donation request is buried under too many generalities. People who make these kinds of common fundraising mistakes will say things like, “Your donation will help me live my dreams” or “I’d love your help in meeting my goals” but the specific dream or goal is not clear enough for the donor to feel like they’re contributing to something truly meaningful. It’s difficult to be inspired by something that doesn’t connect through details, so make sure you include them!

How to avoid this mistake: When you build your campaign, think about the donor. What do you need to tell them in order to get them to truly connect with your cause? Remember that everyone loves a good story. If you share details about your fundraising in a way that inspires your potential donor to feel like they’re part of the story, they will feel even more inspired to support you. Here’s some great advice from the talented folks at Pixar to help you make that story come to life!

a tip jar that says “pay as you wish”

You don’t have to be pushy or overbearing about it. Just don’t forget to ask!

6. Not remembering to actually ask for the money

You definitely want to focus on including the right details, checking for grammar and tone, and using the proper images, but remember to ask for the money! In order to avoid this fundraising mistake, make sure you present the donation request in clear and simple language. Yes, it’s super important to talk about how it’s been your dream to teach kids to surf for years—and engaging your storytelling skill is absolutely key—but if you don’t make it clear that you’re looking for financial support, potential donors might just read of your adventures and simply move on.

How to avoid this mistake: When it comes to asking for money, remember to be clear and courteous. And, don’t forget to consult the experts for some good ideas about how to make that request in a way that connects. FundMyTravel.com has some great resources for you, including a free toolkit that includes all kinds of suggestions about how to directly ask your donors for their contributions. Remember that people generally want to help others, so make it clear you’re asking for support!

7. Failing to inspire a sense of urgency

It’s happened to everyone. You receive a request to take some kind of action and you intend to follow up and you save it for later…until it’s too late. Don’t let that happen to your fundraising campaign! If you’re trying to raise money to go on a summer safari and it’s now the beginning of the new year, put some heat behind your campaign. Let your donors know that you will be spending the next few months preparing, and remind them that you need their support now in order to achieve your goals. Let them know that you need their contributions today so that you can take the next steps you need tomorrow.

How to Avoid this Mistake: Getting donations on your campaign requires a lot of the same skills as successfully achieving other goals. One useful tip is to think about using the SMART approach in all of your fundraising content. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Luckily, you can use some of the tools that exist to help you plan a time-bound strategy!

8. Not using FundMyTravel 😉 

If you really want to maximize the impact of your efforts and avoid fundraising mistakes, partner with the folks at FundMyTravel to host your campaign on the FundMyTravel platform. With a dedicated travel-focus, super-low fees, and all kinds of helpful tools, it’s the go-to resource for travelers seeking funds to support meaningful opportunities. Even better, you won’t get lost among other kinds of fundraising requests! You’ll benefit from other like-minded people having access to (and even sharing!) your content with their networks.

How to avoid this mistake: FundMyTravel makes it super easy to avoid common fundraising mistakes by setting you up for success from the very start! You can follow four simple steps to get started, and then use the resource toolkit to get your campaign ready for launch. There are helpful checklists, blog posts, and all kinds of other goodies to help you along the way. Whatever else you might do, be sure to check out FundMyTravel today!

Now you know how to avoid fundraising mistakes. Nice!

person holding out fan of bills in front of their face

Address your fundraising mistakes and get your campaign back on track!

With these eight tips in mind, you can see how easy it is to avoid the kinds of common fundraising mistakes that keep a good campaign from being really great! When it comes to preventing missed opportunities online, remember to put yourself in the position of your potential donor. What would YOU want to know if you were considering giving money to someone? Remember that the potential donor will want to help you if you make your need compelling enough.

Finally, fundraising mistakes don’t need to doom your campaign, even if it’s already posted or shared. You can always revive a dying campaign or spruce things up with a bit of a refresh. With an existing campaign, make sure you do a quick read-through for any of these common fundraising mistakes. If you spot any, you can make some quick modifications and get your campaign back on track for even more donations and support.

Join the FundMyTravel Newsletter for More Fundraising Tips!

andi sciaccaThis 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.

Older posts