Great question. Email is an extremely effective medium to ask for donations, recruit fundraisers and spread the word about your cause. Even a single email address is worth its weight in dollars towards your mission. However, email providers have made spam filters very strict and breaking spam laws can prove expensive and problematic.
We’re not email marketing experts, and the path to spam can take many different forms. With that said, we’ve gathered a few broad tips that should help get your important campaign emails to your supporters’ inboxes:
Take the correct precautions. Best way to avoid your emails going to spam is to avoid it going there in the first place. Once your email is marked as spam, it’s more likely future emails will end up in the spam folder and it can even cause problems with your email service provider (like Constant Contact or MailChimp).
Review email recipients before you send. Ensure you’re reaching the correct people with updated, current email addresses.
Analyze levels of engagement. One of the biggest reasons emails get marked as spam is because the recipient does not engage with the email.
Curate your Content. Keep your email’s html clean and simple, using appropriately-sized images and commonly-used fonts.
While there are many factors that can contribute to your message going to spam, our most important suggestion is to pay attention to what your sending and who you’re sending it to. With luck, the right people will receive your message and take action on your behalf.
CrowdRise Challenges are friendly fundraising competitions designed to help organizations gain awareness, recognition, and most importantly, resources in the form of donations. Like lots of them. Not only do you compete to win grand prizes and weekly cash prizes, but by reaching out to your supporters and getting exposure from our Challenge partner you’re able to create an amazing moment to rally your community in an exciting and engaging campaign.
Probably the best part of the Challenge is that even if you don't win one of the grand prizes, you get to keep the money you raise during the campaign. So much better than a voting contest on Facebook where if you don’t take first you walk away with nothing, right?
Click Here to learn more.
When we use stories, we’re illustrating a connection with our audience. We’re making the theoretical more tangible. We’re pulling at heartstrings and engaging in a way that is moving and visceral. So, in the story section of your page, make sure you are not only describing your mission, but that you’re describing what your cause has already done to make a difference. Use case studies, talk about individuals you’ve helped, success stories, and dig into issues you’re hoping to solve.
Length is also something to pay attention to. Nobody wants to read a full novel, but one paragraph isn’t enough to paint the picture. We’ve found anywhere from 550-650 words is usually a great place to start and allows a detailed, yet succinct enough, story section.
Your campaign page is the page your supporters will go to donate to your cause so you’ve gotta make it so good, so compelling, so rich with content, that they cannot leave without pressing that Donate button. Here are the top three things you should do right now to make it happen:
To update your campaign page, make sure you're logged in to your CrowdRise account and go to the campaign that you'd like to edit. Head to your DASHBOARD then click EDIT, and you'll be able to enter your Campaign story and add pictures and a video, too. And friendliest reminder to click SAVE when prompted to make everything official.
Donors want to buy something that they can tell their friends about instead of just giving to operational funds. So, making your donation ask more tangible by suggesting donation amounts to your supporters that will lead to real life results, will definitely attribute to more donations and more engagement. Here are a couple of examples:
Please note we have the ability to customize up to five donation amounts on your fundraiser so if you want to take advantage of this customization, please Contact Us and we’ll solve everything.
We like to think of team members as a part of a spider web. The more team members you have supporting your cause, the larger your web grows and the farther the reach. Think about it...if you can get each of ten of your best supporters to join your team and set up fundraisers for your Challenge campaign, you’re immediately tapping into their own personal network of friends and family. They will talk about your cause and ask for donations and all of a sudden you have a network effect giving you more exposure and helping you to raise more money.
We’ve found that organizations with 10+ team members increase the number of donations given to that Challenge campaign by 3x. And teams who end up winning a Challenge have, on average, 55 team members.
Moral of the story? Get fundraisers. And lots of ‘em.
Check the Email Drafts section of this toolkit to find sample drafts you can customize and send to all of your supporters today.
Your board members are some of your biggest assets. It’s pretty fair to say that they are passionate about your cause, generally have deep pockets, and most likely have large networks. Your goal should be to make it virtually impossible for them to not join your team. Send them an email draft right away (see the Email Drafts tab of this toolkit) and ask them to set up a fundraiser for your Challenge campaign. If they don’t do it the first time, ask ‘em again. If they don’t do it the second time, ask again.
Remind them why they’re on your board and that in addition to being such a great board member, this is a real opportunity to make real change for your organization. If by asking them multiple times you don’t get each and every one of your board members to create fundraisers and join your team, reach out individually and ask them for large donation amounts on launch day. You guys...this is a seriously amazing opportunity to really leverage the network effect of CrowdRise. Make it your mission to onboard every member of your board. You’ll be so stoked you did.
Getting staff involved is key to running a successful Challenge campaign. Your staff, much like your board, is really passionate about your mission. They live and breathe it everyday. Share this Toolkit with them, hold a staff meeting about the Challenge and make sure that everyone is excited about this opportunity. Encourage every staff member to join your team and offer up incentives to help ‘em stay motivated. Maybe the first staff member to raise $500 gets three paid days off or every staff member who raises $100 in a week gets entered to win the primo parking spot.
We've got a whole mess of sample tweets and Facebook posts for you so you can maximize your time during the Challenge and focus on what really matters...raising so much money for your cause. You can check ‘em all out in the social media section of the Toolkit. However, we’d love to share a little social media etiquette to help create a really amazing social campaign. Here we go...
The hashtag. The cute little slanted tic-tac-toe grid is an essential social media tool — but it must be used wisely. At best, it connects your message to others similar in theme or content, allowing readers to easily access related posts. At worst, it strings together unrelated nonsense, leaving people more confused than when they started.
Hashtags were invented for Twitter and remain the site’s chief organizing principle. If you want to trend, use hashtags. Tweets with hashtags get twice the engagement of those without.
Avoid using hashtags on Facebook. We’ve found that posts without hashtags on Facebook see more engagement.
Hashtags on Instagram work. Sometimes it’s the posts with more hashtags that see the most engagement. So, use the official hashtag of the Challenge but you can also use hashtags specific to your cause.
Top non-profit hashtags to include in your post
A good rule of thumb for hashtags is to make them simple and very relevant to your cause. For example, the best hashtag for autism is #autism.
Best times to post to social media
We know, social media is everywhere. But, the real secret is that email is not going anywhere and it’s the single best way for you to reach out to your supporters and ask ‘em to give. Why? Because the recipient of an email feels less anonymous. If you reach out personally in a one-on-one email, the chance of them ignoring your request is very low. So, make sure you’re delivering emails in small batches, preferably 1 at a time, and if that’s a large lift, assign a point person at your organization to help distribute the emails and asks. You just want to make sure you email all of your supporters before the Challenge begins to ask them to join your team and fundraise for your cause. Check out the Calendar and Email Drafts section of this Toolkit for some guidance and sample emails you can customize.