Using the media for a fundraising campaign
People often – mistakenly – believe that fundraising for themselves or a charity will be straightforward. But in fact the reason why big charities pay professional fundraisers to run money-making campaigns is it is often far from easy. Nevertheless, if you are prepared to put in the work, it is very possible to earn thousands of pounds in donations – here we give you the lowdown on how to get started!
The cornerstone of any fund raising campaign is to get your story out there. Without publicity no-one will know your campaign exists. And getting your story into a national newspaper, magazine or on TV will give it credibility.
At Featureworld by selling your real-life story to a magazine, newspaper and getting you on TV, we are not only able to organise free publicity but gain you a fee that you can open your fund raising bank account with.
Selling a story might well attract enough donations for your cause on its own – or an individual or company might even make a one-off donation that means you will achieve your goal doing nothing else at all. But for many while selling their story kick-starts their fundraising campaign, it can also be just the beginning…
To ensure your campaign is as successful as possible, as well as selling your story via Featureworld we suggest you:
* Think up a snappy name for your campaign. For example if you are raising money for treatment for your daughter who is called Poppy, ‘Saving Poppy’ or ‘Help for Poppy’ – something that is short but at the same time emotional – and instantly gives people an idea of what your campaign is about.
* Set up a website or blog which can be included on features. Ideally, it’s best to buy the domain name in the name of your campaign. Websites and blogs can be obtained for free – try blogger.com or moonfruit. You can also link to a justgiving or gofundme page where people can make donations. Carry the theme of your website through to these pages, incorporating the name in those as well.
* Think up a tagline. To go with your snappy title, think of one sentence that instantly tells people more about your campaign. Going back to our example, it might be something such as this, ‘Help get Poppy the treatment to save her life.’
* Organise your website with lots of info. Ensure on your website you have an about page, contact page and donation page or link to a donation page. When you sell your story, add in a Press Page and if people raise money with an event, put that on an events page. Rope in help from any friends – perhaps someone can design a proper logo or a short leaflet that friends can download or print off and pass to their friends.
* Consider setting up a separate bank account or paypal for donations. That way you can publish the bank details so people can pay directly online if they wish – and most will prefer paying money into a proper account set up for your cause than into your personal account.
* Use social media to spread the word. Your website should have a corresponding Twitter and Facebook page. You need to constantly follow and tweet to other charities and individuals who might be interested in supporting your cause.
* Network. To keep up interest in your story, write a blog. Look out for other similar stories in the media and comment and link to those. Ask friends to tweet and facebook your cause. The more you can network, the more chance your story will have of getting out there.
* Don’t forget traditional fundraisers – a cake stall, sponsored runs, car boot sales – and put these on your blog. Tweet photos of them, put the amount of money made on Facebook – thank those who came along for their help. All of this will help spread the word about your cause.
* Be persistent. Fundraising is hard work and takes a lot of effort. You will also be up against all the many charities, all of whom are seeking funds for their causes too. And it can be especially difficult to keep up the momentum, especially if you are already ill or going through a trauma. But in our experience, if you put the spadework in, it will pay off in the end…
Young mum Laura Hymas and partner Ben came to Featureworld to help them raise money for Laura to have urgent treatment in the US.
Laura had been diagnosed with a brain tumour and needed tens of thousands of pounds to fund the life-saving treatment only available in the States.
Featureworld got their story into the Daily Mirror and Bella magazine. But at the same time the couple sorted a snappy name for their campaign – Hope for Laura- along with a well thought-out website. They didn’t only rely on the mainstream publicity but used it to mount an amazing Twitter and Facebook fundraising campaign. Their breakthrough came when a celebrity tweeted their appeal to hundreds of thousands of followers – and suddenly their campaign went viral.
After the initial surge of interest the family kept people informed by writing a regular blog – if Laura was unwell, then partner Ben wrote it. They also put photos on, which showed Laura’s progress.
Hundreds of people donated to Hope for Laura and within weeks the family had raised enough money for Laura to undergo the treatment. The campaign managed to raise over £104,000. Sadly Laura has since passed away. However, the family believe the treatment she received did give her years of extra time feeling well with her son. And of course that wouldn’t have been possible without the generous donations they received.
Read More: Sell My Story for charity
If you are trying to raise money for a cause and want to see if it could be a story for a national newspaper, magazine or TV, then contact us using the form to the right of this page >>>