Bringing Your Fundraising Online—And How LeagueApps Can Help
Fundraising dollars can help you continue operating your leagues and clubs. Here are a few ways to bring your efforts online.
Are you planning to cancel your upcoming spring season? Are you deciding if you can afford to refund the families their registration fees? Will you be able to keep paying your coaches and staff? Chances are, if you run a club or league, these are questions you’ve been asking yourself every day since the outbreak of COVID-19.
If you’ve depended on galas and in-person fundraising efforts in the past, now is the time to get creative and figure out how to bring your fundraising efforts online. At LeagueApps, we’ve made it easy to launch and manage fundraisers using our platform—and there are countless other platforms to explore, including well-known crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe.com.
Here’s what you need to know.
First, the good news.
Americans like to donate to the causes that are important to them. In 2019, individuals donated almost $300 billion—and the largest donations were most often made to small organizations who received double the overall average donation size ($71 vs. $32-36 for medium and large organizations with massive email databases.)
So, what does it take?
While having a compelling donation page is an important part of launching a great online fundraiser, it’s just the start. What really makes it work is being diligent, data-driven, and determined to execute from start to finish. This requires:
1. Inspiring leadership
2. Compelling storytelling
3. Active community engagement
4. Best-in-class technology
Below, we’re going to go into details on each of the above, sharing best practices and tips that you can begin applying today.
Identify your quarterback and make sure that they’re well-positioned to engage your board and community, and to tell your story.
1. Choose your campaign leader.
One person needs to be the central point of contact for the campaign. This is either a leader in your organization, a very strong parent or community member, or a trusted partner who can run the campaign on your behalf.
2. Reach out to your board and most loyal customers to be early donors and lead the way.
If you have time, soliciting your board members and key stakeholders early on in defining the campaign goals, strategy and story can be very helpful. For starters, they are probably in tune with your organization’s needs. Additionally, they are likely good strategists and communicators, and can help you develop a powerful campaign. Finally, if they are part of developing the campaign, it’s more likely that they’ll be invested in seeing it through to success—and will hopefully be your early, large, and late donors.
3. Don’t forget to clearly communicate who you are, what your organization does, and why they can trust you with their donation.
Start by talking about your brand. What is your promise to the community? What does it mean to be part of your organization? What are your organization’s values?
Be bold and talk about your success. We are a data driven society! Talk about the number of children who have gone through your program, what they have accomplished, and how you have helped develop great athletes and great people.
Develop your story and tell it over and over again. Repetition is incredibly important (and effective!).
1. Fundraisers are about tapping into people’s emotions. The more you can do to clearly state your need and the impact of the fundraiser (be specific!), the more likely people will be to emotionally connect with the benefits.
Tell your story and talk about the people you’re trying to support. Are you trying to keep your coaches employed? Are you trying to continue supporting athletes getting financial aid? Do you need funds for video conferencing technology that allows coaches to work 1:1 with your kids? Be authentic—talk about how you’re trying to keep the community intact and keep your lights on in this time of uncertainty. Being really specific, and describing how every X thousand dollars covers a coaches’ expected compensation for a certain time period, may be the right message for some.
2. Use high-quality photos and videos to tell your story.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Your iPhone can capture promise, hope, and optimism better than any written copy. Capture your kids, your staff, and your coaches telling their stories—this makes your fundraiser more likely to be shared on social media and other channels.
Engaging Your Community
If you’re the quarterback, these people are your teammates. Be thoughtful about who you engage, and give them the tools they need to succeed.
1. Utilize your email list, and be prepared to ask everyone for their help at least five times. That’s the magic number!
You can use the LeagueApps messaging tool to tell your story over a period of time. We’ve developed a series of email templates that will help you prepare for your launch, launch the campaign, and create a countdown as the campaign comes to its close.
2. Empower your people.
Turn the recipients of your fundraising dollars into the fundraisers themselves. Staff, coaches, vendors, parents, and kids can all create their own fundraising pages, customize them with their own images and stories, and tap into their networks.
3. Keep the dialogue going; make your donors and fundraisers part of your community.
Deploy ‘surprises’ such as ‘matching donations’ where corporate sponsors or high-net-worth donors will pledge to match up to a certain amount within a specific time frame.
When you receive a donation from someone new, look at it as an opportunity to develop a relationship with them. Invite them to fundraise, invite them to become part of your community, and continue to keep them updated.
To learn more about launching a successful fundraiser through LeagueApps, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re committed to providing you with support so that you can continue to focus on keeping your business running.
Do your research and identify the platforms and tools you’ll need to execute your campaign.
1. GoFundMe.com is often the choice of individuals looking to raise funds for something in particular.
2. Is your business female-founded and female-led? iFundWomen.com crowdsources funds for these kinds of organizations.
3. IndieGoGo.com is unique in that it doesn’t require you to meet your fundraising goal before collecting funds.
You’ll also need a platform that helps you send emails to drive people to your fundraising page. This is where LeagueApps can help—but you can use whatever system you’ve deployed to send emails, like MailChimp or ConstantContact.