When you have a campaign that has grown stale but has not yet met its fundraising goal, how do you revive it? The news is old and those who’ve already donated are tapped out. However, with some digging in the right places and knowledge of social consumption, you can reignite a fundraising campaign that’s lost its spark.

  • Become the news consumer. Clear your head. Take some time to surf the web and social media. Look at the stories that go viral, appear on the feeds of national morning shows and the homepages of top consumer websites. Notice what people like to watch and read about. Underdog stories, achieving the impossible, inspiring hope. Keep these in mind to draw parallels to what you’re aiming to do.
  • Talk to the benefactors. Everyone has a story – especially people who benefit from services and funding provided by non-profits. You’d be surprised what you may find out by talking with them. Ask about their personal lives – are they getting married, planning for children, taking up a new hobby, realizing a health goal or working toward a professional accomplishment? Then, think back to the popular stories you just found and model a pitch based on your benefactor’s story.
  • Visuals are a must. Capture real videos and photos of those people, not staged images or headshots. Media are more likely to entice their audiences to watch or read on with a compelling visual. Ask to see footage or photos from a wedding, the birth of a child or crossing the finish line, for example. Keep in mind that visuals depicting challenge or plight are very compelling and draw the need to know more, so don’t limit yourself to smiling faces.
  • Let the campaign take a backseat. The star of the story is now the person or people you are positioning to share their experience. Subtly work in your campaign messaging into the pitch. Do retain the basics of requesting hyperlinks to your donation webpage (most important) and offering your spokesperson to add context, but don’t set the expectation that spokesperson interviews will happen. The human-interest story will make the case as to why funding is needed without you having to push the call to donate too hard.

For non-profits competing for dollars, it’s a daily challenge to connect with existing and new audiences to make the case for why they deserve your donations over the next charity. Taking a fresh approach by letting those most affected by the campaign’s success draw newfound interest can recharge the campaign and regain its momentum.

LauraLee-Harding_presoBy LauraLee Harding, Assistant Vice President