Human beings are a social species. We have a sense of belonging, affiliation, and community. We look out for each other’s welfare, and it is not just fellow humans whose lives we seek to improve, but we also care about animals and nature. This compassion leads many of us to start fundraisers, which provides help to millions of individuals across the world.
Today, ‘how to raise a fund’ has one very focused answer, i.e., crowdfunding. As the name suggests, crowdfunding is when many individuals come together and fund a cause.
Most of the crowdfunding happens online. The campaign is hosted on platforms such as Ketto, campaign pages are shared through social media and emails. A buzz is created online, and donations are accepted online. However, there is one crucial aspect of any crowdfunding campaign that is overlooked; Offline interactions. These conversations could be with anyone, be it a family member, friend, colleague, acquaintance, neighbour, high net worth individual (HNI) and philanthropists.
Read on to understand some fundraising tips that will help you ask for donations in person and convert these conversations into actual contributions:
Make it relatable
Are you raising funds to install additional street lights in a dark alleyway in your locality? Instead of merely saying that the funds will be used to make the area safer for everyone, you can explain how lights will help citizens move freely even at night.
Show them that they can be a changemaker
Just telling a potential donor that the climate change may have severe consequences if we don’t act immediately isn’t good enough. That will only make the situation appear seemingly hard to save. Instead, tell them how their contribution can help fight climate change, how they can be instrumental in driving the transition by offering their support. Help them realise that they already care, and now it’s just about taking the necessary action.
When you are raising funds online, it is paramount that you provide specific details about the campaign to potential donors. Tell them exactly why you are raising funds? Why have you chosen a particular cause? How much money do you wish to raise? Beating around the bush will leave your potential donor confused and disinterested.
Tell a story
Is there an HNI (High Net worth Individuals) that you have been able to meet? HNIs are potential donors for almost any cause. So, make sure that your pitch is different. Start your pitch with a story.
For example, if you are raising funds to build a school for the underprivileged girls, you can describe the hardships faced by the girls. Tell the donors how their contributions can empower them to pursue their dreams.
But you don’t want them only to feel sympathy for the child, right? You want them to feel empowered to make a difference. Tell them how building a school, the girl child getting an education will help her lift herself and her family out of poverty. When you create a picture of your vision, the donor will be more likely to say ‘yes.’
If you are looking to get at least ₹500 from the person, start by asking for ₹1000. This is called the door-in-the-face technique, a prevalent psychological concept. Start by making a more significant request, and gradually reduce your ask. The potential donor is more likely to donate, considering the amount is smaller. Remember, this is not a negotiation, so keep your conversation amiable and collaborative instead of hostile and manipulative.
Highlight the next steps
Often, there is a problem with following through on a donation promise even with the most well-meaning donor. This happens because they may not know how exactly they can donate. Do they write you a cheque or go online to your fundraising page and make an online donation? Will they need their net banking details, or can they donate through their digital wallet?
As someone raising funds, make sure you remove as many hurdles as possible for your donors. This means telling them the exact process of donating. If possible, keep a QR code to the donation page with you on your phone, so the donor can scan the code and make the donation then and there.
‘Practice maketh an ask perfect’ is the fundraising equivalent of the famous saying. Practise your pitch, the story, the door-in-the-face technique, and everything else about your conversation with the potential donor. Ask a friend for constructive feedback. When you speak confidently and surely with the potential donor, it will also inspire confidence in your cause.
Make sure you have the details of your campaign goal and the link to your crowdfunding page on you when you ask for donations in person.
Trust yourself, your intentions, and the goodwill of others to help you reach your goal.