Whether you’re a fundraising aficionado or a newbie just starting out, kudos to you. It can be exciting to plan and launch a fundraising campaign, but it also can drain you.

5 Ways to Boost Your Next Fundraiser_FundRazr

Without the proper tools, you can end up exhausted and overworked. So, before you start your next fundraising campaign, consider these five tools:

Make It Mobile

While mobile apps can be very useful, you’ll also want to think about your mobile device itself. Smartphones have different features that can help you depending on your type of project. For example, the new HTC One M8 features the HTC Duo Camera that lets you take first-rate pictures as well as the HTC Zoe that can capture 20 photos and a short video clip. You then can use these to make an animated gallery that can be shared with donors.

Make It Social

Social media is a great way to spread the word about your fundraiser. You can write posts about your cause or promote and distribute any publicity your fundraiser receives in the media, whether it’s on another blog, in a magazine or on the radio or TV. You also can take advantage of your photos on platforms like Instagram. Post a picture of the walk/run you just did or your efforts to get ready for your next event. Then, remind people to attend and donate to your cause on Twitter and Facebook. Social media also is a great tool for redirecting donors to your website.

Make It Top of Mind

In order to have a successful fundraising campaign, people need to know about your cause. While social media channels are a great resource and word-of-mouth referrals can be helpful, email is still one of the best options for getting the word out. If you want to be strategic about sending emails to those on your list, consider a tool like MailChimp. With easy ways to automate and personalize the messages you send, your donors will not forget you and will know what is happening with your campaign. As a tip, if you want to be more effective with your emails, keep the frequency to a minimum and send personal stories along with your note.

Make It Rewarding

People like to give to charities because they care about the impact they can make, but they also like to feel good afterward. In order to make sure your fundraising campaign is one that will have loyal and repeat donors, consider using customer relationship management (CRM) software. Some of these solutions, like RoundCorner, offer non-profit specific CRM capabilities. This helps you maintain relationships with your supporters, keep records of prior communications and donations and encourage future engagements. Those who back your mission should know you care enough to nurture your connection with them.

If you’re gearing up for a big fundraising push, remember why you’re doing this in the first place. The worthy cause you’re working hard for deserves to have a polished and effective campaign. So, give these tools a try and see what works best for your fundraising campaign.

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Bethany Patch’s sister Rachel was swept away by a freak wave from Nobbys Breakwall and onto the rocks. She was hospitalized due to the accident which resulted in a fractured wrist, broken jaw, and the loss of several teeth. Although safe in the care of the wonderful hospital staff, she and her partner James are now facing a very tough road to recovery – physically, emotionally and financially.

Rachel is fortunate enough to have the support of a loving family, who are working tirelessly to ensure that the recovery process is as quick and easy as possible. Bethany started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to help pay for dental surgery, so that Rachel can focus on getting better without having to worry about a huge debt. On March 4th Rachel’s friends hosted a dinner fundraising event to help contribute to the FundRazr campaign. I spoke with Bethany on how she brought together over 100 people to help her sister with medicals expenses.

Rachel and Bethany Patch

1. Why did you decide to turn to crowdfunding?

“Rachel is an astoundingly kind, caring and sweet person. Through sheer loveliness, she routinely touches the lives of so many in such a positive way, so when people found out what had happened, the response was overwhelming. We were quickly inundated with supportive messages from friends and family with questions about what they could do to help out. Crowdfunding seemed like the most effective way to get the message out to those who know Rachel, and to get people genuinely involved in her recovery.”

2. How did you promote your campaign and create a community of support?

“Initially, I was promoting the campaign by texting or emailing family members, close friends and local businesses that knew Rachel well. More than anything, people were happy to hear that there was a way they could help. This also meant that the campaign could benefit from some substantial contributions before being promoted to a wider audience. Soon after this, I created an event on Facebook, linking to the campaign, and invited all of our friends to join, encouraging them to spread the word in their own networks. So far it’s going really well!”

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During a trip to the Dominican Republic in November 2014, Quest Atkinson witnessed first-hand some of the most saddening situations the destitute communities in Puerto Plata are faced with. Yet in the midst of such darkness, she also saw the positive impact that Dove Missions has had on many lives. Quest returned from her vacation months ago and felt compelled to do more; to not be a bystander or a silent observer.

Quest will be teaming up with Dove to volunteer her time and skills for one month in March. She will focus on helping with curriculum redesign, leading workshops, and various community outreach activities in Puerto Plata. Quest decided to start a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to cover the costs of travel, accommodation and other expenses. I spoke to Quest about how she used FundRazr in conjunction with social media to promote her cause and reach her funding goal.

Quest Dove Missions

1. Why did you decide to turn to crowdfunding?

“At first, the thought of crowdfunding seemed so daunting to me. How could I ask the people around me to make a donation when they generally don’t contribute to any causes? How could I ask the many friends and family that I know are struggling financially? I was never cut out for sales and I felt like I needed to have a sales sort of attitude to try to ‘convince’ people to donate. Though the thought of being used car sales kind of pushy was scary and distasteful.

When I was preparing for a similar volunteer trip last year to Uganda, I realized that I was actually robbing others of something. I was stealing the opportunity for others to show their love and support. Though the generous outpouring of support that first time proved my initial inclinations wrong, I felt reluctant that people would be as generous this time, especially considering it’s only been six months since the last charity trip. Yet, it was undeniable that I would not be able to incur the costs volunteering for one month in the Dominican alone. I once heard someone say that the best way to give is to receive. For me, crowdfunding allows people to bless me so that I might be a blessing to others.”

2. How did you promote your campaign and create a community of support?

“Long before plane tickets were booked and rental arrangements made, before I even talked to Dove about my hopes, this all was merely a dream. I have a close group of family and friends who I share almost every detail of my life with. So this dream, as most of my millions of other dreams do, came up casually in many conversations. At first it was kind of said in passing, “The weather here in Toronto is so bad. I want to go to the Dominican!” But I couldn’t shake the burning desire to return to volunteer again so inevitably it lead to more serious discussions about my dream.”

Once my project had been set up on Fundrazr, I used the vast number of tools available to me to get the word out. The first steps I took were posting to the Facebook group and LinkedIn group I created. I then prepared a list of people that I knew might have an interest in what I’d be doing. I wrote each of them a personalized email explaining what I’d be doing, asking for their support, and outlining the ways that they could help.”

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The Gaza Toy Drive is a humanitarian aid mission that aims to provide children in Gaza, Palestine, with new toys, educational items, medical aid and clothes. They believe these are essential to having some semblance of a normal childhood, despite the many challenges that they face in life. They aim to provide children with things that represents a normal childhood from psychological and educational perspectives, and physical necessity and comfort.

The team is raising funds for the shipment of thousands of boxes collected from the good people of Ireland, UK and Denmark. Volunteers have worked tirelessly to pack over 7 containers full to capacity with new toys, books, bikes, clothing and medical supplies. Everything is itemised and packed and ready to be shipped, they have started crowdfunding to raise the necessary funds to get the goods to Gaza. I spoke with one of the organizers Ahmed Salti on how they have managed to get others involved in their mission, including Professor Noam Chomsky.

1. Why did you decide to turn to crowdfunding?

“Involving people that stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and reaching out to anyone that is willing to learn and participate in a humanitarian mission focused on children without any political affiliation has been our primary aim aside from bringing the very much needed items to the children in Gaza. Involving people and providing them with a platform/channel in which they can express their support without needing to take any side while raising awareness, documenting and reporting first hand stories of families and children prior to the recent attacks.”

2. How have you promoted your campaign?

Facebook has been an important tool to describe our mission and to involve people. We use major social platforms, like Twitter and YouTube. Additionally, we have reached out to organisations and media channels and websites to promote it further.”

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We are constantly improving the way you share a crowdfunding campaign and our 3 most recent features are sure to do the trick!

1. Import Contacts

Now you can select email addresses from your contact list to easily share your campaign with them. In one easy step, your campaign can reach all the people who care about your cause.

*Coaching Tip: Pick 5 of your closet friends and family members to email first as they are more likely to make the first donations.

FundRazr features contacts

2. Add a Team Member

We all know that 2 heads are better than one, and we think that’s true for crowdfunding as well! Now you can invite a best friend or family member to your campaign team so they can help promote your campaign. From providing updates to importing their own contacts to expand your reach, you’ll have double the chance of success.

*Coaching Tip: Pick someone who is close to you and your cause to team-up and help promote!

FundRazr features team

3. Share with a Click!

Sharing a campaign with each of your social networks can be difficult, but we’ve made it easy! With a touch of a button you can share your campaign across multiple social media accounts without ever leaving the site.

*Coaching Tip: Add a personal message each time you share to encourage your networks to visit your campaign!

FundRazr features

Stay tuned next week for more features.

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Chilis on Wheels is an initiative based in New York City, spearheaded by veteran vegan and social rights activist Michelle Carrera. Michelle decided to cook her own vegan chilis and provide them to the homeless and food insecure in need of a warm meal once a month. Most soup kitchens close their doors over the weekends and Chilis on Wheels aims to cover that need.

They’re raising funds to expand their service from monthly distributions to weekly ones, and add a component of a table in the park in order to expand the population that they serve. The team have started a crowdfunding campaign in order to cover costs for food, related supplies and fees associated with tax exemption. I spoke with Michelle on how her team pitched the idea to their friends and family, and what it means for them to provide a service in their community with the support of the crowd.

Watch Michelle’s pitch video

1. Why did you decide to turn to crowdfunding to raise money?

“We turned to crowdfunding because the entire effort was being funded out of pocket. When we turned to supermarkets for food donations, we were directed to register as a 501c3, a tax exempt organization. Unfortunately the fees associated with this registration were out of our budget and we turned to the crowd.”

2. How did you initially promote your campaign and create a community of support?

“We spent our social capital. Left no door unknocked. If I know you, I make sure you know about our campaign. If I don’t know you but know of you, you have received a message from us. Unabashedly.”

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10 Steps To Crowdfunding Success [Infographic]

by Hoda Toloui-Wallace 10 February 2015

With the ever increasing amount of noise on the internet it can be hard to get noticed. Crowdfunding for a project or cause can be a very rewarding process if you include the essential ingredients to success. Our FundRazr Coaching Team created this infographic on how to get your fundraiser noticed, this includes tips on […]

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How To Foster A Community Of Fans

by Hoda Toloui-Wallace 5 February 2015

The Nation of Love is an independent record label from mid-Missouri created by and for musicians.The Nation of Love’s mission is to create fresh inventive art with musical sounds. From March 14-21, they will embark on their first label-wide tour, performing in Austin, Texas playing several unofficial showcases during SXSW. This is one of the […]

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5 Signs That You’re Ready To Crowdfund

by Hoda Toloui-Wallace 30 January 2015

As a FundRazr Coach, I work with thousands of people to ensure they are set up for success. Majority of people I work with are curious to know the formula for successful crowdfunding. Not everyone is entirely ready to take on crowdfunding, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream. What it […]

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Erin Will Stop At Nothing To Volunteer In Haiti

by Hoda Toloui-Wallace 29 January 2015

In March 2015, Erin Segall has the opportunity to go to Jacmel, Haiti and be part of the Global Health Perspectives internship through Denver School of Nursing. This service learning internship will allow her to work with LOVE Takes Root, La Concord Orphanage and the new medical clinic to further my nursing school education. The […]

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