When I was a child, I was excited for the times my older siblings would show me food tricks. This is how it went; showing an empty hand, chanting abracadabra then showing a hand with sweets. Those are some of the memories I carry with me; The joys of magic.
When I first learnt of online fundraising through M-Changa, I thought to myself, how cool is it for people in different places to securely raise funds. I was fascinated by the ability to set up, manage and withdraw funds all from the convenience of a device—the magic of crowdfunding.
In May 2019, I registered my first fundraiser, and that is when I learnt that there is no magic in fundraising. It requires work; lots of it. Today, I will share some of the lessons I’ve learnt along the way to help you succeed better in your online fundraising endeavors;
Like every other thing in life, fundraising requires prior planning. As you plan, you need to think about what approaches you will use to request for donations, who you will contact and where you will do the approaching. Here are some pointers to help you in your planning;
(i) Determine your online/offline presence
How many active followers do I have on my social media pages? How many people frequently visit our website? How many people can I message for donations?
These are some of the questions you need to ask before determining the best platform to use while approaching your donors. Because the aim is to reach as many people as possible, it is advisable to use a variety of communication channels.
(ii) Map your network
Who are my closest networks? Who can I approach to help me raise funds? Who creates the best graphics in my team? Who would write the best story? Who champions for my cause?
When mapping out your network, you need to ask the most vital questions. This is crucial since your closest networks set the pace for your fundraiser success.
(iii) Determine strategies for fundraising
A friend I know runs a music for giving campaign to help raise awareness for their fundraiser. This is one strategy that can help promote your fundraiser.
Other strategies may include making handmade thank you notes for all your local donors or giving a t-shirt to every donor who gives KES 7,000 and above. Be creative with your strategies.
2. During fundraising
Once you have clearly outlined your plans, you are now ready to register your online or mobile fundraiser. Here are some pointers to help you through the fundraising process;
(i) Sharing your fundraiser
When it comes to sharing; Giving up is not an option.
Keep sharing and remember to capitalize on the many communication channels at our disposal.
(ii) Evaluate the effectiveness of your communication channels
Where have most of your donors’ gotten info on your fundraiser? How expensive is it to use this channel?
These are some of the questions that help determine your priority channels. Evaluation is crucial as it enables you to direct more focus where the results are.
(iii) Constant updates
How does it feel when a family member, on an eleven-hour journey, fails to update you on their safety and movements? Now, how does it feel when they regularly update you? I bet you feel more at ease. This is how you should make your donors feel.
To enable easy updates, M-CHANGA provides you with a story section for easy to follow updates for your supporters.
Do you remember the updates you were making during the fundraising period? This is now the time to give a comprehensive update on how the funds have been utilized.
Do you remember the tokens of appreciation we mentioned pre-fundraising? This is the time to honour your promise by delivering.
Also, how do you feel when someone thanks you for doing something for them? Make sure your donors feel that too. You can take advantage of M-Changa’s 250 free messages to thank your donors!
With these tips and pointers, you can now comfortably enjoy the numerous benefits that come with online fundraising.
To start your own fundraiser, click on this link or dial *483*57# .
M-Changa is a Kenyan online and mobile fundraising platform that was launched in 2012 to make fundraising more convenient, more efficient and more secure than the traditional Harambee. To date, over 41,933 fundraisers have raised millions of dollars from over 730,656 contributors.
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