Have a vision that keeps you awake at night but all that stops you is a lack of funds? Here is a one-month plan that gets your friends, family and even strangers to back your dream.
Make a list of all your contacts
Your networks are the first and the most likely people to help. They know you and your work. Abhishek Dalvi's friends raised Rs 30 lakhs for his heart transplant in a month. Once you've made a list of all your contacts divide them in groups – friends and family, influencers and acquaintances.
Abhishek's friends didn't know he was sick till he was admitted in the hospital
Reaching out to your networks
You have your contacts in easy buckets. Freeze the message should go to each group and how you will present your ask. Not every email needs to be about asking for funds. For groups you know will not contribute financially, request that they spread the word. In the first week, it is important to reach out to the group most likely to support you to create traction.
Launch your campaign
If you can, create a buzz around your campaign through launches. Identify early supporters and start with a soft launch to test waters. Invite your friends to help you spread the word and create momentum. Post on Facebook and tag your closest friends who are sure to share it in their networks. Message 15 friends on Facebook asking them to share if not donate.
The #GetOnTheBus campaign successfully raised 18 lakhs in two weeks by launching it in their networks. They set a clear, looming deadline and got their friends to create support campaigns for the cause.
Raising 18 lakhs to send children of Shree Raj Educational Centre in rural Maharashtra to school in a bus
Create content that is shareable. At the launch of your campaign make sure your campaign is very shareable on social media. Great pictures and smart captions do speak a thousand words. Think of content that is engaging and gives tangible/intangible benefits to your audience, such as the feeling of having done something good, or giveaways etc.
Send Thank-You emails
To every supporter,send out a sincere note of thanks appreciating their time and efforts towards your cause. Share your success with your supporters who made it happen.
WEEK 2 AND 3
Double your outreach efforts
Use the buzz generated in the first week to announce the success of your campaign to a larger audience. Now is the time to reach out to local press and larger groups. Reach out to them, requesting them to share your campaign. People For Animals rescued 87 camels and successfully sent them back to their natural habitat thanks to local media efforts.
Facebook is another great platform to say your piece. You will always find interest groups aligned with your cause on Facebook. Reach out to the moderator asking them to post your campaign on the page. The tongue-in-cheek cricket commentary page Srini Mama posted the Indian Blind Cricket team's campaign, bringing it to the attention of thousands of Indian cricket fans.
The world's best blind cricket team is the only one not recognised by its cricketing board
Week three is the time when the early momentum of the campaign has slowed and it is time to revive the energy. This can done by creating engagement with your audience through contests, giveaways etc. It is also a time to celebrate milestones such as meeting 70% of your goal etc. Subtly remind your donors that they have backed a winning cause.
Learn about receiving funds
Find out how to receive funds. Be clear on the timelines needed to get your money.
Managing the campaign
This is the time when you need to make sure that you have thanked your supporters and answered all their queries. It is a time when you need to stay on top of things with the necessary updates. Take special care to talk to sceptics on online public platforms. Not only will it ease the mind of other supporters but correctly handled, it is a chance to bring a new supporter to your cause.
The last hurrah
The end of your campaign is the time you want to give a final push to your campaign. Take stock of what has worked in your campaign so far. Emails, social media, event or press outreach etc. What has broughtin the most donations? Tap these channels for that last leg needed to meet your target.
Begin a countdown
Do a 48-hour and/or 24-hour countdown for your supporters. Begin your countdown on emails, social media and your campaign page.The limited time left gets many of your supporters off the fence into action. #Free the Hungry raised 2 lakhs in 2 days precisely because the donors had to act immediately.
Free the Hungry was a part of the initiative to feel over 500k hungry people on Independence Day
Send Thank You
Post a heartfelt 'Thank You' message for all those who supported and believed in your campaign. Tag each and every one of your donors on Facebook and thank them. Address their friends, asking them to support your cause.
Answer all your mails and reply to all comments
Post fresh updates and photographs every week to keep your donors in the loop
Do keep the updates shareable
Send out Thank-you emails to all your donors and supporters
Keep your messaging relevant