A key piece to fundraising success is marketing and most of it is free! Below, we will share some ideas to help spread the word about your fundraising event.
Any fundraising materials should state why you are holding the event and how the event will impact your cause. Prepare event materials with your goals and propose sponsorships from local businesses and organizations.
There are many good reasons to use online platforms to announce or market your fundraiser. It’s easy, you can reach a large audience with a couple clicks of your keyboard and it is fast. Online platforms are ideal because as updates or changes happen (as we know they usually do!) you can quickly get the word or send a quick message to a broad audience. We’ve highlighted Facebook below, but there are other social media platforms to consider like Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, which are widely used and free too.
Facebook: One of the easiest and most popular platforms to use to inform others of your event is Facebook. Many families affected with leukodystrophy utilize Facebook as a way to share their story with the world or to stay in touch with friends and family near and far by sharing photos, providing medical updates, happy or sad moments, and promoting disease awareness. The pages are useful for event marketing as well and by using these pages, you can be sure the captive audience is listening. Make sure to create a hashtag for your event so that users can search for event-related information in real time. Users will then be able to create more of a “buzz” before, during, and after your event with their followers.
Create a public event (to make sure anyone on Facebook can see and share it) using your story page or your personal page and then share it. Ask your friends and family to share it as well. The great thing about using an online platform for your event details is that if any of the details change or you want to send a quick message to the masses, you can instantly and easily do so.
Are you a member of a local Facebook community group or news forum? You will be able to easily share the event in those arenas as well.
Other social media platforms to consider that allow you to spread the word quickly are Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. These platforms are widely used and are completely free to use.
School Districts: Virtual Backpacks are utilized by many school districts to post all announcements in one place and allow the school to minimize paper usage. Ask your local school district if they would allow you to send your event flyer home with the students or post the event flyer in the virtual backpack area of their website.
Send an E-mail: Put all of you event information in an e-mail and send to your family and friends who can then forward it on to their contacts! Make sure to include a call to action by linking the information in the e-mail to either the event website (if you have created one) or the Facebook event page will guarantee more traffic and more eyes on your event.
Website: Utilize Wix, WordPress, 1and1.com, Weebly, GoDaddy, EventCreate, EventSmart or other website builders to create an online space for your event information to live and sell tickets. You may have to pay for a domain name, but many of the website builders offer a free or low cost version of their website hosting. They are also relatively intuitive and easy to use. Make sure to link to your social media platforms as well as include any key words or hashtags used to describe your event in the body copy of the website to ensure your website comes up in the search engine results pages!
TV, Newspaper and Radio
News Release: Create a news release about your event send it to your local TV stations, newspapers, and radio stations. They may be interested in highlighting your event on a front page article or allow you an on-air interview to advertise! Also, keep in mind that many news organizations may consider an in-kind media sponsorship where they help you advertise, but no actual money is exchanged.
Closed Circuit TVs: Does your local gym or doctor’s office have a closed circuit TV? Inquire about sharing your event information on their screens in the weeks leading up to the event!
Does your event require a ticket for entry? Here are some ideas:
- Ask friends and family to help you “pound the pavement” to sell tickets
- Set up a table (with permission) in front of your local grocery store, bank, farmer’s market, library, gym, etc. and offer your tickets for purchase. Don’t forget to send out some advance social media or website posts with the dates, times, and locations of where you will be!
- Ask the local businesses if they would be willing to sell the tickets for you
- Are you a member of a local service organization such as the Moose, Rotary, Elks Club? Fellow members may be willing to sell tickets for you, it doesn’t hurt to ask!
- Offer online ticket sales for those with debit or credit cards! Websites such as EventBright, EventCreate or EventSmart offer the ability to sell tickets online. Also think about accepting payments via Venmo, PayPal, Facebook Messenger, or Zelle for those community members who don’t carry cash.
Flyers and Posters
Hanging flyers in public places such as local restaurants, libraries, post offices and grocery stores can help your event awareness. Think about how many people your event could get in front of if your local pizzeria stapled your event flyer to every pizza or take out bag that was delivered? Or if your event flyer was dropped in every shopping bag from a local shop? The opportunities are endless!