Tips for Success

Getting Ready

Choose something you are passionate about.

Creating a campaign is simple, but running a good one takes time and energy. Make sure you select a cause or initiative that you care about.

Make it a team effort.

It’s a fact: campaigns with teams raise more money and are more likely to succeed. That’s why we’ve made it easy to work in teams on GiveCampus. We encourage you to invite co-creators to join you from the start. We also recommend that you recruit donors and advocates before your campaign goes live.

Do the math.

Break out a calculator as you determine your fundraising goal. How much will you donate? How many other people have committed to making a gift? How much do you expect them to donate? How many other people will you and your team reach? If a third of those people give $50 or $100 each, how much will you raise? Be ambitious, but make sure you can sketch a realistic scenario that gets you to the goal.

Have a concrete plan to reach key milestones.

Raising at least 10% of your goal on the first day dramatically improves a campaign’s chance of success. Similarly, 40% is a tipping point for many campaigns. Hitting this milestone early makes people more likely to spend time on your campaign page and more likely to make a donation. We recommend having a plan that will get you there within the first 7-10 days.

Be Social!

GiveCampus is a social platform and being social is critical to success. Engage your network before your campaign launches and have a plan for reaching everyone once it goes live. Social media is vital, so you should have an established presence and know how to use it. You’ll also want to recruit friends to spread the word, amplifying your message and reaching even more people.

It's never too early to get started.

Generate buzz about your campaign before it launches. Secure commitments from donors and advocates to lend a hand. Once your campaign is approved, but before it goes live, you can share the campaign page with people to get them excited about what you are doing.

Schedule accordingly.

Running a campaign requires daily attention, so launch your campaign when you won’t have too many competing priorities.

Creating your campaign

Be a star and a storyteller.

Your video is one of the most important elements of the campaign. Invest time and effort in making it great, and your campaign will have a major advantage. But don’t think that great videos need to be fancy. The key is to be engaging, tell a good story, and persuade people to join you in achieving something truly important.

Make it personal.

In your video, on your campaign page, and in your outreach, explain the purpose of your campaign and why it is important. You want people to understand how the campaign will help today’s students, so be specific and describe the impact the money will have. You also want them to feel and share your enthusiasm, so don’t be afraid to show some emotion!

Get to the point.

There are a lot of distractions out there, so always put your bottom line up front. We recommend that videos last no more than 2-3 minutes and that campaign descriptions be no more than 300 words in length.

Invite people to join your team.

Emphasize how important each individual’s support is to the campaign. You need them to make a donation, to spread the word, to join you in solving this problem—together.

Make sure people know that every dollar counts.

No donation is too small to make a difference, and the impact is even greater when donations are combined to achieve a common goal. Emphasize these points and remind people that you want to reach the fundraising goal with the support of as many people as possible. (Bonus tip: Matching Donations are a great way to stress this point!)

Running your campaign

Put your money where your mouth is.

Making a donation yourself sends an important signal. We also encourage you to offer a Matching Donation and recruit others to do the same. Matches are a great way to kick things off and to add excitement during the campaign—try to have them offered throughout.

Spread the word.

You should be doing this long before your campaign launches, but you’ll need to supercharge your efforts once the countdown begins. Be proactive and ask others to help. Launch a social media blitz. Contact everyone you know. Seek out bloggers or organizations that may be interested in promoting the campaign. Do whatever it takes to reach as many people as possible.

  • Don't forget about email.

    Facebook and Twitter are great, but studies show that many people are more likely to respond to a personal email.

  • Don't limit yourself to the online world.

    Get outside the bubble and talk to people—in person. Tell them about your campaign, what you are trying to achieve, and why they should join you. Putting a face to the campaign and hearing directly from the creator can have an incredible effect on people.

  • Reach beyond your immediate network.

    Think outside the box and come up with ways to engage people and groups outside your inner circle of friends and family. Enlist your team, other donors, and campaign advocates to help. And don’t be afraid to take chances—you may be surprised by the responses you receive from people who didn’t graduate in the same decade, didn’t go to the same school, or don’t even know you.

Don't let up.

Campaigns that conduct daily outreach (a.k.a. “marketing”) and post regular updates raise more money—a lot more money—than those that don’t. You should never stop spreading the word, and you should not wait until your campaign is almost over to post an update. Regularly share news of the campaign’s progress and remind people of what you’re trying to accomplish. The best campaigns feature updates—including video updates—throughout. These updates keep supporters engaged, encourage them to do more, and help bring in new people.

Be thoughtful with your outreach.

Think about the people you are contacting and how to most effectively engage them. What words will best convey the importance of your campaign to them? What messaging will resonate with their personal experiences? Where are you most likely to capture their attention—on Facebook, over email, on the phone, in person? What time of day is best? Tailor your outreach to specific individuals as much as possible, and be sure to vary your content when you post on social media and send group emails.

Keep track of your outreach.

Create a system to track who you contact, when, and how—as well as what their response is.  You’ll need to send reminders to a lot of people, but you don’t want to repeatedly bombard those who have already donated.

Be grateful.

Express your gratitude early and often. Whether someone makes a donation or advocates for your campaign, you want them to know that you appreciate the support. A personalized “thank you” will encourage them to do more and keep them engaged as your campaign progresses.

Ask for help.

The GiveCampus team is here for you! A GiveCampus expert is assigned to assist with each campaign, but we can also lend a hand before you submit a draft. Just contact us and let us know what you need.