A blog is one social media platform for getting the word out about your interests, your activities, and your social life – or lack thereof. It’s also a great forum for keeping people apprised of your charitable pursuits, whether you’re raising money for a walk/5K or an extracurricular effort, like renovating your university’s theatre. Now is the time to consider how best to reach your audience. Are they likely to send you a check or will you need to enlist your friend and her IT degree to set up a donation page? Examine your needs and fund-raising goals and formulate a plan for success.
Ideally, you have been blogging for some time and have a loyal following, whether that’s five people or fifty. Even if you’re brand new to blogging – perhaps even using your online presence solely to accumulate capital for your organization – you’ll want to complement people’s altruistic intentions and make giving as easy as possible. Assume folks who visit your site are not Internet savvy, even if you know they are. If you keep things easy for the people you’re approaching, such as including a visually appealing ‘Donate!’ button, you might just bring in more money. Interested persons can simply click through to Paypal and soon that auditorium you love so much will get a fresh new coat of paint.
Start by showing off photos of the space that needs a little TLC. You need not over-emote and beg for money – you’re sprucing up a performance space, not placing orphans for adoption – but showing a few pictures of less-than-stellar corners of the theatre might generate more interest than an array of exterior building shots. Show people what you’re pouring your passion and time into. You can write all the posts you want about needing money but people will likely want to see pictures of the project your group is taking on, especially if they’re visual learners.
Once money starts pouring in, be sure to keep your audience up-to-date on your progress. Play – no pun intended – to your organization’s strengths. You might consider telling your story in an “extreme makeover” format touch by including video of renovations in progress and, ultimately, the big reveal. It’s important to engage your audience and let them know where their hard-earned dollars are going. An online journey that begins with the drama department’s trip to a local paint store could make for a fun post, especially with a prism of paint chips in the background.
Fund-raising can be difficult journey to embark upon but you can make your club’s need for financial assistance into something of an adventure. Tell a story, paint a picture – whatever you do, involve your audience in your process, even if donations slow to a trickle. Be sure to thank everyone who donated to your cause and extend invitations to people to tour the theatre and/or attend a performance. Nothing spells future support quicker than someone who can point to a painted wall, fixed stage light, or riser and say, “I helped make that happen.”