Welcome to the Seeds of Change team! You now have a dedicated web page to fundraise for your initiative that is important and relevant to you.
Now that you’re live, here’s what to do:
- One member of your team will have access to make updates on the back-end of your project page. You can login with your mcgill e-mail and password: www.mcgill.ca/seedsofchange/user
- Follow the instructions in the document called Website Updates Manual (sent via email)
- To keep interest going for your project and to keep the page dynamic, have 1 update/week and 4 tweets/week
- Do some social media steps: Like/follow the Seeds of Change on Facebook and Twitter.
- Use #mcgillseeds so that we can keep track of your updates.
- Identify 1 listserv/faculty/group mail list or newsletter who can promote your project to a broader audience
- Each Ambassador should identify 21 people in his/her network to contact. This can be done by:
- Email, call, text, share on Facebook, tweet, etc.
- Let them know your project is up and ready to accept donations
- The more people that know, the more successful your campaign will be!
- Donate to your project – lead the way, so others can follow your lead. Share your donation on Facebook and/or Twitter.
- Is there an event on campus that can promote your project? If so, ask to be a part of it!
As your campaign continues through, I will be sending you weekly e-mails with tips & tricks, motivational videos, and other really cool stuff to inspire you to keep going. And, of course, to keep in contact with you guys: I want to make sure you feel supported by myself and the rest of the Seeds of Change team. To start it off, I highly recommend you read this article to learn about how to make your crowdfunding page take off!
As we enter Week 2, I’ve got some great resources based around the theme of “community”. More specifically, what is a community and how can you build one around your crowdfunding page?
Firstly, a community is a group or collective of individuals who are true believers in your project. Here is a fantastic article about building a community for crowdfunding.
How do you engage your audience to create a sense of community? I’ve got three ways for you:
1. Storytelling is a great way to inspire people to stand behind your initiative. Expose the emotional side of your project!
2. Create a call to action. Check out this article on how to do just that!
3. Always be at the front of their minds: remember to keep in touch with your community! Now, I’m definitely not advocating a flurry of messages via social media or otherwise. But to regularly reach out, ask questions on Facebook, or share an event invitation is a great way to remind your community of your call to action.
So we’re entering Week 3 of your Crowdfunding campaign! By now you have identified people to contact in your network and started creating a community around your project. This week, we will look at the best ways to use social media platforms to your advantage!
“social media platforms aren’t necessarily Fundraising engines, it’s the people using them that are.”
It’s important to recognize that social media is more than just a networking device: social media platforms can be hugely important drivers in getting your project the exposure it needs!
Here are 5 key ways to reach out when posting on social media:
1. Tell your story: what is the heart before your initiative? Why is this project important to you?
2. Recruit your brand influencers: identify who in your social media network is an “influencer”
3. Add a call to action: be clear about what you want your audience to do!
4. Brand your initiative: make your messages consistent, positive, and continuous. You don’t want to confuse your audience with mixed messages!
5. Thank your partners, volunteers, and donors: this is, of course, a crucial part. You want to ensure your donors feel appreciated, so don’t hesitate to do a shout-out via e-mail or social media if you see someone you know has made a donation to your project!
I can’t wait to see what your team comes up with in regards to social media promotions. Don’t be afraid to get creative! And, of course, don’t hesitate if you want to run some ideas by me.
We’re now entering Week 4! I hope you guys are feeling the excitement as your campaign gains speed.
Have you thought about your strategy for sending out emails and reaching out in person? No matter your technique, you could always use a memorable elevator pitch to quickly and efficiently convey your project to a potential donor.
And of course, know how to ask!
When sending an e-mail, the major point to remember is that online readers are skimmers. You have just a few seconds to grab their attention and convince them to support you and your project. Here is the meat and bones of your communications:
1. State the problem – What’s the social problem that we are trying to solve? Why is it an issue? Why should I care?
2. State the solution – What can we do to solve the problem? How much money do we need to make an impact?
3. State the call to action – What do you want the reader to do? Donate, share, create a fundraising page? Make it crystal clear.
And did you know the subject line can play a huge role if your e-mail is even opened? Consider adding a really catchy line to lure in those skeptical readers!
Week 5 is upon us! Did you reach your mid-way goal back in week 4?
Today we’re going to discuss ways you can market your project on campus:
• Getting a spot of a popular listserv
• Campus media (newspapers, radio, TV)
• In-person fundraising (bake sales, events, etc.)
• Look into getting supported at pre-existing events such as Gerts nights or another campus bars/events
Can you and your team come up with some other great and engaging ideas?
And, to tie it all together, here’s a great video about the science of persuasion!
We’ve reached your sixth week of fundraising! This week the topic is Community outreach: how can you reach out to the broader population, beyond the Roddick gates?
Here’s a quick list of ideas to get you brainstorming about creative ways to increase the public’s awareness about your initiative:
- Holiday gift-wrapping
- Dog wash
- Car wash
- Garage sale/yard sale
- Scavenger hunt
- Trivia night
- Guess how many jellybeans are in the jar
- Donation challenges: “donate $1 more each day”
- Holiday events: Fourth of July picnic, Christmas Tree lighting, Halloween party
Now, rally your team together and see what you guys can come up with!
Alright so we’ve made it to Week 7! This is fantastic!
You’ve done a tremendous job so far, but you still have some time to collect additional funding to really take your project above and beyond!
And up until now we’ve been talking about what you can do to convince others. But around now, I bet you’re wondering “how on earth am I going to make it to the end?”
Don’t fret! This is the perfect time for a little pep talk on how to stay motivated.
A key point to remember is that you’re a group of ambassadors, who probably also have an array of people behind you as well. This is a tremendously supportive group who, best of all, knows exactly what’s going on behind the scenes of your project.
Use this team dynamic to your benefit! Be sure to hold regular meetings with your group to ensure everyone is still focused and on point, and above all, to ensure no one feels they’re doing this alone. Keep the communication flowing, and the inspiration and motivation will follow!
Just checking in with you on your final week on the crowdfunding website!
You’ve done a tremendous job so far, and there is only a couple days left to go!
For Week 8, here’s a quick list of ways to create a sense of urgency in your social media postings/emails as the clock ticks:
- Give a deadline- you’ve got until Friday at midnight to build a lasting change!
- Communicate how a need must be met now- help us get all our matching funds before they expire!
- Use powerful wording like “act now”, “make your donation today”, “time is running out”
To keep up your motivation and hopefully offer a bit of inspiration, here’s a great TedTalk by Seth Godin (17 min video) that talks about making change by finding communities. You guys are in the midst of initiating change and making a huge difference, and it’s finding those communities that care and are passionate about it that can help give you that leg up.