Online Fundraising Academy: Creating a Campaign Strategy

Online Fundraising Academy: Creating a Campaign Strategy

Maureen Dugan, Executive Director of Arlington Academy of Hope, and her team raised $115,000 in matching campaigns on GlobalGiving in 2014! After participating in GlobalGiving’s first Online Fundraising Academy in 2013, Maureen returned for the third session of the Online Fundraising Academy to share her advice and insights with this year’s cohort.

Session Recording:

Session Notes:

Build Consensus

  • Explain the benefits of a GlobalGiving partnership to your board of directors and supporters

    • Besides Bonus Days, GlobalGiving offers a variety of technical tools and feedback which aim to make your organization more successful

    • Discuss details with your board so they understand things like GlobalGiving’s 15% fee (Learn more about it here)

  • Create a Q&A: Give your board and supporters written answers to common questions that they can use to address concerns from their networks, friends, and families

    • You will find that people often have similar questions, so this will help to minimize confusion, build excitement, and inform your base on how they get best get involved and share information with others

  • Get your base to be enthusiastic supporters

    • Let them know how you expect them to participate – ask them to get on board and help you, and also let them know how they can help make the most out something like a Bonus Day

Make a Plan – Focus on Who to Target

  • Regular donors – If they don’t usually donate through GlobalGiving, ask them to help specifically on a Bonus Day to raise a larger amount of funds for a specific project.

  • Lapsed donors – For donors that haven’t given in the past few years, this is an opportunity for them to rejoin your donor base.

  • Board of Directors members – Ask them to give, but also to be ambassadors for your organization and project

  • Friends, Neighbors, Colleagues

  • Write template messages for each group that they can then share with their networks, friends, and colleagues

  • Don’t hesitate to send updates throughout the day, letting donors know where you are in relation to your goal, and how they can help contribute to get you over your goal


  • Set a fundraising goal for the day

  • Use email, Facebook, and Twitter

  • Use succinct and compelling messaging to highlight why Bonus Day is important, stress the urgency of giving now, why your donors matter, and why you need them to participate to raise this bonus money

  • Be consistent, but be different!

  • Show local efforts

  • Time messages – 1 month out, 1 week out, day before

Minimize Glitches

  • Occasional glitches will happen – wrong website, project, or day. It’s okay!

  • Create and use the link to your project page in all messaging to minimize confusion. Paste a hyperlink to your project page in all of your messages and on your website.

  • Some donors require more explanation, and some might not do online giving. That’s okay too!

  • Have your Q&As ready.

You don’t have to do it all – figure out what is most important for your organization and what’s doable for you right out of the gate. The resources will continue to be available, and as you’re ready you can begin trying more new things.

Question & Answer:

Q: If you have several projects active on GG, should you choose just one for the Bonus Day?

A: We tend to use just one project per Bonus Day to minimize confusion. It pays to recommend one project, rather than have donors try and choose a project. In your messaging leading up to it, focus on that one project and provide the link to that project page in all your communication.

Q: Is it better to use a microproject for a Bonus Day?

A: It depends on how big your microproject is. Microprojects must have a fundraising amount between $250 and $10,000, but some organizations raise more than $10,000 in one Bonus Day, so it depends on how much you plan on raising. Learn more about microprojects here.

Q: What is the cost of Facebook promotion and have you seen success?

A: It depends on how many people you strive to reach. We typically will spend $100 on promotion and narrow it down by geography and age that best represents the people interested in our organization, as well as to people who have “liked” our organization and their network. We usually will post for specific things like Bonus Days.

Q: What kinds of questions should we have answers for?

A: For your board – generally more internal and financial answers related to GG, such as why it’s worthwhile to fundraise through a third party and why GG charges a fee. General public questions typically include: Can I write a check for Bonus Day? Does the Bonus Day donation have to be on the GG website? How will you know if I gave? Will you add my email to your email list? Can I support another one of your projects? What is GlobalGiving?

Q: If our organization is receiving funding from a foundation, is it appropriate to ask their staff members for donations?

A: It depends on your relationship with that foundation. A Bonus Day might not be the best place to initially invite individuals to give. Instead, you should start a relationship with them and invite them to give in a more personable way. If you host events in their area, invite them to attend, staff can then decide as individuals if they want to give to your organization.

This post was written by Destiny Nobles, Program Team Intern.

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