If you’ve never been through one, it’s hard to know how terrible it can be. If you have, then you’ve seen the wake of destruction natural disasters can leave. This year alone, two regions of the US have had massive destruction due to hurricanes. Cities in shambles, homes destroyed, possessions gone, and lives affected in ways difficult for most to comprehend. For those affected, and for those who want to help, there are terrific opportunities for crowdfunding campaigns to help those who have been affected.
We have seen, time and time again, the nature of people after a natural disaster. And yes, people DO want to help. But you need to give them a way, as they rarely know how their help can be best served. So if you’ve been affected, or if you want to help and haven’t been affected, here’s a few tips that can help.
- Get started! I know this seems like an obvious one, but it’s where most opportunities are lost. Simply, those affected and those who want to help, often never get to starting a fundraising campaign. If there’s not one, then the opportunity for assistance is lost before it gets started. Simply getting a campaign up and online is the critical first step. It only takes a minute, so head to a site like http://www.unified4people.com and get a campaign up! And as soon as you can! Taking that first step is where it all starts.
- Get noticed! Many people don’t realize this, but if you don’t get your campaign out, and the word spread, people won’t know about your fundraising campaign, which of course means – no pledges. How do you get noticed? You have to spread the word. Want some ways to get noticed? Here’s a few:
- Share your campaign on your social media. About 60% of campaign owners never even share their own campaign. Yes, really. So start there!
- Send personal requests to friends and family. Email them a link to your campaign and start with a personal message to them. People are more likely to pledge when you let them know that you are aware you are sending this personal request to them. It’s too easy to ignore when it’s a general email. But when it is “Hi Tommy, this is Sue. How are you? As you may not know, I need your help. . .” If possible, ask them about something personal up front as well: “How is Sally? or Is your new job going well?” That personal attention lets them know that this request is directly from you to them, which creates the sense of obligation to pledge in their minds, and that makes all the difference.
- Ask people for what you want or they won’t do it. For example, “Please pledge to my campaign because we need your help, and please share my campaign personally with your friends and on your social media.” The “and” is the important word here. If you ask them to pledge or to share, they’ll share, every time.
- Have a compelling campaign photo. People are more visual in how they process. A compelling photo of the damage that has been done is the biggest attention grabber.
- Don’t be afraid to get personal. Tell people your story. Let them know how bad it has affected you. The more they understand how it has affected you, the more likely they are to help. If you are setting up a campaign to help others, the same is true. Be specific about the damage that has occurred. This is where the sympathy comes from. The more detail you give, the more chance you have of hitting the right chord.
- Get targeted! Simply telling people you need pledges is not enough. Tell them why, and what for if you want real results. And have a target or a goal. “I need money” doesn’t work as people don’t really know if you do or don’t. Tell them specifically how much you need and exactly what you need it for. People feel better about pledging when they know it is going to a specific need, as they feel it is more likely that their help will ultimately make a difference. If you’re setting up a campaign to help others, again, set your goal and, most importantly, tell people exactly what you’re going to do with the money and where you are sending it like, “when we meet our goal, the money is going to be sent to _______________, to assist them with __________________.” You won’t believe what a difference it makes!
If you’ve been affected by a natural disaster, we are here to help. So please do not hesitate to ask us for tips or have us review your campaign for suggestions. And most importantly, keep your chin up and believe that you will overcome. Our hearts are with all of you and your families!