In 2014, I ran my first online fundraising campaign and it lasted for five weeks. My goal was to raise $25,000 for new filmmaking equipment to utilise in my role in the Creative Communications Department at YWAM Newcastle. I felt God wanted to equip me by starting my filmmaking journey with the right tools. I learnt many things from the five weeks of fundraising, and hopefully by sharing my tips, you can gain insight and have the confidence to fund-raise well.
1. Seek advice
Many of my good friends have experience fundraising either for missions or for their own creative projects, and their knowledge was worth its weight in gold. I surrounded myself with those people, and in return, they encouraged and instructed me, sharing what had worked for them. I highly recommend spending time with people who have fund-raised before and learning from them.
2. Make your goal clear
Something I found really helpful was asking myself, “What am I doing this for? What are my goals?” and writing my answers down. A trusted friend read it over and helped me make into a simple message. I’m so grateful for that because online, everything is in the fast lane. I found that people tend to gravitate to a simple and defined message while on social media.
3. Choose advocates
I emailed my friends and family, people who believe in me and my potential as a filmmaker, telling them that as part of my campaign, every Wednesday I would be posting update videos. I asked them to share it on social media, which helped them feel involved and invested in my fundraiser. When I saw their enthusiasm and willingness to advocate for me, I realised that I wasn’t alone.
4. Update regularly and positively
While I was doing this campaign, I found being fully invested in my campaign and communicating daily reminded me and others of my goal. Communicating online, face-to-face and over the phone had a really positive influence on my fundraising.
5. Be yourself
It was really important for me to be myself in my communication throughout this campaign. I love having fun and I love going on adventures, so I shot my campaign video on a GoPro, since that’s what they represent. This helped me come across as being genuine and also allowed others to more easily get on board.
I think it’s really important to celebrate each donation and step forward in your fundraising. Towards the end of my fundraising, my wife and I went out and got ice cream. Another night, several of my friends gathered with us to premier a short film we had made within 24 hours. It was a time to get together, have a few good laughs, and end the campaign well.
Regardless of what you’re fundraising for and what platforms you plan to use, I hope these tips will be useful for you. I encourage you to seek God throughout your fundraising campaign and be sure to enjoy the adventure.
by Scott Berry
YWAM Newcastle Staff