Monday, September 12, 2011

Running a Successful Online Deal Fundraiser

by Kristen Elworthy, GoodTwo

For many parents active in their children’s schools, the start of the school year means the start of an endless march of fundraisers. Whether parents are closing the budget gap with PTO fundraisers or trying to ease the expense associated with traveling sports teams, a sea of cookie dough, wrapping paper, and candles awaits. Meanwhile, these fundraisers are fighting a potent economic trend: people have come to realize how much they love to get a great deal. From reality TV shows like “Extreme Couponing” to deal sites like Groupon, bargains have become increasingly prevalent in all of our lives. So it makes sense that they’re starting to play a part in how we fundraise for our schools as well.

Here at GoodTwo, we think that fundraisers shouldn’t be about inflated prices. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to support your school while getting a great deal. So, we created a free, easy-to-use platform and created deals with local, regional and national companies for discounts off their goods and services. Putting it all together, GoodTwo allows schools to quickly create online deal fundraisers that save supporters money and save fundraisers time and effort, since everything’s done online. 

Taking your fundraising online—and using deals to do it—is a refreshing change from the usual laborious and time-intensive school fundraisers out there. But an online campaign may be something new for your school, so we’ve come up with a few tips for making your online campaign as successful as the other fundraisers you run throughout the year.

1.  Fundraise for Something Specific: All of us are asked for money so many times each month, and we’re learning to be increasingly wary of where our money goes and how much of it actually goes towards the cause we think we’re supporting. Fundraising “for the school” or “for the cheerleading team” might leave some people questioning where their donations will be spent. By being more specific and fundraising “to put a new slide on the playground” or “to fund the cheerleaders’ hotel rooms at their national competition in Orlando,” you’re giving the donor a very specific vision of where their dollars are going.

2.  Make Your Goal Attainable: Often, people are quicker to donate or make a purchase when it’s online—it’s right there in front of them, they don’t need to dig around in their pockets for money, etc. Part of the beauty of using online deals to fundraise is that the price points are low enough to generate excitement and activity. What this also means is that your goal should be adjusted accordingly. Take a look at the price points of the deals you’re selecting and consider the size of your audience. Then set your goal based on that.

3.  Promote and Share: Because an online deal fundraiser is conducted entirely on the Internet, it’s easy to “set it and forget it.” But key to making your fundraiser successful is to promote it within your school, with colleagues, family, friends and the community—the same way you would any other fundraising intiative. An online deal fundraiser is spreadable through a simple link and on GoodTwo, there are actually sharing tools built into the page. Creating frequent Facebook, Twitter and email communications about your fundraiser is key.

4.  Think Local: One of the great things about online deal fundraising is that it’s flexible and can be extremely local. If there are local businesses that typically like to support your school or team, it’s great to get them in on the action by allowing them to offer a deal through your online deal fundraiser. At GoodTwo, we always have plenty of deal options available to you in one click, but we’re also open to working with local businesses to create a really personalized fundraiser for your school.

If you’re interested in hearing more about online deal fundraisers and how they work, you can check out www.goodtwo.com/schools.aspx. Happy Fundraising!

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