The average person sees around 10,000 advertisements each day. These include Google Ads they see every time they search a query, marketing emails that populate their inboxes, and ads that appear on their social media feeds. Your school is competing against all these ads for your donors’ attention.

While the first piece of a successful school fundraiser is choosing engaging fundraising ideas for kids, the rest depends on how well you engage supporters and inspire them to take action. In this guide, we’ll lay out our top tips for connecting deeply with students’ families and other community members to get the funding your school needs to thrive. Let’s get started!

1. Use a variety of communication platforms.

Think about all the communication platforms you use throughout the day. Maybe you start your mornings by scrolling through the news or browsing your email. During lunch, you catch up on social media updates. In the evening, you might relax with a podcast or YouTube video and check your inbox again.

Your donors likely have similar habits—they don’t stick to just one platform, and your school’s communications shouldn’t either. As Allegiance Group + Pursuant’s guide to digital marketing explains, “Once you establish more touchpoints with donors, they’ll be more likely to think of your organization and discuss your cause with others in their network.”

To offer donors an ideal, well-rounded online experience, follow these tips to build multiple touchpoints with them:

  • Stay consistent. Because your messages will appear across several different channels, it’s key that supporters instantly recognize that each one is from your school. To ensure that, make sure your visual branding, like your school logo, colors, and imagery, is prevalent in each communication. Additionally, your school’s “voice” and the campaign’s theme should stay front and center, regardless of the channel.
  • Connect communication channels. Aim to take an omnichannel approach in which each touchpoint leads seamlessly into the next, building donors’ awareness of your campaign and slowly moving them closer to your donation page. For example, they might receive an email encouraging them to follow you on social media, where they will view Facebook posts with stories about the students who will benefit from their donation, resulting in them clicking the donate button.
  • Be transparent. No matter where you are communicating with donors, it’s critical to remain transparent about the purpose of your campaigns and how you plan to use the funds. Make sure donors can easily ascertain these details—you can link to more comprehensive resources or simply use ad copy like, “Help make YHS’s new soccer field possible today!”

Before you kick off these efforts, make sure your school has a way to track each communication channel’s performance. This way, you can accurately attribute conversions to the proper channel—in other words, you’ll know which platforms were most effective.

For example, you might see that 60% of your donors clicked through to your donation form via a social media post, but only 5% were sourced by search ads. This reveals that your social media strategy resonates with your audience, but you may need to adjust the copy on your search ads.

2. Personalize communications.

In addition to building multiple touchpoints with donors, personalize your communications to grab supporters’ attention. Start by consolidating data about your donors to understand them on a deeper level. Note factors like:

  • Demographic information, such as age, gender, marital status, household income, location, and more.
  • Psychographic data, like hobbies, interests, and values.
  • Giving behaviors, such as how often they donate, average gift amount, and which of your projects they give to.
  • Communication preferences, including which channels the donor uses, how often they want to receive messages, and what formats they like most.

Armed with this knowledge, begin segmenting your donors to send more targeted messages. Segmenting refers to the practice of grouping donors based on shared characteristics. For example, you could create a segment of donors who have children on the soccer team—they might be interested in hearing about your sports-themed fundraiser. Or, you might create groups based on average gift size to tailor your fundraising appeals to each donor.

Remember that this data can be used to make the entire donor experience more positive and personal, so don’t stop at crafting custom appeals. Include these personal details in your thank-you emails to make your gratitude feel that much more authentic. Greet donors by name, acknowledge their last contribution to your school, and tell them how that gift will benefit your students.

3. Make connecting with your organization easy.

As we mentioned earlier, your donors see thousands of messages each day. Plus, many are busy parents who must balance full-time jobs, school drop-off and pick-up, extracurricular activity schedules, family obligations, and more. Make your campaign fit conveniently into their schedules by ensuring that taking action is as easy as possible.

Consider taking steps like:

  • Linking directly to the form or landing page where the parent can fulfill your call to action, whether that’s donating or applying for a volunteer position.
  • Making content shareable so parents can spread awareness about the campaign in just one or two clicks.
  • Using mobile-friendly platforms that donors can access at any time, from anywhere.
  • Offering several ways to donate so donors can choose the most convenient option.
  • Sending donation reminders when it’s time for donors to give pledged donations, if applicable.

Additionally, choose a fundraising platform that makes it easy for students, parents, and other participants to track fundraising progress. This way, more parents will be likely to participate in the fundraiser.

For example, perhaps your school wants to launch a pledge-based read-a-thon fundraiser in which students collect donations based on how many minutes they spend reading. In this case, your school should use a platform like 99Pledges that offers a built-in online reading log that makes recording the students’ minutes easy.

Connecting with your donors should go beyond driving support for a single campaign. Focus on developing long-term, loyal relationships that will stand the test of time. This way, your school can foster a strong base of donors ready to support your school whenever you need them to.