How to promote a fundraising effort online
September 26, 2005 9:18 AM   Subscribe

How can we promote our $1 million online charity fundraising effort?

I'm a freelance advisor for a company that's well known in its field. They're spinning off a hugely successful idea in order to raise $1 million for Hurricane Katrina victims. I'm pretty objective on most of this, but I feel it's a noble cause, and have reason to believe it could quite easily raise the $1 million within several weeks, so I've been happy to help them with it. Problem is.. I've only ever helped promote business interests directly, not charitable causes, and it seems pretty different.

So, what's the best way to promote this effort online? It's all centered around a single Web site, so I'll be letting all my blogging contacts know soon, we'll be getting a press release out, etc.. but are there any particularly good or unique ways to promote charitable efforts? Should we be getting in touch with Hurricane Katrina related sites? (Note that one detail is that this fund raising effort is directed at companies, as they're more likely to pay for what this fund raising effort offers them in return.)
posted by wackybrit to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How much is your budget?
posted by mischief at 9:51 AM on September 26, 2005

Response by poster: I'm not privy to all the details, but I know the company has spent perhaps $10,000 in the development (it was a rush job but has turned out really well) and will be spending a little on getting press releases out, etc.. but they want to promote as cheaply as possible, given it's charitable. My specialist area is Google Adsense and PPC, which is not particularly useful for this.. :)
posted by wackybrit at 9:53 AM on September 26, 2005

You might get some geek cred and extra promotion if you use Kottke's dropcash. Depending on what has already been created for your campaign, the stuff available on dropcash could be redundant.
posted by freshgroundpepper at 1:16 PM on September 26, 2005

When I worked fundraising (granted this was 15 years ago), the rule of thumb was $1 of marketing for every $10 expected return from the corporate sector, $1 for $5 private sector. You've got a shitload of competition to outshout.

In case you haven't noticed also, the non-disaster charities are escalating their marketing campaigns as their cashflows take a hit. It's a jungle out there!

We need more details about what you are offering in return.
posted by mischief at 3:52 PM on September 26, 2005

Hire a fund-raising professional with online experience. It's as specialized a field as Search Engine Optimization or PR/Marketing, etc. There's a huge amount of expertise, and the payoff would be well worth the investment. I know that this is a charitable effort, but this is worth paying for.

(I am not a fund-raising professional, though I have been a non-profit executive.) Check out the Chronicle of Philanthropy for sources.
posted by RelentlesslyOptimistic at 5:44 AM on September 27, 2005

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