30 Ways to Create Media Buzz for Your Next Non-Profit Fundraising Event

Don’t fall into the trap of exhausting your reliable media channels when you promote your next non-profit fundraiser!

There is a myriad of ways to get the word out and oftentimes you’ll find the cost far outweighs the return on your investment.

Use a combination of the methods in this list to push your story through multiple channels and you’ll be able to get in front of thousands of people and cement a memory that may prompt them to join you at your next fundraiser.

1. Building a comprehensive website is the first task on your “to do” list. Include all the information for your event, as well information about your organization and its work. Add an event registration page and a pledge button to get the giving started early.

2. Build an audience online for your event by creating a page on one or more social media networks. Look for ones that includes your target audience. Turn to Instagram for Millennials, LinkedIn for professionals, Facebook for the general public, etc. and share a variety of content regularly.

3. Harness the power of sight and sound by creating videos to upload to your own YouTube channel. From there, you can share it across all your social networks.

4. Fundraising websites are a natural fit for nonprofit. Create a fundraising page in correlation with your event and provide regular updates on the overall progress of the fundraising initiative. GoFundMe and JustGiving are great places to start.

5. Don’t forget traditional media. Develop a working relationship with the reporters in your area throughout the year, then contact local newspapers and press when it’s time to get the word out.

6. Write a press release with tantalizing information and an invitation to your important event.

7. Put a spark in your advertising with a celebrity endorsement. Attract someone who has a passionate interest in your organization and ask them for a soundbite explaining why they support your organization. Share the video or quote online and insert it into your print material and website.

8. Go old school by placing posters in local restaurants, stores, and community centers.

9. Send your most friendly team members out to meet the public and hand out flyers where the people are. Consider your local farmer’s market, public libraries, and community events.

10. Be your own best advocate by telling your story wherever you go. Come with an interesting, relatable story and pay attention to how your audience reacts to what you’re saying.

11. Don’t forget your biggest fans! Put your event in company newsletters and intranets with information on how they can find out more. Ask your co-workers to share the information in person and online.

12. Turn to your social circles to get the word out. Do your local schools have a newsletter where you can submit information about your event?

13. Mine your email address book and send out an invitation to your friends and family. Just don’t be a spammer. Providing an update and a notice to register is a good strategy to catch their attention without turning them off.

14. Employ tools to set up tweets about your event. Hootsuite is a commonly used scheduler for the most popular social networks.

15. Post your event on online event guides, like GumTree and EventBrite to keep it in front of people who may not be familiar with your organization but are looking for ways they can contribute to the greater good.

16. Seek the attention of local ‘online magazines’ that focus on events in your area, such as your chamber of commerce. They often host a community calendar on their website where you can post your event’s information.

17. Offer an exchange of advertising to local businesses owners. You could offer them free advertising on event material in return for free advertising for your event through their media channels.

18. Keep your entire guest list updated on all the things happening around your event. Offer pictures, updates, thank yous, and interviews with key team members.

19. Start a blog on your website and post often about the progress you’re making with planning and executing your event. Using targeted keywords and optimizing for search engines will get you to the top of Google, Bing, Firefox, Chrome, and other search engines. Promote each blog post on you social.

20. People love to share news about themselves, so acknowledging people who help your nonprofit succeed will encourage sharing activity on social networks and, potentially, generate an impromptu word of mouth campaign.

21. Go where the people go—the supermarket! Ask if you can set up an information table in your local grocery store and put on your best smile.

22. Contact the local radio stations and ask them if they would like to interview someone from your team. You can provide them with key information and later share the interview online.

23. Everyone loves getting a free gift! Give away two free tickets to the event through a fun competition that can be followed online until the results are announced.

24. A polite ask never hurts. Always ask people to share your information, whether it comes through online channels, word of mouth, or traditional media.

25. Ask people to share their experience with your nonprofit through their social media. You can jump on their message and thank them for advertising your activities in their networks and share their post on your page.

26. Speak to local philanthropy groups and gatherings where like-minded people meet. Linking up with charities who share a similar message can create a beneficial relationship for both nonprofits.

27. Join online forums where you can discuss and promote your event.

28. Whether you are responding to a question or thanking someone for sharing your latest tweet, make sure they know just how much you appreciate their involvement. Do it as soon as possible to let them know they are a priority.

29. Promote good will by treating your fundraising community as V.I.P.s. Let them have first dibs at any special events or choices prior to the event. They will be more likely to share your updates if they’ve had a good experience with you at the last event.

30. Be memorable and use your smile and charm when asking people to get involved in your advertising campaign.

We hope this gives you some great ideas to get the word out about your next fundraising event. Remember, marketing experts agree that effective media exposure takes between five to seven “touches,” or instances where your message is seen or heard before the message begins to sink into the viewer’s subconscious, so pick a few you feel will have the most impact, then take to the streets with your message!

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