As the resident Tech “Expert” I’d like to share with you some strategies you can use to help jumpstart an online fundraising campaign like Plan Canada's Pink LemonAid Stand.
I like to think that I had a knack for sales, even as a kid. I was always the kid who sold the most chocolate bars, raised the most money selling Christmas stuff and I didn’t rest until I knew I was outselling everyone else! While it may have been that I just had really supportive neighbours and family, I’m pretty sure it was all me. Well...fairly sure!
In those days I really only had my two feet and heartbeat to count on to make sales. The more houses I hit, the more I sold, but now thanks to social media and the web, fundraising doesn’t have to involve hitting the pavement.
The Pink LemonAid stand is a fundraising effort benefiting the Because I am a Girl program. You choose a date and time and run an event, alongside your online fundraising page, where you raise money to support Because I am a Girl.
The money goes to the Because I am a Girl global initiative. Their goal is to end gender inequality—not just here in Canada, but all around the world, promoting the rights and lives of millions of girls and those around them by bringing them out of poverty. Through the Pink LemonAid initiative, Plan Canada is creating sustainable projects in developing countries to improve girls’ access to clean water, food, healthcare, education, and protection from violence and exploitation.
Simply visit the Pink LemonAid page on the Because I Am a Girl website to download your own kit materials. Plan an event at your home, with your school, or within your community and use the strategies I’ll give below to help promote your Pink LemonAid stand and raise funds!
Whether you’re fundraising for a local event or a national initiative like Pink LemonAid, sometimes you have to think small. After all, small actions drive BIG change, right?
Here are a few small actions you can do to drive BIG groups of people to your very own Pink LemonAid stand:
If you have 500 friends, and 10 of your friends have 500 friends, in just a few clicks of a mouse your event could invite over 5,500 people. Instead of doing all of the work yourself, recruit 10 of your closest friends who want to commit to helping you promote your event and get inviting! Not only will you probably yield much better results, you’ll likely have a lot more fun doing it!
People like a feel-good story, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! My best advice for Twitter is to focus on getting bigger accounts re-tweeting and tweeting at you. How can you do this? Simple. Tweet at them! Pick people who have accounts of every size, tweet them 2-3 times/day, RT their stuff, and then ask them to tweet about your LemonAid stand. Pictures help, too!
Find interesting ways to track your LemonAid stand’s progress visually. You could take photos of everyday things that we are lucky to have (clean water, medical care, books to read) and use them to track your fundraising.
As an example, say you have raised $50 towards your $125 goal, well then take a picture of 5 books and say “5 books = $50 towards our goal of $125!” or snap a picture of a goat and say “It would cost $125 to buy a goat for a family in a developing country!” Sometimes making your messages visual instead of just using words can be more effective!
While I'm a fan of the #YMCPinkLemonAid hashtag, you can create your own to track only the conversations that are happening around your fundraising initiative. Incorporate your name, your goal or even your favourite things to make it unique and easy to find.
A hashtag is best used on sites like Twitter and Instagram, so make sure you include it in every post you create about it.
Remember, small actions create BIG change and something as simple as starting a blog can create a huge impact for an initiative like this. You can write articles on your blog about what inspired you to start fundraising with Because I am a Girl in the first place. Or blog about where you might be living, and what conditions you might be living in, if you hadn’t been born where you were. Write a post about how you would normally spend the money you’re fundraising, and how the money will instead impact girls in developing countries who need clean water a lot more than you need another pair of shoes.
You can use the Because I am a Girl: Stories blog as inspiration to make those small actions in your every day life.
Whatever you do, my best advice when doing an online fundraiser is to be consistent, keep trying (even when it seems hard!), and have lots of fun along the way!
Want more ways to make your Pink LemonAid stand a success? Here's a recipe for the best big-batch lemonade ever and here's how you can create a LemonAid Stand that stands out!