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The Anatomy of an Amazing Online Fundraising Campaign

If you haven’t dipped into online fundraising yet, never fear! I’m going to break down some very basic, yet essential, parts of an online fundraising campaign.  If you have had experience with online fundraising but haven’t seen much success, my hope is that you’ll be inspired to give it another go.

Download a pdf version or read on!

A. Eye-Catching Imagery – The Face of a Campaign

Great imagery on your campaign can set your apart and immediately draw in potential supporters. A relevant image or video helps potential supporters quickly understand what your campaign is about.  Here are some questions that can help you decide on the right image:


Is this image relevant to my campaign? 
Is it good quality and the proper orientation? (not blurry or pixelated)
Is the image appropriately cropped?
Is it visually engaging? (like a kid jumping into a lake!)

B. Compelling Story – The Heart of a Campaign


Your story should not only educate your potential supporters about your campaign, but should help paint a bigger picture. Here are 3 essential questions that can help you craft a compelling story:

Who or what is your campaign supporting?
eg. Children in grades 2-3 who are falling behind their classmates in multiple subjects.

What is the conflict? 
eg. 74% Of children who are not reading at grade level by 3rd grade do not graduate with their class.

How will your donor’s gift help make an impact?
eg. By supporting this program, we’ll be able to provide qualified educators, so that in turn these children can develop the skills they need to succeed.

C. Email and Social Sharing – The Voice of a Campaign

Getting the word out via email and social sharing is key to your campaign’s success.


Start with direct asks. Send an email to your family, friends and key-players at your organization. Urge them to share the campaign by forwarding your email to one or two people that might be interested in the campaign.

Get social. Use social media to create general awareness for your campaign. Social media is also a great way to provide updates on your campaign’s progress.

D. Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers – The Legs of a Campaign


Utilize supporters at your organization who truly care about your cause by asking them to become fundraising champions. Peer-to-peer fundraisers give your campaign the muscle it needs to move forward and oftentimes are the driving force behind campaign outreach.

Bonus: Encourage your fundraising champs to create teams with fellow supporters. A little friendly competition goes a long way and could give your campaign the extra boost it might need.

E. Campaign Manager – The Mastermind of a Campaign

A campaign manager is the brains behind the operation and the person who drives the campaign forward. They are the ones who are overseeing the entirety of the campaign, from beginning to end.  A campaign manager needs to be the one who executes the following:

Creating the Campaign by…

  • Compiling a compelling story
  • Finding the perfect imagery
  • Setting a goal

Spreading Awareness by…

  • Emailing potential supporters
  • Enlisting peer-to-peer champions
  • Sharing to social media

Tracking Campaign Progress by…

  • Analyzing campaign stats
  • Creating stretch goals

Communicating with Supporters by…

  • Encouraging peer-to-peer fundraisers
  • Providing updates
  • Thanking supporters

After the Campaign Ends

A campaign manager should continue to provide updates. Showing donors how their gift is making a difference at their organization is a great way to keep supporters involved and invested. A little stewardship goes a long way!