5 Fundraising Lessons From Melyssa Griffin’s Pencils of Promise Campaign

Our eyes are always peeled for successful fundraisers on the interwebz. (Successful = reached their goal). This week, we came across Melyssa Griffin’s Pencils of Promise campaign on Generosity.com, which raised well over its goal of $70,000. Actually, it raised $120,000 to build schools in places like Ghana, Laos, and Guatemala. That means kids without adequate schools are $120,000 closer to education. We’re no math whiz, but $70,000 < $120,000.

We deep dived into Melyssa’s fundraiser and identified 5 standout strategies that made it so successful:

Lesson #1: Give to get. Griffin, a blogger and entrepreneur, offered rewards to donors of all levels, from $10 to $1,000, in the form of software and training packs. When you’re fundraising on behalf of another organization or stakeholder, a little incentive can go a long way. After all, altruism isn’t a one-way street.

Lesson #2: Tap into fundraising communities. Obviously, you’re gonna share the fundraiser on your social media to get the word out. (And the ThatHelps app!) But Griffin used the built-in community of Generosity.com users to get 763 donors. These folks are already looking for campaigns to support and share, so put yours in front of their eyeballs!

Lesson #3: Updates. One thing we appreciated about Griffin’s Generosity page was her frequent updates. Donors get notified when goals were hit — or time was running low. (This is a great tactic to get folks who’ve already donated to pony up a few more dollars!) Which leads us to the fourth lesson…

Lesson #4: Transparency. Griffin chose to share how many donors claimed rewards, as well as contact info for questions about the campaign. We don’t need to lecture anyone on the importance of transparency around asking people for their money for a cause, but suffice to say this honesty went a long way.

Lesson #5: Thank your donors. Griffin not only thanked the Pencils for Promise supporters with prizes, but she expressly shared her gratitude in a message to all donors. For those of you use the ThatHelps app, you know how much we <3 thanks around here…