In Part One of this series, we wrote about how to create a brand and story to get your supporters excited and interested in your band. Now, let's look at how to keep the excitement going through a few best practices on communicating with your supporters.
There are several easy (and free!) ways you can engage with your supporters; we recommend newsletters, email, and social media.
Newsletters are a great way to give your supporters a lot of information in an all-in-one communication. Include images of your band, highlights of your recent performances, and any upcoming concerts so your supporters can easily keep up with your activity.
Your newsletter can be an attached document (we recommend a PDF) that you send out in a personal email, or you can create your own template using a service like MailChimp, which is easy to use and free until you hit 2000 subscribers. Don't send newsletters out too often, maybe just a few times depending on your campaign. We don't want to create email overload. Encourage your supporters to forward your newsletter to their networks as well - you never know who may want to join you! Make sure you include links back to your Edco fundraising page and any social media pages you have set up.
Email is the best way to give quick updates to your supporters. Let them know how your fundraising is going and send them a few images of the progress you are making. Again, you can use a service like MailChimp if you do not want to use your personal or work email.
Depending on the duration of your fundraiser, you may want to send out a quick weekly update to stay in their thoughts. Another great email best practice is to send quick thank you notes when someone supports your band. Make sure to include links back to your Edco fundraising page and ask them to forward emails to their network as well. At the end of your campaign send a picture (or even better, a video) of your band holding a sign saying 'thank you' to show your supporters how much they mean to you!
Sometimes this is the one that scares people the most. What do we do? How do we do it? How often should we be posting? Where should we be posting? These are all great questions! Here's some guidance:
We recommend setting up a page for your team, having your members join the page and encouraging everyone to invite their friends and family to do the same. This should be the 'home base' of your social media efforts. This is a great way to do short, quick updates, post pictures of the band, allow people to comment on activity (you KNOW Tiffany's Grandma is all about liking posts and commenting) and link to your Edco fundraising page. Don't forget to engage with those who are commenting on your page.
Time Saving Tip: Appoint a student leader or two to help manage the page.
Post frequent updates (even multiple times per day) on Twitter. Make sure to follow both your supporters and also organizations similar to yours. You can reach potential donors and simultaneously, learn from other clubs what their specific tactics are to fundraise. Feel free to direct message other teams and engage with them too.
Time Saving Tip: Live tweet events and concerts! Build buzz and get the word out about your performance.
We are a visual people these days and there is no better way to capitalize on this than by using Instagram. You can post images and short videos very quickly and easily from your mobile device. This is a great tool to use to build up excitement around an upcoming performance or competition.
Time Saving Tip: Link your Instagram account to Facebook and Twitter (and Edco!) for easy cross-promotion across multiple platforms.
YouTube is a wonderful way to make your supporters feel like they're there with the band. Post short videos on how your band is doing and what pieces you're working on. And, during your fundraising campaign, create a personal message from your band to your donors. If your band recently performed for a competition or concert, be sure to post that!
Time Saving Tip: Dedicate a video-savvy student to record events! You can even do it with a smartphone. Let them have fun with it.
These are a few of our communication strategies that you can use for your band. Of course, these avenues should lead to fundraising dollars on your Edco team page. But don't forget, it's not just about the ask. Engage, engage, engage. Get supporters to know who you are, what you care about, and why you matter in the grand scheme of things.
Our next post in the series is about building local business sponsorships. Stay tuned!
Edco provides an online fundraising platform to K-12 schools that empowers teachers and students to raise money from family, friends, and other members of their community. Edco's mission is to help K-12 schools effectively raise money and seamlessly connect with resources. To learn more, please visit www.ed.co or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.