How Digital Marketing Can Maximize Your Montessori School Fundraising
For most non-profit Montessori schools, donations form a significant part of annual income. Campaigns and donations can take many different forms, but the truth is that all fundraising campaigns benefit from well-planned marketing to provide the best results.
Because we’re digital marketers, we focus on how digital marketing can maximize your fundraising efforts. Here are some tips to get you started!
Include Giving on your Website
If you rely on donations to keep your school running, dedicate a section of your website to make it easy for people to understand how and what they can donate. Include a top navigation section called Give or Support that encompasses all of the ways someone can contribute to your school.
Make it easy to donate to your school online
First and foremost, include a page called Give Online. On this page, make it quick and easy to send a monetary donation to your school. PayPal works great for this purpose.
- Keep it simple
- Forms should be short and optimized for mobile
- Give the option to donate one time or recurring
- Minimize unnecessary questions
- Have default donation amounts, with an other option
- If credit card fees add an additional expense, consider asking the donor to offset those fees or send in a check
Once you have this page configured you can direct people to it from ads, emails, and other pages on your website.
Have an Annual Fund
If your school doesn’t have an Annual Fund, consider adopting one. It will give structure to your annual fundraising efforts by setting monetary and participation goals. It provides credibility for seeking donations from local businesses. Establishing an annual fund committee with a chair and co-chair from your parent community will also help to build community in your school.
Having a strategic annual fund planning calendar is the first step to meeting your annual fund goals. It also provides a framework for planning your fundraising marketing campaigns.
- August: Annual Fund Kickoff
- November: Giving Tuesday
- February: Big Fundraising Event
Annual Fund Kickoff
Your Annual Fund deserves a page of its own on your website. Your Annual Fund page should include:
- Current year running totals (use graphics!)
- Previous year campaign amounts
- Percent parent participation
- Percent staff participation
- Percent board participation
- Reminder about Employer Matching Programs
- Why an annual fund?
- Why not just raise tuition?
- Is my gift tax deductible?
- Do most schools have an annual fund?
- How can I contribute?
- A link to your Give Online page
Once you have the page set up, you can build your kickoff marketing campaign.
- Send a series of Annual Fund Emails to your current and alumni donors with a link to your Annual Fund page.
- Include your goals and with each subsequent email, how much closer you are to reaching your goal.
- Let them know that you’re striving for 100% participation!
This is a special day set aside for giving on the day after "Cyber Monday."
Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past nine years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
- Promote the day on social media as a special day to show appreciation for your school.
- Create a page on your website to highlight any special events that you have planned for Giving Tuesday, including student activities oriented around giving.
- Be sure to include links to give to your school online.
Go to Giving Tuesday for ideas and resources to take advantage of this special day.
Annual Big Fundraising Event
Consider hosting an annual big fundraising event, like a dinner or an auction. Although they are a lot of work, events like this can be great community builders as well as just plain fun! An event like this also deserves a dedicated page on your website.
Your Big Fundraising Event webpage can include:
- Why you hold the event
- Details about the event, theme, and venue
- Online ticket purchase
- If it’s an auction, showcase the auction items
- Photos from past events
- Your fundraising goal for this year
- How much money you raised the previous year
- Provide an option for local businesses to participate/sponsor the event
Once you’ve built your page and planned your event, promote it!
- Send an invitation by email to all of your current parents and past attendees.
- Promote the event on social media.
- Tease auction items and build anticipation for the event.
- If you have local business sponsors, thank them on social media and provide a link to their website.
- After the event, be sure to communicate how successful it was!
Other Ways to Promote Giving
Aside from an Annual Fund, there are many ways for your school to raise money. Be careful not to inundate your parents with asking too often. Choose two or three solid fundraisers to focus on.
Your website should be the hub of your online fundraising. It’s the place to provide additional information and details about your fundraising programs. Here are some ideas for additional pages to include in your Giving section on your website.
There are several passive fundraising opportunities that can add up to sizeable donations! Make sure your parent body knows about them by dedicating an Effortless Giving page on your website indicating how they can utilize these easy ways to raise funds for your school. Include logos and links and how-tos so that it’s easy to participate.
How Giving Makes a Difference
Use this page to highlight all the ways fundraising has made a difference in your school community. If applicable, include before and after photos. When donors see the positive impact of their donations, they are much more inclined to contribute.
Be sure to express appreciation for all of your donors!
Support Local Businesses
Are there local businesses that support your school? Use this page to highlight their support and provide links to their websites with their logos. By helping businesses promote their services, you provide an incentive for businesses to support your school. It’s a win-win!
Spread the Word
The people who are looking at the Giving section of your website are probably the ones who are also inclined to leave a positive review. Take advantage of that by providing an easy way for them to review your school! Add a Spread the Word page to explain the importance of referrals and how to leave a review for the school. Include your review link from your Google My Business page. This isn’t directly related to fundraising, but it’s certainly related to giving!
It’s about Community, Creativity, and Commitment
School fundraising really comes down to community and involving your parents in supporting their child’s education. Make it easy for them to participate and the donations will follow.
If you need assistance setting up a website to support your school and your fundraising, we’ve got you covered! Nido Marketing provides full website development, hosting, and maintenance exclusively for Montessori schools.