Raising support through Do Nation: ten tips on running a stellar campaign

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We want everyone who uses Do Nation to have the biggest impact they possibly can, however they’re using it. With the re-launch of our Free tier, we hope to see many more people raising pledges in support of personal challenges and events – whether they’re cycling to Paris, competing in a triathlon or asking for pledges as an alternative wedding list.

To help them to make the most out of Do Nation, we looked back at our most successful users to come up with these ten top tips on how to run highly successful campaigns, creating as much change as possible.

  1. Engage them

Whenever talking about your Do Nation campaign, whether it’s on your page itself, emails, or blogs, be sure to keep it positive and engaging. Write in a fun, upbeat way and add an eye-catching photo or short video to your campaign page to help illustrate your challenge.

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  1. Seed it

Get a few close friends or family members to make pledges before you start asking every Tom, Dick and Harry.

It’s important to seed the page with a few pledges, you see. It’ll help to build trust and encourage others to come on board when you ask them. Don’t forget to make some yourself.

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  1. Personalise it

Write a list of who you’re going to ask to support you, and then break it down into groups, based on why you think they’ll be interested, how likely they are to support you, or how you know them.

Get in touch with each group separately. Even better, ask people individually.

Personalise your message for each group. Perhaps your work friends will be more interested in the cause you’re doing it for, so lead with that when talking to them. On the other hand, your family and friends may be more interested in the challenge that you’re doing, so get them hooked on that first.

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  1. Make it clear: You don’t want their money!

Make sure they realise this isn’t another fundraising request, and that they realise it quickly. Explain a little bit about why you don’t want their money, and why their action will mean so much more.

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  1. Simple or challenging, they choose:

Stress that there’s plenty of choice about what Do Actions your supporters pledge to do, they can make it as easy or as hard for themselves as they like. And most importantly, tell them that they don’t have to totally change their lives and become raving green hippies. It’s only for two months anyway.

A lot of people will say they’re already doing all the actions. Ask them to look again – are they really, all the time!? Only the very greenest of the green can confidently make that claim, and on second look, almost everyone will spot at least one Do Action that they could try a little harder on. Perhaps they recycle most of the time, but not when out and about? Or they try not to waste food, but they do a little better?  

Of course, if they really are doing them all, 100%, then massive kudos to them. 🙂

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  1. Use every tool in your belt

Don’t rely on just one tool.

Email is great; Facebook is handy; drinks in the pub are even better; a blog can get so much information across. But alone, each of these won’t get you what you want.

You need to use a combination of tools, getting in touch with people several times, from several directions. Generally email and face-to-face win out when it comes to the ‘main ask’, but where social media plays a really important role is through reminding people to follow up and actually make that pledge.

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  1. Keep it fresh

Without nagging or preaching, give your friends a few gentle prods. Make it fun, and tie it in with updates of how you’re getting on or preparing for your challenge.

You can add updates on your progress and change the photo or video whenever you like, just hit the ‘edit’ tab on your campaign page.  

Alternatively, you could use a blog or Facebook event to keep the content alive. If you have a blog or website, be sure to embed our Do Nation widget (you can find the link on your campaign page).

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  1. Talk to the media

Try to get into your local press, or other relevant media. It won’t necessarily bring 100’s of strangers flooding in to pledge for you, but it’ll be sure to get your friends excited and jumping on board. Check out our tips on writing press releases.

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  1. Prepare for the questions

One of the weird things that I noticed as soon as I started asking for pledges the first time was that my friends suddenly saw me as a total environmental guru. They tried to pick my brains on anything vaguely related to sustainability and the environment. It was a bit overwhelming, but I also realised that it’s a great time to share ideas, get people talking, and to inspire them.

So don’t shy away from it. Make sure you’re armed with the answers, or know where to send people for them. I’d like to think that our Do Action pages cover most of it.

Whilst talking about this, I should point out that it’s best not to try motivating people by selling them tales of doom and gloom. It doesn’t work. Do Nation is a positive nation, not a preaching or bleak nation. Talk about the positive solutions and the other benefits of sustainable living. Check out this great blog by Ed Gillespie for more inspiration.

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  1.  Thank them

Last but by absolutely no means least, thank your supporters.

A friend of Hermione’s has raised sponsorship every year for the last five years, and she continues to break her record raise each year.

How? She thanks everyone profusely. She makes them feel great. They come back for more. Each time someone pledges for her, she tags a photo of them on Facebook with a little personalised message about what they’re doing. All her friends see it, and all their friends see it. More pledges roll in. Boom.

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If you have any other handy tips, please share them with us through our contact page.  

And finally – good luck!

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