We’ve learned that everything is marketing, every conversation, every e-mail, it’s all an opportunity to share about your site and your trip. So put your YouCanSend.me address (ex: youcansend.me/brandon) in every bit of fund-raising you do. Mail it with your letters, put it on bake-sale or car wash receipts, or make it part of your e-mail signature for the next couple of months. For the best success, do whatever you can think of to get the word out there!
One great idea we’ve seen is to get business cards printed with your YouCanSend.me address (ex: youcansend.me/brandon) on it. Then, whenever you tell someone about your trip, you have a tangible item to give them as a reminder to check out your site. Where do you get business cards? VistaPrint is one of our favorite places for that, and they are almost always running a deal to get 250 business cards for around $20.
There is power in sharing! You’ve spent countless hours of your life commenting on post, photos, and poking people — now it’s time to put your social network to work! Send out a message and ask your friends to post or re-post about your YouCanSend.me site. You’ll be amazed to see how quickly one post can become hundreds of posts when you get your friends to team up with you.
Your fund-raising website is different from any other fund-raising method, because your viewing audience is limitless! Whether your site is featured on the homepage, or if someone stumbles across it through a trail of retweets, your page will be seen by people who don’t know you. So make sure your photo is a picture of you, so supporters can make a connection with the person they are supporting.
Many user sign up, set up their site options, but never actually post on their blog. The blog is a big part of your YouCanSend.me site! It’s there to help you keep people informed. By posting on your blog daily or weekly, you’ll give supporter a reason to come back and check on the progress of your fund-raising. Also, if left unchanged, the default post visitors see is a stock message teaching you how to use the blog.
Momentum is key. When someone sees that you are making progress toward your goal, it encourages them to support you, to be a part. People don’t want to support a lost cause! Sure, that’s a little harsh, but that doesn’t make it less true. So keep your numbers updated. If you raise $100 at a weekend bake sale, UPDATE! Grandma handed you $10, UPDATE! Sold clothes at a consignment store, UPDATE!
When people can track your progress and see when your deadlines are, it helps them attach a real event with the need. Encourage them to give before your deadlines, so you aren’t pressed for money at the last minute. Post about how far or close you are. Let supporters know you’re grateful or you still need their help. You have not because you ask not!
Many people ask about tax deductible giving. YouCanSend.me payments all go straight to the user. To receive a tax deduction the donation needs to be made to a non-profit organization. This means people can’t give money directly to you if they need a tax deduction. So talk to your church or non-profit organization, and ask how people can send money for a tax deduction, and then put those details in your “about my trip” section, or a blog post to make it clear how people can mane a tax deductible donation