Content marketing and social media can be tough when you’ve got limited resources, but if you know where to look, you can create amazing content for little to no money at all.
I recently put together a mini fundraising campaign in one month (in whatever spare time I could find) to raise funds for a charity. As it was a personal initiative, I decided to do it on a limited budget of $50. In the not-for-profit sector every dollar spent is assessed for where it will have the most impact. I did the same thing – there was no point spending the money on the campaign if a donation would be more use.
Many not-for-profit professionals have since asked me how it was possible to create such a professional fundraising initiative on my own, without spending much, and in such a short amount of time. My answer – it’s easy…if you know where to start.
This site is full of professionals wishing to make extra money on the side – for $5 a project. Now although projects start at $5, different extras, personalised touches, and other options usually cost an extra $5-$15 each. Still, for a professional video, voice over, jingle or animation, I am still amazed at how cheap these can be. I had three animation videos made.
Cost = $30
This one is a time saver – and time can be money. Hootsuite is a well-known tool that allows you to schedule social media posts ahead of time. I was able to use Hootsuite to schedule posts so that I could concentrate on work while my campaign still went on in the background.
Cost = $0
Free clipart online
I used www.Clker.com, but there are others too. This is a limited database of free clip art images in png format – with no copyright rules. I love png because you get the image without the white background – what a time saver! I was able to collect different images and create my own campaign image for the fundraiser.
Cost = $0
You can download these across the web and they add a creative and unique style. I downloaded and trialled a few before I settled on my final font. Simply Google search ‘free fonts’ and you’ll have plenty of options for your own campaign. I chose Bohemiam Typewriter. Some fonts have copyright restrictions, so make sure you check.
Cost = $0
I used this platform to build my website. Wix isn’t the only one – there are plenty of free website builders (e.g. WordPress), but I found Wix very simple to use. I recommend you try looking for yourself to find a website builder that works for you.
I paid a one month fee to remove any third-party advertisements from the site, but a free option is available. I could have also paid an additional $9.95 to purchase a unique domain name, but I was getting close to my budget’s end. So for about $20 I could have had a fully personalised website, as it was, I paid the one month fee and then cancelled the subscription once the fundraiser was over.
Cost = $10.95
QR Code Generator
This one was free and required no sign up. I simply put in my website address and downloaded the QR code. This was then placed on all my printable items like posters and resources. It was great for adding a touch of credibility to my fundraiser.
Cost = $0.
Particularly Facebook. I created a Facebook page for the fundraiser where I could share updates, information and encourage people to donate. I connected with people and groups who would promote the fundraiser for me via social media with their own networks.
Cost = $0.
What would a fundraiser be without volunteers? I borrowed photographs from a volunteer at the charity I was promoting. I saw her photographs on the charity Facebook page and asked if I could use them. She was happy for me to use the photographs if I simply referenced her work. It was all done online! There are professionals all over the internet – simply find a person who has the resources you need (e.g. photographs for a cause) and ask if you can use them for your fundraiser. Of course, make sure to thank them with a link to their page.
Cost = $0.
In order to receive donations, I simply used Paypal on a Premium/Business account. It’s free but they take a small percentage of the donation. There are a number of charity fundraising websites available now, but I really wanted something super personalised, so having a simple Paypal Donate button was the best option.
Cost = $0
This is a life saver – this baby turns any photograph into a work of art. I didn’t actually use this in the fundraiser, but it’s such a great tool that I had to share it anyway. I use this at work all the time – no Photoshop? No problem!
In total I created and executed the whole campaign for $40.95.
You can view the webpage and all content at www.takeawaytheirpain.wix.com/2013
What great online resources would you add to the list?
About the author: Mikaela Robertson
Mikaela Robertson is a Marketing Coordinator in Brisbane, Australia. She regularly contributes her skills and time to help charities grow in their understanding of business, marketing, fundraising and communications. Her passion is to see companies embrace Corporate Social Responsibility.