Step 4: Run a successful campaign
It is vital to consider the following so that your communications campaign successfully raises awareness of your crowdfunding or crowdsourcing scheme and maintains momentum.
Case study: Sunderland City Council - G.O.! Get Online ICT Recycling Scheme
Sunderland City Council appealed to individuals and businesses for device donations. Donations were refurbished by an external partner, Protech, and were made available to purchase for VCS organisations that support digitally excluded residents at a low cost. The scheme has benefitted over 1000 residents so far. Read the full case study
- Do we have the resources required to run all the elements of our campaign?
- Do we have sufficient lead time if we need to put a team in place?
- Do we have a campaign launch date in mind?
- Are there any other relevant dates/milestones we can link to the cause?
- Do we have a clear timeline of activities with flexibility to adapt if needed?
- Are we clear about who the beneficiaries are and what the outcomes of our campaign should be?
- Do we have a clear and compelling set of messages that highlight the need and that the target audience can relate to?
- Do we have a pipeline and timeline of consistent messages?
- Do we have access to the tools and skills to create graphics, videos, case studies and other types of engaging content to attract the target audience’s attention to the issue?
- Are there local celebrities or other well-known public figures who can help to promote and share the campaign messages?
- Which communications channels will we use?
- Reaching the right people is as important as the message itself so invest time in identifying potential donors as well as warm links to donors.
- LOTI’s research found the following communications channels to be the most fruitful in securing donations:
- Targeted emails to existing borough partners
- Regular council communications (e.g. newsletter or magazine)
- Social media promotions by local celebrities, relevant influencers and valued/well-known members of the community
- Social media profiles of the council and relevant community groups (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter)
- Create fresh and energising content to engage the right people and drive momentum.
- Campaign fatigue could lead to low donations – evaluate different options for running the campaign to ensure that the maximum funds can be raised (e.g. using sprints or pausing and restarting the campaign).
- For crowdsourcing:
- Create a clear message for the potential beneficiaries that outlines the types of devices they can expect and any support that will be available, including signposting to other local or council provision (e.g. digital skills training)
- Given that most potential beneficiaries may be either fully or partially digitally excluded, use existing offline communication channels (e.g. schools, libraries, community hubs, VCS organisations) to help direct people to your scheme
- Using social media channels does not always lead to a successful outcome.
- A time-bound campaign might have limitations on the amount of money or number of devices you can raise at any one time.