Four tips for bringing your fundraiser to local media
Bringing your fundraiser to the widest possible audience is an essential part of maximizing your donations. This means the reach of your support can extend and make a maximum impact on your community. Local media offers a valuable tool for expanding your support, but they’re not going to do the work for you. Read on to find out how to hook your local media with an engaging narrative, and who to reach out to for maximum exposure.
#1: Give them an angle.
Obviously, your fundraiser covers a cause that’s close to your heart. However, you can’t expect members of the media to understand right away why your fundraiser is so important. You’re going to have to do some work to guide them to the story.
“The media loves fresh content that’s somehow timely and relevant, so if your fundraiser can be tied to current events that are already centre-stage in the news cycle, you’ll have a head start,” says Joshua M. Jett, a copywriter at UKWritings and Assignment Writing Services. “For example, maybe your fundraiser is about supporting the migrant community in your town—this is a hot topic right now, so you could easily link it to the broader story of immigration today.”
If you can’t link your fundraiser to current news events, seasonal stories also gain a lot of traction with media outlets. While Christmas, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving might stand out for national attention in the U.S., there are countless smaller holidays you can use to link your fundraiser to a wider story. Make sure you give media outlets a narrative that will help them cover your story.
#2: Find the right outlets.
With so many media outlets there—countless new channels, radio shows as well as print media—it can be hard to choose who to target. Unfortunately, contacting the media and curating your approach is time-consuming enough that you can’t reach out to everyone, so you’ll have to find a more targeted way.
Start out by brainstorming a list of local media outlets. Staying organized is important. To really curate your fundraiser, you can start a spreadsheet where you collate the information of local outlets, along with notes about how appropriate they are as a home for your story.
If you’re running a small fundraiser focussed on local issues, local media is probably the right way to go. The Washington Post may be unlikely to pick up your story, but if your fundraiser touches on national narratives, by slipping your fundraiser into local media, it can come to the attention of the wider press.
#3: Draft a press release.
“Drafting a press release is an essential part of hooking the media onto your fundraiser,” says Erik Stickley, an editor at Essay Services and Academized. “A press release combines the human elements of your fundraiser with the broader political points, creating a narrative that the media will immediately recognize as both personal and universal.”
Your press release you be clear and straightforward and immediately demonstrate how your story is of interest to the wider press. Be sure to focus on any personal narratives—the hardship or suffering that the fundraiser is going to alleviate. Emphasize the beneficiaries of the fundraiser, and why your cause is important. Ensure that you include the link to your fundraising page along with all the information that lets people contact you to lend a hand. If your story is picked up by the media, you can guarantee an influx of support.
#4: Reach out.
Once you’ve identified the perfect media sources and drafted your press release, it’s time to reach out. If you’re getting in touch by email, attach the press release as a separate document and include a brief overview of your fundraiser in the body of the email. Start it off with a warm and personalized introduction to ensure your email is read in full.
Before reaching out to a media outlet, you should try to research who the best point of contact is by browsing their website for stories that share similar features to your own. There’s no point emailing your fundraiser for stray dogs to the local crime writer—your contact needs to be involved with human or community interest.
Placing your fundraiser in local media can have a dramatic effect on your fundraising income. It’s well worth exploring as an approach that can help you support more people and grow your campaign.