A few weeks ago we spoke with Daniel Wintschel about their Macaron Day charity campaign. Having had such a successful campaign, we thought we'd ask Daniel to share some advice for individuals and business owners who are taking on their own fundraising campaigns.
Chimp: By the looks of it, Kitchening's story was shared far and wide - in both traditional and web based news and throughout social media. How did it all happen?
Daniel Wintschel: The steps we executed were:
1) Set up a basic web site to drive traffic to -- and use it to tell people both what we were doing and give them an opportunity to participate
2) Set up a giving group on Chimp to funnel the donations through -- this gave us accountability and transparency in what we were doing. It really allows the donors that are participating see how it all comes together.
3) Reach out to people in our immediate network (friends/family) to bring some initial cash into the group.
4) From there, we reached out to people we've gotten to know in the foodie community within Vancouver. We let many of the food bloggers know what we were doing, and contacted previous press contacts that had written articles or stories about us. We wanted this to be a grassroots initiative, and not just some fluffy "big cheque" hand-off. We wanted to let everyone participate in the act of charity, regardless of how much they could give.
Ch: What advice would you give to those who want to create their own campaigns?
DW: Above all, I think that a spirit of generosity is key. Be kind, be generous, be friendly. Get to know people who can help you. Give things away. Do everything you do with integrity. These are things that people will often write-off as "I've heard that before" or call them trite, but there are few things that have helped our business more than generosity and a smile -- that and Carly is an awesome salesperson, even though she hates sales.
Ch: Has this experience helped your business in any way?
DW: I feel like it has. It created a lot of awareness around who we are, and that we exist. I feel like a lot of people want to support local businesses, and know more about local businesses, but they don't know how to find them.
Ch: What was the biggest learning/take away you and Carly experienced from this campaign?
DW: That we want to do it again next year, but bigger, and with a bit more thought and preparation ahead of time.
Ch: Have any interesting stats to share?
DW: We didn't try to increase traffic to our own site at all -- we funnelled all traffic to http://macarondayvancouver.com. That being said, over the last few days of the campaign, we saw 300-400% increase in traffic to http://kitchening.ca
The day we were on Global was the day that traffic really jumped compared to earlier in the campaign - increasing by 800-900%.
Carly picked up about 40-50 new followers on Twitter. Interestingly, our Facebook traffic really took off, even though we didn't get a lot of new likes. But our "people reached" went from our "normal" of about 500 to a range of 3000-5000 over the course of the campaign - so a lot of people were sharing on Facebook, which is awesome.
We've never really pushed hard for people to Like us on Facebook - but I think we will work more on that this coming year. We picked up about 40 new likes for Kitchening & Co. and only 156 likes for the Macaron Day Vancouver site, which is a bit lower than I expected. That's another learning piece -- including the requirement of a Tweet or Like on Twitter or Facebook respectively to participate in the campaign could be a good idea for next year. [Editor note: Go like Kitchening on Facebook!]
Ch: If you wanted to offer help to aspiring giving group administrators, what would it be?
DW: There are so many people out there that are willing to give money to a cause that they can relate to. At the same time a lot of donors suffer from ongoing donor fatigue because they're constantly being asked for money. I think the real challenge is to find a way to reach beyond your local network and immediate connections to find a way to connect to the broader population. Create targeted campaigns for a specific cause and be generous in what you yourself are willing to give to help raise money for that vertical.
The second piece of advice I have is that raising money is really about telling stories. Learn to tell stories that connect with people in a way that matters to them, in a way they can relate to.