5 tips to unlock your fundraiser’s secret weapon: local media

Your program matters. Your participants matter. But your fundraiser won’t matter if nobody knows about it. Here Snap! Raise Community Relations Specialist Riley Brown explains how to use local media to promote your fundraiser and rally your community around your program.

Publicizing your school or team fundraiser is one of the most important things you can do to ensure amazing results. You can use social media to share the story of your fundraiser, or get out into your community to make your presence known. But what about one proven method that’s 90% effortless and 100% free? 

Local media outlets are always looking for compelling human-interest stories to tell about their communities. Your program’s story is exactly that. Here are 5 tips from Snap! Raise Community Relations Specialist Riley Brown for engaging local media in helping you tell the story of your fundraiser.

1) Do Your Research

Research local publications and specific reporters. Know who they are and what stories they typically cover, so you can know how best to approach them.

Kingwood Gymnastics lost its training facility and all of its equipment in Hurricane Harvey. With the help of the Houston Chronicle, the program used Snap! Raise to raise the funds it needed to start anew.

    2) Reach Out With a Personal Message

    Write up a brief, but personal, email to the reporter. Each reporter is different but everyone appreciates a personal touch. You don't want to be perceived as sending spam or mass emails. Some reporters prefer phone calls; some prefer emails. Others prefer social media DMs. Email is a safe bet, but the key is to be persistent in getting ahold of them. Trying different methods of communication might be necessary.

    Northeast High School in Clarksville, TN turned to local media to help its boys basketball program raise money to purchase a new ball rack and warmups.

    3) Share Your Story

    Provide information about your program or organization. Let the reporter know what you do, why you do it, and what makes your program unique. Every group has an important and compelling story. Explain what you're fundraising for – but instead of focusing on what you don't have, talk about the opportunities you will be able to provide to your kids with community support.

    The Drill Team at King William High School in Virginia used local media to promote its fundraiser, which raised money for new competition uniforms.

    4) Link to Your Fundraiser Information

    This should go without saying, but be sure to include the link to your Snap! Raise fundraiser page so people can see easily donate to your group!

    Humble Wildcat Baseball in Houston, TX needed fundraising support, so it engaged local media for an extra boost.

      5) Follow Up

      Always, always, follow up. Getting ahold of reporters is never easy; they're incredibly busy folks. Email them in the mornings and send a follow-up later in the day. If you're still not getting ahold of them, give them a call. Finally, if a reporter decides to publish a story about your group, be sure to follow up to say thank you. In addition to expressing your gratitude, maintaining that relationship is crucial for future story submissions.

      Jefferson Somerset JROTC is entirely self-funded, and coverage from local media helped the Florida program achieve its fundraiser goal and secure the resources it needed for the following year.

        Looking for a smarter fundraising idea that makes promoting your fundraiser easy and fun? Start a fundraiser with Snap! Raise!

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        Riley Brown is the Community Relations Specialist with Snap! Raise where she handles media outreach and PR. Before going on to earn a degree in journalism and communications from the University of Arizona, she dedicated eight years of her life to playing soccer at the middle school, high school, and club levels, which didn’t leave much time for anything else.

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