Advocates Toolkit

In this toolkit you’ll find:

Just copy, paste and post. Please don’t hesitate to customize the sample social media posts and emails to best fit the project or cause you’re supporting!

Questions? Contact Jessie Pavlidis, project coordinator, at pavlidisjl@vcu.edu.

Communications planning

The key to crowdfunding success is a solid communications plan, which includes email and social media. Your project team should have a communications plan and timeline at least two weeks before you intend to launch.

Prelaunch checklist

  • Create a communications plan outlining what will be sent prior to and during each week of the campaign
  • Recruit advocates to help support the project and carry out the communication plan and make sure all have accepted their invitations to the platform
  • Create a stewardship plan outlining how you will stay in touch with donors throughout the life of the project and three to six months after project completion
  • Identify one person on your team to send timely thank-you updates throughout the campaign
  • You must have early donors. The platform can be opened for a limited time for them; this allows for starting off the launch with donations already posted

Suggested timeline & launching the project

Crowdfunding campaigns require a minimum of four to six weeks to plan and four to six weeks to execute a successful campaign launch (total of 8-12 weeks). Project teams that take the time to craft thoughtful messaging, create a compelling campaign video and assign communication roles set themselves up to meet and surpass their crowdfunding goal.

Sample timeline

Eight weeks before launch
  • Complete training sessions
  • Begin shooting for video
  • Assign campaign roles
  • Recruit additional advocates
  • Finalize accounting information
Six weeks before launch
  • Work on your communications plan
  • Check in with advocates
  • Create email contact lists — contact your unit’s DAR professional for assistance with alumni email lists
Three weeks before launch
  • Input webpage content for final copy edit
  • Plan messaging for mid-campaign updates
  • Production of video content
Two weeks before launch
  • Send prelaunch emails
  • Prepare messaging for launch-day emails
  • Finalize accounting information
  • Confirm campaign roles and responsibilities
  • Arrange for platform to open for early donors
  • Make final edits to video and copy on story page

Website

support.vcu.edu/igniter

Sample social media posts

Facebook:

Join me and [UNIT] on [DAY/MONTH OF PUSH] for #[PROJECT]. Show your support for [SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] and [PROJECT] by making a gift here:

[INSERT LINK]

Join me in making a difference at VCU and [SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] on [DAY/MONTH OF PUSH] for #[PROJECT].

[INSERT LINK]

Twitter:

Join me in making a difference at [@SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] on [DAY/MONTH OF PUSH] for #[PROJECT].

[SHORTLINK] #VCU

Help me support [SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] on [DAY/MONTH OF PUSH] for #[PROJECT]. Learn more and make a gift here:

[SHORTLINK] #VCU

Instagram:

Join me in making a difference at [@SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] on [DAY/MONTH OF PUSH] for #[PROJECT], and show your support for [INSERT PROJECT].

#VCU #VirginiaCommonwealthUniversity

Linkedin:

On this [DAY/MONTH OF PUSH] for [PROJECT], join me and make a difference at [INSERT SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] by supporting [INSERT PROJECT DESCRIPTION]. Learn more and make a gift at [INSERT LINK].

Day of project launch:

(for day-of events only; ex: Brandcenter Day of Giving, Engineering Pi-day)

Facebook:

Today is the day! This #[PROJECT DAY OF GIVING], join me and make an impact at [INSERT SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] by making a gift here:

[INSERT LINK]

I made my gift, now it’s your turn. Support [INSERT PROJECT] by donating today!

[INSERT LINK]

Twitter:

Today is #[PROJECT DAY OF GIVING] I’ve made my gift to help support [@SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION], now it’s your turn:

[SHORTLINK]

#VCU

Make an impact and support [SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] on #[PROJECT DAY OF GIVING] Give here:

[SHORTLINK]

#VCU

Instagram:

It’s #[PROJECT DAY OF GIVING], help make an impact at [INSERT SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] and support [INSERT PROJECT] today!

#VCU #VirginiaCommonwealthUniversity

Linkedin:

Today is [PROJECT DAY OF GIVING]! I’ve made my gift to support [INSERT SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] and [INSERT PROJECT], now it’s your turn. Give here: [INSERT LINK]

Day after launch:

Facebook:

Thank you for supporting [INSERT SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] and making #[PROJECT DAY OF GIVING] a success!

Twitter:

Thank you for helping me support [INSERT SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] and making #[PROJECT DAY OF GIVING] a success!

#VCU

Instagram:

Thank you for supporting [INSERT SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] making #[PROJECT DAY OF GIVING] a success!

#VCU #VirginiaCommonwealthUniversity

Sample email messages

Dear _____:

On [DAY OF PROJECT] members of the [INSERT SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] community will join together in support of #[PROJECT DAY OF GIVING]. But we have a special early opportunity to make our gifts count now.

Help me inspire Rams of the [INSERT SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] community everywhere to come together, demonstrate their pride for VCU and help shape VCU’s future.

I’m asking you to help us reach our goals by making a gift at [INSERT LINK].

Together, we can make a difference for the VCU community this #[PROJECT DAY OF GIVING].

Sincerely,

________

Subject Line: Today’s the day!

Dear ____:

Today is #[PROJECT DAY OF GIVING]! Please join me and the rest of the [INSERT SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] community in supporting students, research, scholarships and more.

Visit [LINK TO PROJECT] to support this project, be a part of the social media conversation and keep track of the progress as the day flies by.

VCU played an important role in my life and continues to do so for thousands of students, patients and caregivers every year. Together, we can make being a Ram of [INSERT SCHOOL/UNIT/ORGANIZATION] the best possible experience for the VCU community

Thank you in advance for joining me on this day!

Sincerely,

________

Subject Line: Only a few more hours to give!

Dear ____:

You have only a few more hours to give during #[PROJECT DAY OF GIVING]! VCU’s #[PROJECT DAY OF GIVING] ends tonight at midnight! Visit [PROJECT LINK] now to give back and make a difference for students, alumni, caregivers and patients who need our help. Every gift, no matter the amount, helps.

Thank you for helping support VCU!

Sincerely,

________

Subject Line: Thank you for giving!

Dear _____:

Thank you for supporting VCU on #[PROJECT DAY OF GIVING]. Thanks to the incredible support and generosity of alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students, gifts of all amounts came together to support scholarships, academics and programs that strengthen VCU’s mission. Thank you!

The success of this extraordinary day wouldn’t have been possible without your support. Thank you!

Sincerely,

________