What to do when a DonorSee project stagnates

DonorSee is a unique platform for raising funds through storytelling. With our focus on individual based projects funded by individual donors, we help you to have a big impact at a personal level. Because of this direct donor to recipient model, DonorSee projects generally see a lot of immediate engagement. DonorSee also has specialized tools built in to help prevent donor fatigue and promote engagement.

Sometimes, a project still gets stagnated. You might not see your normal donor engagement or you might not be getting any noteworthy gifts. Here are some things you can do to help revitalize a stagnated project.

Directly Share the Project on Social Media

Sharing a project is the single greatest way to revive a slowed-down project. Your donors want to give, and when they know they’re giving to help both the recipient and you, it’s even more motivating. Are you giving your donors the option to do so? Besides, a donation brings the project back up in our feeds, which prompts other donors to give!

Because most of your DonorSee Projects are tied to an individual family or recipient, they’re worth sharing, and they engender support and connection with your donors rather than pushing them away. Your community wants to know these stories. If they cannot give now, they are under no obligation to do so. However, for those who might be inclined to give – or know someone else who might want to give – it’s important that you ask for their help!

Jennie, Karin, and Jacob post regularly and get a lot of support

Post an Update to the Project

Posting an update to your stagnated project is a great way to help revitalize it. Your update will automatically be sent to all the donors who already gave to your project. This can help remind them it’s still a relevant need. Some donors might want to give again – they’ve already shown they want to see the need meet. Or, you can ask them to help you share the project or the update to reach a broader audience. This helps turn your donors into advocates and it can add to their sense of fulfillment by increasing their feeling of involvement.

Paul does a great job keeping donors informed of progress!

By posting an update showing that your project is still relevant, you also capture the interest of a potential donor who hasn’t yet given. It’s a chance to add more to the story and to show that you are actively working to meet the needs of the individual in the project. This is inspiring to many and something that’s unique to the DonorSee fundraising model.

After you upload an update to your project, you can also share that update on social media for the greatest impact!

If your project has already been partially implemented, that’s something that your followers should find compelling and interesting. Invite them to join you in bringing the project to completion. An “in progress” video update is a unique form of content that’s perfect for social media. It shows success but also an ongoing need. It also provides a new level of engagement to your social media pages because your followers are able to participate in the difference you’re making.

If you’ve already shared the project once, you can repost the initial project (on Facebook, hit Share > Share Now (Friends)). This works well if you had a lot of initial engagement on social media when you first posted. Or, you can share the project link with a fresh post and a fresh message. This can help appeal to more people by framing the story differently.

Indirectly Share on Social Media

Sometimes you don’t want to post request after request on social media. Your donors and followers on social media care about the work you are doing – and who you are as an individual. We suggest you balance requests for donations with posts about your life (if it’s a personal page) and stories about your work that don’t have a direct ask.

Donors give to people they trust and like. By posting about what is happening behind the scenes, you are building connections and helping show the impact of your work. This can feed into some beautiful donor partnerships.

For example, David Peterka does a great job with indirect posts. His Facebook feed has a nice mix of DonorSee project posts, personal updates, and posts about what he’s working on. All these types of posts show the impact his organization is having in his community and develop a strong personal tie to David. This leads to high donor engagement.

Providing positive updates about progress – such as sharing a recent success video – helps drive people to your profile and reminds them of the impact they can have. Not sure how to share? Check out this great guide by Meredith about creative ways to share.

Post another Project

Some Donors like to ‘shop around.’ When you post a new project, all your Followers are notified and your new project rises to the top of the feeds. This helps increase the overall exposure of your profile and can lead to donor curiosity. They might see your new project and want to check out what else you’ve been working on. By posting a new project, you can also be directing interest to your stagnated project.

Some of Jennie‘s recent projects

Jennie does a great job of having many open projects. She’s successfully funded over 650 projects and averages 3-5 completely funded projects a week. This is part of the beauty of the DonorSee platform and our very generous community!

Projects in your profile are arranged by most recently posted and then by amount outstanding. This is one of the reasons we suggest you have a variety of project sizes and subject matters.

Celebrate Success

Some of the happy recipients of Jill’s projects

Sometimes the best way to get traction on a stagnated project is to talk about the success of other projects. Jill Vines has done a great job in using the success of a series of projects to help drive overall activity. Read more about her case study here.

Refresh (or re-film) the Project

Does your project have the quality it needs to get on Staff Picks? If your project quality is too low, it is likely stagnating and won’t get traction even if you are getting high exposure.

Does the project tell a compelling personal narrative? There might be a way to remix the footage you have to be more individually focused. You can also give it a fresh title or description! More details on how the funds will be used might be required to help convince a donor who’s on the fence.

Consider reposting the project or doing something to add to the quality. For example, if the audio quality is too low, you can record a new audio track or voiceover. You can update the project video at any time with a better version.

Still Stuck?

Sometimes a project simply does not resonate with donors. It’s rare, but you might have a compelling story, be sharing, providing updates, and posting other projects but it simply does not get traction. We know it’s tough. (We’ve been there!) In this case, I have three further suggestions:

  1. Give it some time. It might take a couple of weeks before someone will see your post and give – and that can breathe new life into your project. As you continue to post new projects, a donor might see something that interests them and help fund a stagnated project. It’s OK to have a number of projects that are still in process. You are invested in the long haul and sustainable change takes time. (And just ask any of our Partners who have experienced a donor clicking the “fund all open projects” button. They’re glad they waited.)
  2. Delete the project. If it’s been over a month without any activity on your stagnated project, and no one has given, you can consider deleting the project and posting a totally new one. (You cannot delete a project that’s already been partially funded.) If you regularly find yourself with more than one stagnated project, you might not be taking advantage of the way DonorSee is best designed to be used, so talk with your Partner Coordinator! They’re experts in what works best on DonorSee.
  3. Edit the goal. If the project already has some donations, you can edit the project to lower the project goal to the amount you’ve already raised. If you do this, it’s imperative you provide a project update video explaining why the goal was changed and what’s happening to the funds you’ve raised.

Ask for Help!

Don’t forget we are here to help! At any time, your Partner Coordinator can look at a stagnated project and offer some project specific tips. We review and have helped revitalize hundreds of projects and are here for you. Let us know if you want an audit of your profile or projects. We offer fundraising consultation services to all our Partners free of charge! It’s what it means to be a DonorSee Partner.


Looking for some specific tips? Or, interested in using DonorSee to tell compelling stories?
I’d love to talk. Email me at Chadwyck (at) donorsee.com

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