Cross-posted on Future Majority.

Following the success of Obama for America’s low-dollar fundraising effort many organizations are looking to replicate the strategy for their own campaigns. This post will look at some strategies you can use based on a current fundraising campaign I am working on: the Young Democrats Working for America raising money for YDA.

Our campaign is based on raising $25 donations for the Young Democrats of America through ActBlue.

One of our most successful techniques in promoting the ActBlue page has been encouraging supporters to share the link to the donation page using Twitter and Facebook status updates. We noticed a bit of a viral effect once the practice started to catch on, resulting in Twitter re-tweets and Facebook friends changing their statuses even without formally being asked to do so. Once a number of people changed their statuses we started to get a lot of saturation on Facebook’s news feeds, which helped build more buzz.

Another successful practice on Facebook was posting the donation page to our profiles. This was another technique that had a viral effect. Once people saw that 12 or so of their friends had posted the link in their news feed they were more likely to join in and do the same.

Group administrators were also able to send messages to their groups asking for donations to YDA.

Once the initial buzz was gaining steam on Facebook and donations started coming in, the ActBlue page gained in popularity and became the hottest page on the site, building exposure for our effort even further.

ActBlue Hot Pages

We were also able to use the ActBlue goal thermometer to post the page on supporters’ websites and blogs.

After the wholesale buzz creation was underway, the strategy changed to include online peer-to-peer asks. No matter how successful a buzz campaign is, a personal ask to someone you know is the most effective way to get a donation.

This is where Facebook messages, e-mails, and instant messages come into play. The key is to come up with the names of people you think might be able to make a small donation or at least spread the word about the campaign. Once you have your contact list you use the previous mentioned tools to reach out to them and make the ask. Some of those people may even be willing to become bundlers for you and reach out to their own network for small donations.

While this post is intended to talk about the online methods for low-dollar fundraising, it is important to note that they should be combined with phone and in-person contacts as well.

Have you had success using online methods to raise money through low-dollar contributions? Share your experiences in the comments.