Should You Whatsapp Your Donors? Whatsapp Strategy for Fundraising

By: Shreevidhya Ravi

Published On: August 06, 2018

We tell you about some dos and dont's when promoting your fundraiser on Whatsapp. Read on! 

In the past couple of years, WhatsApp has arguably become the most preferred form of social networking. WhatsApp has transcended beyond being just an instant messaging app to becoming a compendious social networking app. From introducing new features like status to business account, WhatsApp has managed to capture an extremely diverse market.

With 1.5 billion active users a month and 60 billion messages per day, WhatsApp is definitely one of the most engaging platforms. Gone are the days when fundraising meant just Facebook or Instagram, now Whatsapp has evolved to become an inextricable part of fundraising.


Considering the convenience, donor engagement and reach that WhatsApp comes with, it has become next to impossible to ignore its potential during the fundraising process.

Should you send out a WhatsApp promotion message to your donors? Yes, one must WhatsApp their donors. But it is a strategic move, in the sense, that WhatsApp is largely associated with an informal context. One must be careful when it comes to treading on personal and professional boundaries. The key lies in leveraging WhatsApp marketing strategy to promote engagement and build relationship, which enables the donors to be in the loop of current happenings. Let’s look at how one can leverage WhatsApp in the best way possible.

1: Whatsapp story title: Wrap it up in 5-6 words

Depending on what you’re fundraising for, the essence of your message can differ to a great extent. Fundraising usually happens in two broad brackets as far as the Indian context is taken into consideration- medical or creative. With each type of fundraising comes different purpose pertaining to the end outcome. Regardless of what type of fundraiser it is, it is very important to have a title that is short and concise. Try to keep the title in under 5-6 words.

 Whatsapp messages for medical fundraisers: Create a sense of urgency 

For instance, with medical fundraising, it is important to use an urgent tone in the message along with a title that explains the gist of the emergency in the shortest form possible. It is important to have a formal tone as far as medical fundraising is concerned. Don’t forget to share an image of the patient along with a call-to-action which can typically link to the fundraiser page. Do include excerpts of the conversation from either the patient or their parents in the form of quotes, as this helps to build relatability.

As for creative fundraising, it really helps to stay informal. Usually creative fundraising revolves around raising money for an indie film or to launch an artist etc. In this case, it helps to have a title that’s catchy (something unique to your project) so that one doesn’t lose out your fundraising cause in the myriad of other appeals. Make it as personal as possible- start with a brief personal anecdote or a quote which conveys your creative passion.

 Image result for where's your creativity gif

2: Leverage all of Whatsapp’s features: Use Status, broadcast etc.

With any app, it is important to remember the power of the features that’s associated with the app. As with WhatsApp, there are a number of features that one can use to push for more donor engagement. 

Broadcast feature


With this feature, you can message upto 250 people from your contacts at one go. This might not be the best avenue for the first donor message you send as it can come off as little impersonal. However, for mass reminders or countdown for your fundraisers, this is the best method as it is not time consuming nor does it require too much effort to compose the message. 

Whatsapp status


The Status feature is basically a personal announcement that lasts for 24 hours in your profile. This can be used to periodically put up posts related to your fundraiser. This is a great feature for it doesn’t directly push your donor to see the message and it has the option of only being viewed if someone clicks on your status on WhatsApp.

Group chat

The third and the final feature definitely has got to be the group chat. This definitely makes dispersing information way easier. While you can create a group for people with similar interests and put your fundraiser up, it can also be immensely helpful if you share your fundraiser on pre-existing designated groups. Say for instance, if you’re a part of a local film-making club, it will definitely be relevant to your fundraiser if you can put up your message on that group.

3: Let’s talk transparency and context: Use appealing images

It is important for your donors to be able to visualize your campaign and be able to grasp its corresponding context. While WhatsApp primarily is for texting and one might wonder about how tricky it is to bring in pictures, it is important to understand that images help to make sense of the words. While it is not advisable to attach countless images relating to one fundraiser, attaching one visually- stimulating aspect is very significant. 

Using images for medical fundraisers: It helps in building context


When we talk about medical fundraising, attaching an image builds transparency. One should also keep in mind that the donor might or might not know the patient or their medical condition, in which case an image plays an important role in building context. Alternatively, if you’re looking to raise awareness pertaining to a particular health condition, say breast cancer, it can help to build a sense of community. So maybe changing your display pictures to pink for a breast cancer awareness day can help gather momentum for your fundraiser. This definitely contributes to your donors empathizing with your cause a lot more.

Using images for creative fundraisers: It adds zing to your campaign

When it comes to creative fundraising, needless to say it is extremely important to be innovative. Think about how you can make your fundraiser stand out, consider using GIF’s, memes or a comic strip that portrays your cause the best. With creative causes, the playing field with fundraising is huge;differentiating your campaign from any other campaign should constitute the DNA of your fundraiser. 

4: Put yourself in their shoes: Thinking from a donor’s perspective can make your campaign stronger

It definitely helps to empathize with your donor base in order to understand how they feel about your message(s) and what kind of actions that pushes them to take. Thinking about the frequency of your messages, the tones and the images definitely impact the way your donors interpret the message. 

Don’t spam your donors with donation requestsYou can push your messages but be mindful of how often you send your messages. Sending it too often will definitely irk your donor. When it comes to the personal touch, always try and make them the focus of your celebratory updates. For instance, if you have gathered 50% of your funds in the first week, sending a message that talks about how they have contributed and made your campaign a success will definitely let them feel their impact. 

Keep your messages short and effective 

Also, try and understand how to make their job easier. When your fundraiser message is sent, ensure that it is just around 4-5 sentences maximum and that the picture does most of the talking. It is always advisable to have a formal tone as a rule of thumb. However an informal tone can be considered okay for close friends and acquaintances.

Whatsapp has become inextricably linked with everyone’s lives and it would be rather unwise to not tap into the potential it holds for fundraising. While it is a convenient means of spreading the word about your fundraiser, remember the fact that it is also a virtual personal space, so make sure to stay mindful about that.We Suggest you Also Read:

A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing A Powerful Donation Appeal For Your Medical Fundraiser

Sharing Your Fundraiser On Facebook: How To Do It Right To Raise Funds

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