Creating a Successful Campaign – Step by Step

Press “PLAY” below to start the instructional video

  1. Register – You must first register with SCHOLARgifts to begin your campaign.  There is no complicated application process or upfront fee.  Simply provide your name and email, and create a username and password.
  2. Brainstorm & Prepare – Think about what learning need you wish to raise funds for.  If your need or vision is large, think about how it can be broken down into manageable stages that can be realistically funded with the help of your family and friends.  Determine your financial goal. Think about the story you wish to tell that will inspire potential gifters to contribute.  Choose an image to be featured on the site; most likely it will be a picture of you. Determine if you wish to include a video, and if so, if it will be simple or more elaborate.
  3. Click “Get Started”.  A screen will come up for you to set up a WePay account so you will be able to receive donations. SCHOLARgifts uses WePay as its payment gateway to process all payments in a secure PCI compliant environment. WePay allows the use of all major credit cards, as well as the option to pay via bank account. WePay charges the donor as follows:
    • 2.9% plus 30 cents if paying by credit card, or 1% plus 30 cents if paying through bank account.
    • WePay must be able to verify that the funds it transfers to you from your donors will in fact reach you.  As such, WePay will make two small micro deposits into your bank account.  It usually takes 2-3 days for the deposits to show up in your account.  When they do, you must verify your account by telling WePay the amount of each deposit they made.  Because the process usually takes a couple of days, be sure to factor that time in when setting the end date of your campaign.
  4. Fill out the Campaign Request form as follows:
    • Title – Make your title interesting so that potential gifters will open up your campaign.
    • Name – Enter your name or the name of your group
    • Goal Amount – The amount of money you are requesting should not be a ‘pie-in-the-sky’ number, but a reasonable figure specifically tied to what you are trying to fund.  Using college as an example, if you are seeking tuition, SCHOLARgifts discourages you from setting as your goal the total tuition for the four years.  Rather, use SCHOLARgifts to help supplement other monies you are raising.   Set your SCHOLARgifts goal to cover a year in college, or a semester or course, or books and materials.  People like to think they are helping, but may be resentful if they feel they are the sole source for your scholarly fundraising.  Funding for the difference between scholarships and loans you may have received from other sources and the amount of tuition left to pay sounds like a reasonable request. And when setting your goal, remember that if you do not reach your goal, the SCHOLARgifts administrative fee is 8%. If you do reach or exceed your goal, the fee that will be deducted from your campaign is only 5%.
    • Duration of Campaign – Set the deadline date for your project.  SCHOLARgifts does not allow campaigns to exceed 60 days. We have found that a longer period of time is not necessarily better.  Statistically, campaigns lasting 30 days or less have the highest success rates.  Longer time frames encourage procrastination, do not appear urgent, and tend to fizzle out.
    • Category – Choose a category from the list that best describes your scholarly need.  If you do not see one that fits, choose the “Other Education-Related Projects” category.
    • Description – Briefly describe your story in written form.  Write about yourself, and your background, and how gifters can help you reach your goal.  One to three paragraphs is long enough.
    • Excerpt  – Provide a one-sentence summary of your description that can be viewed on the website.
    • Featured Image – Upload an image that will be featured on the website.  Most likely it will be a picture of yourself or something that describes your project.
    • Link to your video – If you have access to an iPhone or Android, or have a camera on your computer, it will be very easy to create a short video.  Your video can be as simple as merely talking into the camera, or you can collect video footage, photos, and/or testimonials to help communicate your story. Projects with videos are far more likely to succeed.  Your video does not have to be longer than a couple of minutes. You may use video/images/audio from any of the following sites: blip.tv, flickr, photo bucket, fiddler, vimeo, YouTube.
    • Create customized appreciation rewards at different gift levels. Rewards are great incentives and a way to show appreciation to your donors.  You can tier rewards at different levels and prices.  For example, if someone gifts $5, you may offer them a cyber hug; if they gift $25, they may receive a personal tour of your college campus should they be in your town; for a $100 gift they may receive a tee shirt or mug from your college.  Your imagination is your limit!  Please note – Monetary amounts will be posted on the website in the order in which you enter them during set up.  For example, if you have monetary tiers of $5, $25, $50, and $100, if you enter them in that order than $5 will be the first contribution level your donors will see.  Psychologically, it may be better for you to list the highest amount first, which may encourage your donors to contribute at a higher level.  So, instead of entering $5 first, you may wish to start at $100, and then tier down.
  5. After the form has been completed, it can be saved as a draft and updated with additional information at a later time.  When you are ready for us to approve your proposal, Click “Submit.”