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After creating your virtual food drive, you'll want to head to your "Participant Center" to customize your page, and start sending it out to your family and friends.
Below is a screenshot of what you'll see. The best way to get started, is by following the numbered steps outlined under "What to do next?". You can also get to each of the areas included in the steps by using the tabs at the top or links on the right hand of the page.
The top section of your "Participant Center" is dedicated to showing your virtual food drive's progress. You can see at a quick glance how much you've raised, how close you are to your goal, and how many days you have remaining in your drive.
Here, you can edit your page's title and description. Tell your followers why you are raising money. Write from the heart why you're passionate about supporting Harvesters. If you need some help with ideas, check out our suggestions on the right hand side of this page.
Using the tab on the right hand side of this page, visit "Photos/Video" here you can upload a photo or video to have on your VFD webpage.
Want to see what your page looks like? Head back to the "Content" tab on the right hand side of the page and if you notice, at the top of the page you will see this section.
If you copy and paste the url listed under "Personal Page URL" into a new window, you can see what your page looks like. This is also the link you'll want to send out to your family and friends to get the word out. If you click on the "URL Settings" link you have the ablility to customize your url as well as decide if you want your page to be public or private.
Once you have adjusted your settings how you like, hit next to continue. Plase note, if you are not following the steps in blue, it will say save instead of next. You can still get to each area using the navigation at the top and right side of the page. When using the steps, it will show you have completed a step with a green check mark next to it.
This is where you can upload all of your contacts for easy emailing of updates. You can upload your contacts one of two ways. Importing you contacts - which allows you to bulk upload your contacts from one of your email providers. Or Add Single Contact - where you can upload people one at a time.
When you click on Import Contacts, the following prompts will appear. Select which email source you want to pull from, then follow the prompted set up your contacts.
When you click on "Add a single Contact" a small form drops down where you can input each person's first name, last name and email address.
Once you have uploaded all of your contacts, it's time to start messaging them!
In this area, you have some options that you can set to send customized emails to all of your contacts. There are three sections Thank You, Solicitiation, and other. For your first email, we recommend starting with the Solicit Donations email template. Click on "Solicitation" so that you can check the radio button next to "Solicit Donation". Once that is checked, click "Next".
On the next page, you'll see that a draft of an email has been started for you. You can use this as a jumping off point when you first reach out to your contacts. You can keep everything the same and just put your name where it says "[ENTER YOUR NAME]" or, you can edit the copy as you like.
Hit the next button, to start adding the contacts that you'd like to recieve your email. Once you have seleced them and hit next, you'll see a preview of your email. Notice that it automatically puts it in a Harvesters template for you. If all looks good to go, send away!
To send other updates and custom messages, use the "Blank Message" under the "Other" section.
After you select the radio button choice, you'll see that it's slightly different than the solicitation email template. Instead of having copy provided, you'll provide 100% of the content. Also, to have the Harvesters template, you need to be sure and have it selected at the bottom of the screen.
Other than that, everything works the same as before. Your family and friends will love to stay updated with the progress of your drive. Be sure to tell them how close you are to your goal, include photos when you can, and share any stories that you can!
The final email template provided is for a thank you message! Like the solicitation email, you can use all of the copy provided and just update the spot that says "[ENTER YOUR NAME]" or you can customize it as much as you want.
Thank them extra for us! We are so appreciative of every single gift. Every dollar helps us ensure that we can continue to provide for hungry children, families and seniors throughout our community!
Steps 5 and 6 are used as reminders as your drive progresses. Step 5 encourages you to update your personal page the futher along you get in the drive. It tells you how many days since your last update to help you keep your content fresh. Step 6 encourages you to update your drive goal. Making huge progress, fast? Raise the bar and see how far your supporters will go!