In this day and age, there is no lack of crisis. With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging on, social justice issues and global catastrophes, nonprofits are kicking it into high-gear to try and support as many people as they can with their mission. One of the best ways to generate funds for your cause is through crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding is a fundraising method that involves raising small amounts of money from a large number of people. Social media has made crowdfunding a very common fundraising method, allowing nonprofits to reach individuals from various backgrounds who may not be specific contacts in their database. While it may seem impersonal, crowdfunding is a great way to build community, encourage camaraderie and gain the capital needed to get a campaign, fundraiser or project off the ground.
However, crowdfunding is not just a free-for-all. It takes strategic planning and good execution to be successful. Here are some tips to make your crowdfunding campaign successful:
- Identify your audience: When it comes to crowdfunding, the ones most likely to donate first are those within your own network or people who have donated to your organization before. These are donors who are familiar with your organization and your mission, so this is the audience to start with. Once the fundraiser is off the ground and the total amount raised no longer reads “$0.00,” new donors are more likely to surface. Use your current network to gain momentum, because that momentum will be a great jumping-off point for new potential donors.
- Set a goal: Make your intentions for the fundraiser very clear, including a fundraising goal. Your goals will become your donors’ goals, and it is much easier to track progress and make sure that you’re on-pace if you have a set amount in mind. It also shows donors what the specific need is.
- Choose your channels: Social media is your best friend when it comes to crowdfunding, so if you are not using it consiste4ntly then it’s time to kick it into gear! Prior to launching your crowdfunding campaign, start to ramp up your social media usage so that people get used to seeing you on their newsfeed. Once the campaign has begun, provide updates on your social media channels to keep donors engaged and show progress. Your donors will feel more involved and can see the impact of their gift if you update regularly. You can also utilize email, blogs and even phone calls to engage donors and solicit for gifts. All channels are fair game in crowdfunding, so choose your strongest ones and use them strategically.
- Use multimedia content: This means photos, graphics, videos, blog posts, email blasts… pull out all the stops! Video and photos are the most engaging content and will draw eyes to your campaign, so now is the time to utilize your videographer friends, the Facebook Live option, or your team photographer.
- Create a sense of community: Of course your goal is to raise money, but crowdfunding is about inviting donors on your fundraising journey. Creating a sense of community and camaraderie, whether it’s by highlighting new donors or creating a Facebook group for donors will help your donors feel like they are part of a personal journey with other friends and supporters who are all focused on the same mission. Words like “we” and “us” are important to include in your messaging since your donors are the ones making your mission possible.
- Show progress: Not only does your fundraising team and leadership team need to see that you’re tracking on your fundraising goals, but so do your donors. Not only do they want to see the impact that their gift is making, but they also want to be sure that their contribution was a step toward reaching the end goal that you so meticulously set. This means that you shouldn’t just announce when you’ve reached your goal but communicate progress throughout the fundraiser.
With today’s hyper-active virtual community, crowdfunding is a great way to kick off a campaign, project or fundraiser, while also gaining new supporters for your mission!