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If you’re looking for inspiration about ways you can engage your donors and grow your community, check out these successful digital fundraising campaign examples.

These are 5 of the best, most creative, and most successful digital fundraising campaigns we’ve had the pleasure to host on our platform. 

From celebrity dogs to children’s mental health, these successful digital fundraising campaigns used original, emotional storytelling and made the most of FundRazr’s features to surpass their goals and change the world. 

1. The Crusoe Fund

The Cause

Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund has thousands of adoring fans on his many social media accounts. 

So when Crusoe got sick and needed to have his gallbladder removed, many dog-loving followers were eager to help! 

The Crusoe Fund

The Fundraising Campaign

The veterinary scientists at Cornell University saved Crusoe’s life through multiple different surgeries. But Crusoe had plenty of support from his friends and family during his own recovery. 

So instead of raising money for Crusoe himself, his team decided to pay it forward! 

Their campaign has raised $122,671 for Cornell’s specialists and their medical research!

Tips + Tricks

Veterinary medicine is a worthy cause, no matter what. But this campaign used clever marketing to raise a seriously impressive amount of money. 

The first secret is Crusoe himself! Never underestimate the power of an influencer or celebrity (canine or no) to amplify your message. Even if you’re not lucky enough to know a famous dog yourself, you can seek out an influencer or public figure to partner with on your campaign. 

Secondly, the campaign used Perks to make donations feel fun, interactive, and rewarding! Donors could get fun prizes like wristbands, t-shirts, and personalized thank you notes in exchange for their gifts. 

2. Run for Romania by iTeams Canada

The Cause 

In 2018, Impact Romania purchased a farm in Romania, where they could offer services caring for orphaned children and youth. 

The family farm will serve as a home base for teams, provide shelter for day trips, accommodate on-site staff, and create space for family meals and gatherings. The vision is to build a home base for orphans and create a safe place for them to find a caring community as they work, play, and learn.

Run for Romania by iTeams Canada

The Digital Fundraising Campaign 

Since 2019, International Teams (iTeams) Canada has been holding an annual run to raise money for the farm and Impact Romania’s services. This peer-to-peer model has worked well — every year, the event has brought in more and more money.

Tips + Tricks

Like many other nonprofits, in 2020 iTeams needed to pivot to a virtual model. But they didn’t let that stand in their way! 

Instead, they used their master campaign to showcase pictures and stories from all participant’s sub-campaigns. Even though everyone was running in different locations across Canada, everyone who took part in the event was able to feel connected.

3. PACS1 Research Foundation

The Cause of this digital fundraising campaign

Rare genetic diseases affect 200 million children worldwide, but only 5% have any hope of a treatment. As genetic testing becomes more available, more and more families are receiving these diagnoses. 

PACS1 is one such disease. Children with PACS1 syndrome have significant intellectual disability, severe speech delays (most affected children achieve very limited speech in their lifetime), significant motor delays, epilepsy, and will require life-long care in the most basic areas of life (such as feeding and safety).

PACS1 Research Foundation

The Digital Fundraising Campaign 

That’s why PACS1 Research Foundation was created. In the rare-disease world, PACS1 is something of a unicorn. All children born with the disease have the exact same mutation, which means there’s a much higher chance of finding a cure. 

The field of genetics has evolved dramatically, and much progress has been made — the only thing standing in the way is funding. 

The foundation set out to raise $175,00 to take PACS1 research to the next level. They surpassed that goal to raise an incredible $178,820!

Tips + Tricks

Often, crowdfunding campaigns for research can be difficult to run. Because research is very complex and technical, it’s hard for donors to understand the impact of their donation. 

This campaign used storytelling to get around that challenge! They set up 19 microprojects, each telling the story of one child living with PACS1 and their family. 

They also partnered with a sponsor to match some donations. This strategy brought in an additional $56,000!

4. The Worry Monster Campaign by Pathstone Foundation

The Cause of this digital fundraising campaign

Ever since the onset of the pandemic, Pathstone Foundation has seen more children and you than ever struggling with anxiety. 

They’ve seen firsthand that kids are more about death and dying, they’re having more dangerous, disordered thoughts, and they lack the motivation to do anything. Many find online learning difficult and fear they will fall behind in school, in many cases their grades have fallen. They are sleep-deprived, are clashing more with their parents and siblings, and making other unhealthy and dangerous life choices. 

The Digital Fundraising Campaign 

Pathstone has come up with a creative way to help kids manage anxiety — blue, fuzzy Worry Monster toys! Kids (or their parents) write down their worries, put them in the Worry Monster’s mouth, and zip it shut. 

The toys can also be used at their Pathstone therapy appointments as a safe, fun way for therapists to engage with kids and help them process their feelings. 

Tips + Tricks

Pathstone brilliantly used a wishlist to turn each donation into a clear Unit of Impact! 

Donors can give: 

  • $30 to buy one Worry Monster
  • $65 to buy one Worry Monster and one child counselling session 
  • $100 to buy a Worry Monster, a child couselling session, and a parenting workshop 

The Worry Monsters campaign was also beautifully customized, and shared frequent updates on their success! Thanks to this clever design, the campaign saw resounding success. 

Pathstone reached their initial goal in 24 hours, raised it, hit THAT goal in another 48 hours, raised it again, and hit that new goal in a week. At that point, they ended the campaign simply because they’d sold out of Worry Monsters! 

All in all, the campaign raised $10,775 for kids’ mental health! 

5. Ring of Fire Fundraiser by CRAFT Beer Market

The Cause of this digital fundraising campaign

Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada, and one of our country’s most common cancer killers. 

On average, 73 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer every single day. That’s not okay — and this Edmonton brewery decided to do something about it.

The Digital Fundraising Campaign 

In 2017, a friend of the pub, Geoff, was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. He underwent surgery, and today is living with Stage IV cancer, which tragically is considered aggressive and terminal. 

Among his friends, Geoff is known for being a lover of hot sauce and spicy food — he once even tried to grow his own chili peppers! 

That’s why his wife Kassia decided to work with CRAFT Beer Market to host a hot-wings eating contest! 

That’s right — instead of running a marathon or climbing a mountain, participants in this peer-to-peer event will eat the spiciest wings they can! All proceeds will be donated to the Alberta Cancer Foundation. 

Tips + Tricks

This creative campaign brought humour and positivity to an incredibly sad situation. It’s a perfect example of how thinking outside the box, and not being afraid to have fun with a serious subject, can lead to a very successful campaign that truly stands out from the crowd. 

Kassia, Geoff, and CRAFT Beer Market’s fresh approach paid off — this campaign raised $18,000  from a $10,000 goal!

How did they do it?

How did these fundraising campaigns find such incredible success? While each of them is very different, there are some common themes and tactics that helped them achieve such great results. 

  • Planning
    • A great campaign doesn’t happen by accident, and it doesn’t happen immediately. 80% of the time you spend on a crowdfunding campaign should be devoted to the planning stage, before you even launch.
  • Creativity
    • You’re competing with thousands of other equally deserving campaigns. It takes a fresh, original idea to stand out and engage potential donors’ attention, emotions, and donations. 
  • Customized
    • These campaigns took the time to add their branding to all parts of their campaign page, like headers, stories, registration pages, and updates. These campaigns were eye catching and readable, using graphics, video, and colourful templates.
  • Donor and participant engagement
    • Fundraisers kept their donors engaged, entertained, and informed, by thanking them or providing interesting items and experiences after they choose to give. 
    • In the case of peer-to-peer campaigns, the nonprofits kept up continuous communication with their participants.
  • Storytelling
    • An emotional, engaging, and powerful campaign story keeps followers and donors engaged. Units of Impact, such as the Worry Monster dolls, helped donors see exactly how their gift was making a difference. 
  • Tools and features
    • FundRazr offers many features like sponsor matching, perks, wishlists, updates, and a media gallery slideshow. Successful campaigns used these features to take their results to the next level. 

Get Inspired!

We hope that by now, you’re full of exciting ideas for your nonprofit’s next campaign. Online fundraising has the potential to transform your organization — you just need to approach things with a little creativity, originality, and a willingness to try new things. 

If you need even more guidance, reach out to one of our Digital Fundraising Strategists (it’s free)! We’d love to talk about how we can set your nonprofit up for digital fundraising success. 

Crowdfunding Advisors

Author Crowdfunding Advisors

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