is a real game-changer for nonprofits and organizations
What will you learn on this page?
1. Grow sustainably
Crowdfunding helps organizations raise money throughout the year without relying on the success of one-off yearly fundraising events
2. Break out of the box
You can start trying non-traditional and innovative ways of raising money and be less dependent on current mechanisms of fundraising
3. Amplify cause awareness
Crowdfunding is a great way to reach a larger audience and effectively communicate the impact of your cause
4. Increase engagement with donors
You can build long-term authentic relationships with donors through effective crowdfunding campaigns
5. Enrol new supporters Crowdfunding is proven to be a powerful tool for enrolling new donors through impact communication and network effect
6. Go safe and risk-free
There is no upfront monetary investment when you run a crowdfunding campaign with FundRazr. It allows you to safely test the concept and see if it fits your strategy
MRoland Rockstars team raised $12K for Habitat for Humanity
Components of Successful Crowdfunding
the impact of your campaign
Creating a Powerful Story
Ride2Give raise money for medically-fragile children. They do an amazing job of telling the story of every kid. Check out Supporting Pray for Anna campaign
Well-written story with impactful imagery
Don't underestimate the power of a well-written story with impactful images or video. Try to use the following storytelling techniques:
- Your story should be authentic, emotional, structured.
Also, don't forget to describe why you are running this crowdfunding campaign. If your mission is to reduce poverty, tell the stories of families and how their lives will be improved after the community support. If your organization saves animals, tell their live story, health condition, personality and how the contributions will change their condition.
- Your story should be authentic, emotional, structured.
- Powerful images. When it comes to images, authenticity and emotions are the key. Many nonprofits believe that images should be professional, however, it is more about what is in the picture than its quality or professionalism. You may have heard about the the heartbreaking photo that raised $43,000 in one day
- Short video. One-minute video recorded on your phone can take your crowdfunding campaign performance to the next level. People will trust your campaign more if they see real faces behind it - it could be you or your team telling a bit about the cause or just short updates about the campaign performance. Check out how Constance uses videos for her Constance's Community Callout campaign
- Be specific about your ask. Crowdfunding is built on trust and emotions. If you don't explain to your crowd how exactly you will use their donations, they will less likely to support you. For example, rather than saying “We need the money to stay in operation for another year”, say “Once we meet our donation goal, a new class of low-income children will be able to start the school year with all the books and supplies they need!”. It will demonstrate two good signs for the crowd: the need is real and the impact is clear.
- Project description + Organization description. Use the combination of both to create good content. Start from explaining the story of a specific campaign and finish with telling a story of your cause.
Do's and Don't
Set a realistic campaign goal
The goal should be attainable and realistic. Think from the perspective of a donor: when they see a $100,000 goal, they don’t feel like their $50 contribution (1/2000) moves the needle. However, if you break it down into 5 projects X $20,000(1/400), it becomes more realistic because if 399 other donors support the campaign, the goal is achieved. As soon as the donor feels like they moved the needle, it is more likely that he will be interested in supporting more campaigns. For nonprofits this is a great chance to build long-lasting, rewarding relationships with a donor, who feels more attached to the cause and the result with more contributions he makes.
Specify campaign length
Best practice is to run 2-3 months campaigns and extend them if necessary. The longer the campaign, the less motivated the donors are – they lose focus and stop following the campaign results.
Don't be dry, too formal or vague
No matter how big or small your organization is, crowdfunding is all about building a connection with your crowd and sparking their generosity. Being too dry or formal in your campaign description may not created a strong connection with the audience which will negatively affect the campaign performance. It is also important not to be too vague as audience will need to trust you before they start supporting your campaign.
Don't skip project planning
Campaign planning doesn’t mean weeks or even days of work. Planning a crowdfunding campaign may take a couple of hours or even 20 minutes but will help organize thoughts and steps. Items to check would be: Ask, Goal, Deadline, Story, Launch date, Promo Push and Updates.
Activating Your First-Level Crowd
The success of a crowdfunding campaign is primarily based on two factors: trust and network effect.
In order to activate both factors, it is important to have an initial (first-level) crowd. Usually, this group consists of your existing donors, social media followers, volunteers and network. The key attribution of this group is that they have existing relationships with your organization, hence the trust level is high. As soon as you put your campaign live, it is important to contact your first-level crowd and ask them to donate and share the crowdfunding campaign with their network.
The first donors are critical for success. The campaign that has raised money in the first 24 hours is more likely to succeed that the one that didn't get any contributions.
Your initial crowd plays an important role in activating your network effect. It is known that when referred by a friend or family, people are 4X more likely to make a positive decision and donate. Your initial crowd can unlock new net donors, bigger contributions and more awareness of your cause. Three important steps to follow would be:
- Ask your current supporters to share the campaign with their circle
- Constantly provide them with the new pictures and updates to give them more reasons to talk about you
- Keep track of shares, mentions and fresh donors to enrol them properly
How to Get a Crowd
Planning Marketing Communication
Including marketing into your crowdfunding planning is extremely important. What are the stages of marketing communication?
- Auditing your marketing channels for relevancy and defining a communication plan.
- Checking which communication channels have the most active donors: email, Facebook, Instagram, website, blogging.
- Communication plan consists of two parts: announcing your crowdfunding campaign and continuing promoting it while it is running. Communication plan includes a calendar with dates, channels and message+image+video to will be published.
- If the goal is ambitious, consider paid marketing - boosting post in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Google Adwords)
- Get press coverage check out how
Effectively Communicate Your Impact
Effective impact communication of your crowdfunding campaign can help you successfully hit (and overhit) the goal, increase trust to your organization and create long-term relationships with donors.
Here are some methods of effective impact communication:
- Explaining the problem and describing a positive outcome in case if money is raised.
- Converting an abstract goal into the tangible wish list items. Example: If you are raising money for renovating the building, consider creating wish list items such as 5 tables, 20 chairs, painting the wall etc. Your donors will know how exactly they helped. Here is a great example from a Community Garden
- Offering perks and incentives (such as branded T-shirts) in exchange for donation. Your donors will get a token of their support. Los Anarchists' World Domination Fund
- Providing video and photo updates during and after campaign.
- Sending "Thank You" notes to every contributor