Crowdfunding Success Navigator
for Nonprofits

Learn the most effective fundraising techniques

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Successful crowdfunding
is a real game-changer for nonprofits

What will you learn on this page?
Why Crowdfunding?
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1. Grow sustainably
Crowdfunding helps organizations raise money throughout the year without relying on the success of one-off yearly fundraising events

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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

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3. Amplify cause awareness
Crowdfunding is a great way to reach a larger audience and effectively communicate the impact of your cause

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4. Increase engagement with donors
You can build long-term authentic relationships with donors through effective crowdfunding campaigns

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5. Enrol new supporters Crowdfunding is proven to be a powerful tool for enrolling new donors through impact communication and network effect

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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

Successful Crowdfunding Ingredients

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Creating
a powerful
story
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Activating
your first-level
crowd
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Planning
marketing
communication
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Communicating
the impact of your campaign
Creating a Powerful Story
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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. Consider following the Shakespeare's Story Arc to write an engaging and strong story. 
    • 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.
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    • 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
when creating a crowdfunding campaign
  • 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 quick planning exercise

    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
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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.

Network effect

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
Crowdfunding for Pros: Build, Buy or Borrow a Crowd

Planning Marketing Communication
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Marketing Plan

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. 
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    • If the goal is ambitious, consider paid marketing - boosting post in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Google Adwords)
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Effectively Communicate Your Impact
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Impact Communication

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  

  • Providing video and photo updates during and after campaign. 

  • Sending "Thank You" notes to every contributor
FAQ

First of all, congratulations on your first crowdfunding project. Dozens of nonprofits start their first crowdfunding campaign on our platform and get successful. Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Carefully read this page. We’ve put together some best practices and crowdfunding intelligence accrued by more than 4000 nonprofits for the last eight years. If you follow all the steps, your chances to run a successful crowdfunding campaign will dramatically increase. We guarantee!
  2. The most time-efficient way is to schedule our free crowdfunding consultation. Our crowdfunding experts will discuss your goals and needs and provide you with the best tips how to get started. It is a great opportunity to know more what type of crowdfunding campaigns suit your organizational needs. Your setup manager will also help you kick off your fundraiser and introduce you to the best functionality of the platform. Request it here
  3. You can easily test drive the platform and create your campaign for free right away here .There are no setup, monthly or platform fees.
  4. Read more about crowdfunding on our blog. If you don’t have any project in your mind, our blog could be a good place to learn crowdfunding. For example, here you can learn about 5 inspirational fundraising campaigns:https://blog.fundrazr.com/2018/03/28/5-inspirational-nonprofits-fundraising-crowdfunding-tips/

Some nonprofits don’t have a big following or a crowd. As we mentioned earlier on this page, your first-level crowd is important for your success due to high trust factor. We are convinced that everyone has a first-level network. In your case, it could be your family, friends or community who know about your nonprofit, volunteers who expressed interest in helping you, community members from your city, donors or partner nonprofits or organizations.

You can also build, buy or borrow a crowd.

You can BUY a target crowd for your campaign through pay per click marketing, boosting posts on Facebook and other social media platforms.

You can BORROW a crowd by working with people who already have one – think celebrity endorsements, influence marketing, guest blog posts, and so on.

Finally, you can BUILD a crowd through online visibility work around your brand and cause – community management, social media engagement techniques, and a robust online presence to back both up. Remember, it will still take an investment, be in financial or in staff hours to build or borrow a crowd – reaching new people never comes effortlessly or for free!

Great question. The main difference is that FundRazr offers advanced enterprise-class crowdfunding features for the most competitive price in the industry with no rigid commitments.

  • On top of that, we are also laser-focused on innovation. We offer eight crowdfunding campaign types which creates a perfect playground for testing new concepts.
  • We also have automatic in-app coaching for teams and volunteers that simplifies the process of onboarding and trains crowdfunding pros for your nonprofit.
  • We offer free fundraising option for any size nonprofits and charities.

Yes, with FundRazr we keep information about your donors so you can use it for tax receipts, reporting or communication purposes. You can select what type of information you want to collect with our easily customizable donor collection forms.

Yes, we can help you set up and kickoff your campaign. No cost 🙂 Just drop us a note here 

The money is sent to your organizational account based on a schedule you pick.

If you are running Keep It All campaign, your money is deposited to your payment processing account right away. Funds will be released from your account and deposited to your bank account once they have cleared any security checks and according to the daily, weekly or monthly schedule you’ve set for withdrawals.

For All or Nothing campaigns, your pledges are not processed until you achieve your fundraising goal and request releasing the funds. From that point, they act like Keep it All payments.

If you haven’t achieved your All or Nothing campaign goal, by the time it ends, no payments are processed and no charges are incurred.

Successful Campaign Examples