Crafting is one of my most favorite activities..but, today I’m not going to teach you how to paint a perfectly straight line, but talk about how to “CRAFT a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign for Non-Profits”. Crowdfunding is an amazing fundraising platform that is still gaining popularity in the mainstream marketplace. Not only do you have many options when choosing a platform onto which you will raise your funds…but, you have the ability to raise money for ANYTHING you can think of. This flexibility and ease of use makes crowdfunding an amazing tool to be utilized in the non-profit world where funding is consistently a problem.
FIND YOUR CROWD
Before any crowdfunding campaign can be successful, you have to make sure that you have a “crowd” to appeal to. If you’re under the impression that you’ll put a request out there, take a picture, and magically there will be people surfing the internet just waiting to give money to great causes, sorry. That isn’t likely to happen.
A high percentage of donations made to a crowdfunding campaign, will indeed, come from within the “crowd” of the campaign initiator. This means that your community will need to be cultivated and established BEFORE you attempt to start a crowdfunding campaign. Targeting emails, and being more active on your social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) are imperative. Having a community of people who already believe in your cause and trust your non-profit will help your crowdfunding campaign reach it’s fundraising goal faster.
SET AN ATTAINABLE GOAL
Attainable is the keyword here. You want to set a goal with specifics in mind. If your community of network contacts isn’t very big, that’s ok. Set your goal for the first fundraiser smaller. Be specific. Don’t just say you want to raise $10,000. Tell us WHERE that number came from and what exactly the funds will be used for. How long will you run the campaign for? Don’t arbitrarily set a high number…you want to see success and so do your donors.
Continue to update the campaign so that donors will know what their money was used for. While at events, just snap a picture and type a quick note to add to your campaign page.
This updating feature is what makes crowdfunding such an amazing tool for non-profits. People generally do donate…but, they don’t always know exactly where their monies are going. By providing detailed updates, you’ll make your donors more engaged and committed to your community. Being vested in your cause will help create the community that these donors will visit again and donate to in the future.
TELL AN AMAZING STORY
You will have a few minutes to gain the trust and attention of your potential donors….so, make your first impression count! You may think that just telling your story is all there is to it. But, there’s so much more. Not only are you competing with other non-profits, but you’re competing with so many more people and experiences that are vying for your donors’ time. Write a compelling story…tell us the details on your cause and why it should move us to donate. Put the passion that you feel for your non-profit on the computer screen and into your typed words. Use pictures and videos that clearly convey your message.
UTILIZE QR CODES
This is a QR code. Move Your Mountain will generate one specific to YOUR fundraising campaign. These are useful for you to print out and take where you may have educational booths set up or at events where you would hand out business cards. Potential donors can simple scan this QR code and donate immediately to your campaign. NO computer is necessary…just a smart phone. Utilizing this technology makes donations possible with the ease of a scan!
You don’t have to refund their donations….that would be silly. But, you should have a plan of “thanks” to offer your donors. Your campaign doesn’t have to offer “rewards” or “perks” that some platforms suggest. Move Your Mountain is a “donation” based crowdfunding platform…meaning, that people just “donate” with nothing expected in return. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t offer them something. Even if it’s a simple “shout out” on your update status thanking them for their kind donation. Go old school and mail a hand written card. The smallest gesture of thanks will go a long way in developing a longstanding relationship between you and your donors.
MAINTAIN YOUR DATABASE
An added feature of Move Your Mountain and it’s crowdfunding platform, is that you will now have a database of all your donors created just for you. Use this database along with other ones that your non-profit has compiled to keep all your donors in one place and updated on future events. This list of names will be invaluable to you and your future fundraising success…guard it with your life! These are people who believe in you and your cause. Continue to update them even after your crowdfunding campaign is over.
I’d love to hear your feedback. What are your plans for starting a crowdfunding campaign for your non-profit? Are there any questions that you still have about where to start and how to plan one?