September 25, 2017
 
Secrets to Effective Nonprofit Crowdfunding Campaigns

By Wendy Dessler

Wendy Dessler
Nonprofits looking for new revenue sources are increasingly considering crowdfunding campaigns, but they need a strategy that will reach the most people and achieve funding success.

Crowdfunding has increased in popularity over the years, and with popularity comes increased competition, with more and more people vying for your potential audience’s attention.

Given the competition, with thousands of active campaigns seeking funding, it might be a lot harder to kick start your campaign than you think.

To achieve your nonprofit campaign financing goals and put your crowdfunding campaign over the top, consider the following:

Prepare for your campaign.

Just like anything, preparation is the key to overall success. If your campaign looks like a half-baked idea, nobody is going to take it seriously. People want to invest in a campaign that’s going to work. Preparing for your campaign is hard work of, which means focusing on making it a huge success that will benefit your backers.

Use social media strategically.

Every nonprofit crowdfunding campaign needs to make its way in front of its potential audience. One of the best ways to do this is to focus on sharing it via social media. You do not need to have a massive social media following to make your campaign become a major success. On the contrary, you just need to connect with social media mavens who will help spread the word and get your message in front of the right people. Connect with influential social media aficionados in your market and strategically align with them in a way that will benefit you, them, and their audience. Everybody wins in a situation like this.

Produce an engaging video.

Video is incredibly effective and is a great way to nudge potential donors to support your fundraising campaign. It will help you spread your ideas about the particular project and let people see it in action instead of just reading about them or looking at images. Creating high-quality videos, however, is labor-intensive. So if you do not have the time or skills to pull this off, then it might be best to avoid this particular suggestion.

Do not immediately ask for money.

Many potential nonprofit crowdfunding campaigns immediately ask people for money. It's much more effective to share your story and get people enthusiastic about the project. By sharing an engaging story first, your potential audience will get excited to back your project. If you ask for money first, most people will ignore your pleas and move on to the next project that they find more engaging and relatable.

Examples of Successful Nonprofit Crowdfunding Campaigns

  • Save the Children organization. In 2012, Save the Children put together a charity drive using crowdfunding and Facebook as their main sources of receiving donations. This charity drive helped the organization raise more than $1 million to help children living in the Horn of Africa that were at risk for Ebola and other potential deadly diseases.

  • The American Red Cross, which uses crowdfunding to meet its fundraising needs, teamed up with CrowdRise to help those in need who have suffered the devastating effects of natural disasters. As of this date, the Red Cross has raised more than $4.7 million for this wonderful cause.
The success of these two campaigns should make it clear that crowdfunding is a great source of revenue for nonprofit organizations. Make sure to tell a compelling story and share it via social media websites so that your campaign goes viral and reaches millions of potential donors from all around the world.

While it’s becoming harder than ever to launch an effective crowdfunding campaign, using the tips shared here will improve your chance of achieving fundraising success. Good luck!

Wendy Dessler is Super-Connector at OutreachMamaan online relationship building service. Email to her at wendy@outreachmama.com
January 2017

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