How to run Crowdfunding Campaigns for Nonprofits

The wildly popular online method of raising money for everything from start-up businesses to personal causes, known as crowdfunding, isn’t exactly new. Since the dawn of time, community support has likely been sought for one cause or another. Today the internet has bred a global sense of community, and provided a platform from which to fundraise that reaches far beyond the confines of “Main Street”.

Social Crowdfunding is the quickest way to reach the most people and drum up support for your cause. But, how do you ensure the success of your campaign?  What will get you the social networking presence you need, and how do you organize your campaign in a way that will garner the most attention?

Tell Your Story- Give some background to your cause, but do so in a concise, yet thorough way. The purpose of your story is to increase awareness and drive up contributions. You don’t want to get too emotional, however you do want some “feels” in there. Don’t overdo it, or you could turn people off. Set out the facts, tug at their heartstrings, give them a way to act-by donating.

Consider Your Timing- No matter how much you melt people’s hearts, if your timing is off, they won’t open those purse strings. Consider, if possible, launching your campaign in the last few months of the year. That way, people are more likely to commit a portion of their money your way during the Giving Season when they feel more generous than during the rest of the year.

Create a Buzz- Facebook, Twitter, Google plus, LinkedIn and even Pinterest can be advantageous when it comes to marketing your crowdfunding campaign.
Come up with a short hashtag, and make sure everyone uses it. That way all of your social media posts will be organized in one place. You can use them to review your progress, stay in touch with supporters and address any questions and concerns they may have about your campaign.

Other ways to foster awareness, and raise funds, is by starting an email campaign, sending letters to prospective donors, or canvassing your area with flyers. You’ll certainly reach a larger audience by utilizing social media, but make sure your cause resonates just as strongly in your local community as well.

Update Regularly-It’s easy to keep friends and family in the loop, but when you reach out on Facebook, Twitter, and the like, your friends will share, and their friends will share and interest in your cause becomes exponential.  Keep your ever-growing audience updated regularly about any developments and changes to the campaign or it’s focus.  Consider making videos to update your crowdfunding site.

Compatible Platform-There are many crowdfunding platforms out there and choosing the right one makes a big difference in the success of your campaign. Choosing a platform that doesn’t fit your campaign may not attract donors to your fundraiser. For instance, if you opt for a platform typically used to fund start-up enterprises and bankroll the “next big thing”, your “Save the Pygmy Hippo” campaign may not get the right exposure.

In order to choose the right platform for your campaign, do some research. Most crowdfunding platform’s homepage will highlight current fundraising drives. Look over the current campaigns to make sure your focus is similarly structured. Also, you will need advice and help over the course of your campaign. Ensure your platform administrators will be there for you, should the need arise.

Mind Your Manners-You are passionate about your cause. Your passion drives you and sustains you.  Your passion is what brought you to this crowd funding site to raise money for your cause. Never lose sight of your goal, but don’t let your fervent dedication eclipse common courtesy. You’re asking your community to put their financial support behind your cause. Be courteous and polite. Reach out with a sincere “thank you” no matter the size of the donation. Remember, a person who feels appreciated will always do more than what’s expected.

Theoretically, nonprofits should be able to fully leverage this fundraising model to generate significant funds for their causes. If all the volunteers for a nonprofit can turn into fundraisers using these social crowdfunding platforms and spread the message through their social media pages, one can imagine how successful the campaigns could be. Yet, we do not see that happen.

Most of these social crowdfunding platforms are designed towards individual fundraisers for several reasons. Individuals don’t mind paying the high fee that these platforms charge and some of them go up to 10% of the funds raised. Nonprofits, on the other hand, are more conservative when it comes to pricing and they are willing to pay as much. Also, nonprofits might possibly have a nightmare reconciling donations raised through two different platforms.

ProcessDonation is one fundraising software for nonprofits which can be used to continue to raise funds using their conventional fundraising methods yet take full advantage of its crowdfunding features utilizing social media.

Successful crowdfunding isn’t simply setting up a funding page and hoping for the best. In order to meet-and even go beyond-your goal, it’s imperative that you organize your campaign in a manner that has been proven successful. The experienced fundraisers at ProcessDonation will help you launch up your crowdfunding campaign in a way that will bring awareness-and donations-to your cause.

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