Creating your own crowdfunding campaign can be very exciting. Finally a chance to be creative and show your organization in a light that inspires action! True. We’re all looking for new donors and volunteers who believe in our cause. But developing a crowdfunding campaigns poses a new set of challenges that many don’t realize until it’s too late.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Let’s review the common elements to an engaging crowdfunding campaign so that you folks can get your ducks in a row wayyyy before launch day. Your “To Do” list:
Define your type of fundraising - General Operating Funds vs Project-based
Are you raising money simply to keep the lights on, or are you fundraising for a specific project or initiative. These things matter a lot when crafting a clear message to your online audience. Moreover, project-based fundraising tends to be a bit more sexy, allowing for a more engaging fundraising campaign with a deliverable. Either way, decide this early and plan your campaign accordingly.
Define your central message - Using a short video or a compelling photo/image
The powers of a compelling video message cannot be understated. Here’s the perfect opportunity for you to show donors exactly why they should believe in you and donate. It’s also your best opportunity to include the most relevant details related to your crowdfunding campaign (e.g. your story/mission, how the money raised will be used, exactly how each donation helps, enticing rewards, etc). Pics and images can also be used, but they won’t give you nearly the kind of viral-ness we’ve seen in these campaigns [Ipod nano watch, DoubleFine Adventure)
Determine your promotional strategy - Social media, traditional media, direct connect
If your organization has the resources…platforms like facebook, twitter, Google+ and other online networks should be a part of your promotional arsenal. However, there’s something quite personal about an email or phone call that give organizations who keep an updated email list a great advantage. Overall, we must remember that the only way people are going to donate to your campaign is because you’ve put it in front of them. Whether it’s your adorable grandmother or a popular blogger, you have to actively put your campaign in their hands if you want a chance at having them donate or at having them share the campaign within their own circle of friends/family. Nonetheless, any coverage in print or broadcast radio/TV will widen your potential audience dramatically, so be sure to identify every possible angle for promoting your campaign so that you can reach new donors most effectively.
Hopefully, I haven’t simplified developing a crowdfunding campaign too much. Let me know if you have any questions and perhaps we can map out what a potentially fundraising campaign would look like for your nonprofit.