Last week, I was speaking with a nonprofit fundraiser who was worried about their organization's campaign coming across as overly opportunistic. The question caught me slightly off-guard, because by definition, crowdfunding is opportunistic. Whether a campaign is proactive (for example a campaign to build a product that does not exist yet) or reactive (raising funds to respond to a newly created financial burden), crowdfunding works best when there's a clear sense of urgency.
Following the Boston Marathon attacks in April, the entire city of Boston came together in an organized and united collective to stand against the violence against them. Almost immediately, The One Fund Boston was launched to help raise funds to cope with the tragedy. What followed was an incredibly successful and brilliantly executed cross-platform crowdfunding endeavor that helped maintain solidarity between Bostonians and raise the necessary funds to provide aid.
The whole process is excellently analyzed and explained in an article from Software Advice - a free resource for nonprofit software reviews and comparisons. They pinpoint exactly what made The One Fund so successful, and how crowdfunding was the right fundraising model for the mission that they sought to accomplish.
It's a perfect example of reactive philanthropy, and I highly encourage you to check out the article: