13 November, 2017

Crowdfunding 101: Kickstarting a Successful Campaign

Crowdfunding is really about inspiring people — many of whom neither you nor your organization have interacted with — to give money to your cause. Generally, donations from crowdfunding campaigns are smaller than those cultivated through major gift fundraising. The average crowdfunding gift is $88.00.1 However, if you can tell your story and make the ask in a quick, sharp and impactful way, then your organization can raise significant funds to support your critical, mission-driven work.

Here are few basic steps to getting your crowdfunding underway...

Set Your Goals

  • Be clear, reasonable and purposeful about what you are asking for. Setting an aggressive, yet realistic goal is key. You want to set a goal that your supporters can help you strive for— but you don’t want donors to doubt your ability to get there.
  • Ideally, a crowdfunding campaign should fit into your larger fundraising plans. This is just one effort— don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
    • Ask yourself, "Will this campaign raise 5% or 10% of the funds I need to operate this year? Or can my organization rely 100% on crowdfunding? If so, should I do several campaigns at different times of year?"

Craft Your Pitch

  • Keep it brief. 300-500 words was found to be the average length of the most successful campaign descriptions. 2 Successful pitches often answer the following questions:
    • How will donations create greater impact?
    • What is your mission and goal?
    • Who are you, and why did you start your organization?
    • Why does your organization need help from your community?
  • Stay away from the singular. Collective words are more effective when communicating with prospective donors.
    • Ex: "We are working together to build a sanctuary for animals."
  • Get creative with your ask. Which request is more compelling?Please donate $200 to my cause (hint: Good)orI am only $200 away from my $20,000 goal. Will you help me cross the finish line? (hint: Better)orYour donation of $200 will buy school supplies for a classroom of students for an entire school year. (hint: Best)
  • Have a call to action (CTA). What are you asking of your network? Be direct and be specific.
    • Ex: "Please donate and share with your own network."

Create Your Crowdfunding Page

  • Describe your campaign, select a compelling image, and connect to your email list, social media platforms and website to share the campaign with your network.

Announce, Share & Network

  • Tell everyone! If you have a network of existing volunteers, supporters, partner groups and donors, they should be informed of your crowdfunding campaign — especially so that they can share it with their own networks.
  • Share your campaign on your social media outlets. And if possible, leverage social media influencers to get behind your efforts.
  • Consider tying your campaign to other efforts. Whether it's Giving Tuesday, an awareness month or special events put on by your nonprofit, the more visibility and buzz you can create around your campaign, the better.

Give Thanks

  • Don’t forget to say thank you. You are grateful for your community’s support, so make sure to tell them. Thank everyone individually and collectively, however possible, and as much as possible.
  • Donors you get during crowdfunding campaigns may be from outside your regular donor pool - hooray! Remember, gifts of any size are appreciated and could be the beginning of a valuable relationship.

Helpful Stats:

  • The average crowdfunding campaign raises $7,000.3
  • The average length for successful campaigns is 9 weeks.4
  • The average donation amount through crowdfunding is $88.5
  • The average age of a crowdfunding donor is 24-35.6
  • On average, 42% of funds are raised in the first and last 3 days of a campaign.7
  • About 15% of crowdfunding donations are made on mobile devices. 8
  • Successful campaigns share, on average, 4 fundraising updates. 9
  • 53% of email shares convert to a crowdfunding donation and 12% of Facebook shares convert to a crowdfunding donation.10

Quick Tips

  • Use creative marketing materials. Studies show that on average, individuals raise four times as much money when a crowdfunding campaign is accompanied by a video. 11
  • Be open to setting non-monetary goals in crowdfunding. Yes, the big "total raised" number is compelling. But, keep in mind that attracting new donors, directing new visitors to your website and raising awareness for your cause are also valuable results.
  • When you start a crowdfunding campaign through GVNG, it will automatically be hosted on your nonprofit’s website. From there, you can reach a wider audience by sharing it with your mailing list and through your linked social media accounts.

Want More?

GVNG users with premium features may receive customized advisory services and strategic planning guidance. To get more information, please contact us.













Author: Mary Roach

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