Introduction to Crowdfunding on Black Friday Eve
So, you’re thinking about launching a crowdfunding campaign? Let’s take a look at this useful tool in the non-profit fundraising toolbox.
What is Crowdfunding?
What’s crowdfunding anyway? Well, in the simplest terms, it is a method of raising funds from a crowd of donors. This particular type of fundraising has incredible financial potential, due to the sheer numbers of donors reached. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the largest U.S. crowdfunding effort to date raised $41.6 million in relief aid through hundreds of online campaigns.
How Does it Work?
How’s it done? Crowdfunding can be done live, at events where organizations and projects are pitched to gain donations. Think NPR radio pledge drives. Online crowdfunding is now the more common alternative, because it has the capability of reaching a virtually limitless audience and can be largely automated through social media platforms and links to giving portals. Think Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe.
What Are the Critical Elements?
What are the elements critical to the success of a crowdfunding campaign? According to Robert Wu’s article, “Five Best Practices in Nonprofit Crowdfunding,” there are (you guessed it), five key ingredients needed for success. These are represented by the acronym SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Let’s break that down.
Specific, measurable and timely elements deal with clearly defining your goal and plan. This will involve such aspects as identifying a target need within your agency, determining the total funds necessary to meet that need, choosing a platform on which you will crowdfund, calculating fees associated with using such platforms and fixing the duration of your upcoming campaign.
Attainability concerns the viability of your campaign. It’s critical to consider what has and has not worked in previous crowdfunding efforts. Is the amount you’ve set as your goal realistic? If this is your first crowdfunding campaign, what have similar non-profit crowdfunding campaigns achieved?
And finally, relevance pertains to promoting a storyline about your goal: why you need what you’re asking for and what the impact of reaching that goal will have. What wonderful change will the success of this campaign bring? What will not happen if this opportunity is missed? Your donors deserve to know how important your goal is. Inspire them.
More on crowdfunding will follow soon.
Call us today to begin your journey from crowdfunding to possibility.