nonprofit crow

Crowdfunding has become a key component of the nonprofit fundraising toolkit. But it can be challenging to know where to start, so we’ve gathered Five Tips to help you get your campaign going.

1. What’s Your Story? Your story has to be so compelling it connects with donors on an emotional level. Definitely use pictures and videos, they give your story an even bigger impact. Be sure to tell people what problem they are helping solve with their donations to your campaign. Be sure you have a clear CALL TO ACTION – most people say they didn’t give because no one asked – so ASK!

2. Plan for Success Proper prior planning prevents poor performance as an old boss of mine used to say. In this case, planning means engaging your board, staff, volunteers and current supporters to become a part of the campaign; rallying your social media fans and growing their numbers before you launch; emailing your list or lists to let them know what’s coming and how they can be a part of it. This is the time to turn strangers into friends and acquaintance into allies! Create a schedule for posting updates to your website, your CrowdGIV site, Social Media and via email. Prepopulated tweets and FB posts that you can send to your supporters will help them keep engaged during the entire campaign.

3. GOALS, GOALS, GOALS The most successful campaigns have very specific goals for why the funds are being raised, the exact goal amount and what problem is being solved by the funds raised during the campaign. By now surely everyone knows the acronym S.M.A.R.T. – probably because they make sense – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results, and Timely. The author of “Ask Without Fear”, Marc Pitman included this article on his website about Smart Goals in a fun way – give it a read!

3. Tell your donors specifically how their $$ are helping and how you are going to thank them When setting donation levels, connect them to a specific goal – “your donation of $15.00 will feed 3 children for a week”, etc. and have a reach goal or two, too. When you thank donors remember that most don’t want to see their donation used to send them a TY gift, so keep it reasonable (mention in your newsletter or on your site) and be sure to allow for anonymous donors. Consider partnering with local businesses to offer discounts based on the level of donations (DD can assist you with this, just let us know).

4. Start Out With A Bang To get the ball rolling, line up some fund commitments from board members and existing donors – the recommendation is to have at least 25% of your goal already pledged when you launch your campaign.

5. Tell the World Use all your resources – staff, volunteers, donors, newsletter subscribers to get the word out via email and social media. But don’t neglect the tried and true methods of press releases to your local media and community resources – printed materials to share with local merchants. If you create a poster with a Q-code, people with Smart Phones can donate directly from their phones right there! Speaking of phones, pick yours up and make a few calls to get the word out. . .there is nothing like a good-old fashioned chat to spread the word!

I hope these tips are helpful to you as you consider beginning or expand your crowdfunding.

Reminder: You can learn more and access to CrowdGIV crowdfunding right here on the UC Learning Center

By Leslie Riehm

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