Generating revenue has always been and will continue to be an issue for nonprofit organizations. This is largely because nonprofit are usually providing services and assistance to those who may not be able to afford the full cost of their service, be it health, cultural or social. As a result, they must make up the difference with government assistance, philanthropy or most commonly – fundraising.
Crowdfunding is a new form of fundraising, which allows individuals the opportunity to be philanthropic and invest in a cause. It has proven to work well for a variety of reasons, notably because you can target your campaign to appeal to people who have sympathy with what you are trying to achieve. The Internet is great platform for this, giving nonprofits the opportunity to reach people quickly and cheaply. It provides everyone the opportunity to help within their own means, whether they want to give a small or substantial donation. It also builds on a tried and tested fundraising technique of setting an achievable target and showing people that their contribution makes a significant difference to reaching that target. Crowdfunding targets can be both modest and achievable.
Elements of a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
The first element of a successful crowdfunding campaign is effective planning. This means setting clear and actionable goals that are given appropriate time frames. A good way to compartmentalize your strategy is into a soft launch and a hard launch. The soft launch will be the first week or so of your campaign. It will be intended to reach your core supporters; passionate individuals, family, friends etc. - those who will undoubtedly rally behind your cause. They will be vital in spreading the message and sparking your campaigns momentum. Reach out to the people personally via phone or email and have them feel like they are a large part of the project. The second part of your strategy will be the hard launch. This will commonly last 2-3 weeks and is when your campaign is opened to a wider audience. You can do this through social media and an email series that has clear calls to action.
A solid marketing strategy can be the difference between smashing through your crowdfunding goals and a project flop. If you have the resources, consider hiring a professional marketer to assist you with your efforts. The first thing you will want to consider is your story. It must be emotionally engaging but not too forceful, and importantly it must be professional. Hiring a videographer that is affordable but experienced is crucial. In addition to this, you will want to create great follow up content to spread via your email and social media marketing strategies in order to keep your followers engaged throughout the funding process. Finally, optimize your branding and design so your campaign is memorable and donating is as simple as possible.
Offer Appropriate Incentives
Rewards-based crowdfunding is based on incentives, so make sure you know the reasons people would want to join your cause and keep this in mind when brainstorming rewards. You can offer them freebies such as t-shirts, thank you messages, or limited edition merchandise. However, what will make you stand out from the crowd is something that is creative and personal. For example if you are running a nonprofit related to an animal shelter you may want to assign each donator an animal and provide them photos of the impact that their donation had on the animals life. Remember that incentives should be based on tiers, so individuals are motivated to donate slightly more for a greater reward.
Ultimately crowdfunding is a fundraising strategy that is low risk, low cost and good marketing. Fortunately, it is still in its’ early stages, so your nonprofit should look to get involved as soon as possible.
About Digital Impact Agency
Digital Impact Agency is a creative firm specializing in interactive media and inbound marketing strategies for manufacturing and technology companies, professional service firms (architectural, engineering, construction, legal and consulting), nonprofits and enterprise companies. We are a team of innovative entrepreneurs focused on creating the most strategic and effective communication channels for our clients.