CHAPTER THREE: HOW NONPROFITS CAN USE CROWDFUNDING
Empower Your Supporters To Fundraise On Your Behalf
Crowdfunding is the best way to gain more new donors for your cause. Volunteers, advocates, celebrities, and corporations can raise donations from friends and family using their own peer-to-peer fundraising pages shared across social media, text message, and email. The average nonprofit crowdfunding campaign sees 5 out of 8 donors being new to their organization, and the average individual collects $612.
This guide can be applied to virtually any crowdfunding campaign, giving it the potential of going viral across social media.
Empower Your Network of Supporters to Raise Donations
Conveniently raise donations via mobile, social, and online networks
Crowdfunding for Nonprofits:
Marketing directly to your existing donor base and new donors to help you raise donations for a specific campaign.
- Create a library of assets and communication for educating donors
- Create emails, templates, images and more
- Make it as easy as possible for donors to give
- Plan a series of training events (in-person or virtual)
- Set clear goals and make the value of the campaign clear
Educating your donors to empower them to market to and raise money from their personal networks.
- Decide if you are rallying existing donors or attracting new ones
- Use success stories and compelling videos to attract new donors
- Make it as easy as possible for donors to give
- Give value 3 times before asking something of people
- Email is still a valuable way to spread the word—so keep building your email list
How to Reach Millennial and Gen X Donors
Source: Pew Research Center
They avoid phone calls, rarely respond to emails, and tend to throw out any direct mail they receive. So how do you get them involved with your cause? Target them on the one piece of technology they have on them at all times: their smartphone.
Both Millennials and Gen Xers are generous and want to give, but tend not to carry cash or checks. Therefore, it is imperative that everything your organization does is accessible from a mobile device. Mobile and online fundraising solutions are the #1 way to do this successfully for your cause.
Reaching Millennial Donors
Millennials have recently surpassed Boomers as the largest generation in America, and by 2025 will make up 75% of the workforce. They are active on their phones and respond best to text messages and social media, but rarely respond to personal email or voice calls. They tend to watch videos online before making a gift, and prefer to donate online right from their phones.
Reach Gen X Donors
Combined with Millennials, Gen Xers make up over 2/3 of the workforce today. These donors are most likely to fundraise on behalf of a cause, make a pledge, and volunteer their time to an organization. Gen X donors check email regularly, stay up-to-date on social media feeds, and prefer to receive communication by text message, making mobile and online fundraising solutions vital in targeting them.
Appeal to the Donor Psyche to Motivate People to Give
Psychological motivators are the best way to inspire people to give!
Empathy: use compelling video, images, and stories with clear calls to action
Storytelling: stories connect people, and people connect to the stories being told
Impact: appeal to the ego—people want to feel like they are making a difference for your cause
Social pressure: people are more likely to give after seeing others do the same
Scarcity: create a sense of urgency to get people to participate
Small First Step: a small initial commitment is more likely to lead to a bigger commitment later on
Nonprofit Crowdfunding Success Stories
Leveraging the power of the “crowd” and the community is what makes crowdfunding so successful, so share the impact of your cause! Be sure both your vision and your goal are clear and provide updates throughout the campaign to keep fundraisers motivated and informed about the progress being made as you move closer to your goal.
Crowdfunding & Peer to Peer Fundraising Best Practices
- Conduct organized training to orient crowdfunding volunteers
- Encourage participants to customize their page
- Attach direct impact to each dollar and explain gift benefits
- Be transparent about costs to encourage good stewardship
- Provide a fundraising guide to encourage peer-to-peer activities (garage sales, bake sales, run/walks, etc.)
- Create a journal framework for people to share their stories
- Always bring it back to your mission and goal!
Social Post Example
Crowdfunding Page Example
Tips for Nonprofit Crowdfunding Success:
- Ask for participation across all social networks
- Utilize keywords and links for easy promotion across channels
- Use your unique voice to tell your story along with donation asks
- Include bold, bright images and compelling video and provide clear instructions within each to boost participation
- Encourage your audience to get their personal networks involved by sharing posts and asking them to fundraise with you
- Keep your audience updated as you reach milestones along the way
- Show supporters how they will be making a difference by donating or fundraising on your behalf
- Thank and recognize donors and fundraisers for participating
- Post often, across all networks—they won’t all be seen!
How Your Nonprofit Can Use Crowdfunding Right Now
Deciding on the type of crowdfunding campaign is only the first step.
While you can start your campaign by simply by reaching out to a small circle of supporters, you must also understand how and where to actively promote the type of nonprofit crowdfunding campaign you choose.
Then decide what you can do to help your peer-to-peer fundraisers capitalize on every opportunity available to make the biggest impact.
Those who have been involved in the past are most likely to participate
“Alumni” isn’t limited to just schools—it’s anyone who has been involved with your organization:
volunteers, donors, past beneficiaries, and anyone on your email or mailing list.
These supporters have already invested in your cause in some way, making them the best people to spread the word and raise donations on behalf of your organization.
Run, Walk, Swim, Rides, and More…
Embrace the trend in order to targer Millennial and Gen X donors
Both of these generations spend much time online and on their smartphones and look for fun and meaningful ways to give back, making them ideal candidates to fundraise for your cause before and during a run/walk (or other event) using mobile solutions.
Use all your available communication tools including social media, text messages & email to spread the word about the event to get supporters signed up.
Make sure to follow up with your supporters on your progress frequently to create excitement leading up to the event.
Try creating teams to fuel friendly competition and boost donations to your cause.
Nearly every organization will experience a situation where funds are needed ASAP
Donations are the lifeblood of educational, faith-based, healthcare and all other types of charitable nonprofit organizations. The faster you raise money, the faster your organization can do good.
There are 4 essentials of effective disaster relief crowdfunding campaigns that will drive maximum awareness, participation and donations.
- Effective Branding – includes org name, logo, colors, imagery, clear goals and dates.
- Compelling Storytelling – includes videos, photos, testimonials
- Make It Easy to Give – includes a secure mobile responsive donation form with clear giving instructions.
- Make It Easy to Advocate – includes empowering any person or business to easily share and create personal fundraising pages.
Service Projects, Missions, and Trips
Transform supporters into advocates for your cause
Fuel your organization’s mission by empowering your most passionate supporters of all ages to raise the funds they need to make a difference in communities across the world from their family, friends, and social networks.
Provide them with the tools necessary—all the requisite links, graphics, wording that they need. The more detailed and specific you can get when asking them to perform a task, the better!
Download a free PDF version of this online fundraising guide…
PDF version contains all of the content and resources found in the web-based guide