5 Strategies to Market Your Next Crowdfunding Campaign
Crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular form of online fundraising for nonprofits. In 2016, over 30% of charitable donations were made as a part of crowdfunding, and it’s the preferred method of giving for Millennials (donors age 18-35). But simply launching a crowdfunding campaign does not necessarily guarantee success.
In order to get the most out of your efforts you have to approach your campaign with purpose! Whether you use them separately or together, these 5 strategies will help you successfully market your nonprofit’s next crowdfunding campaign.
1. Message Your Mission
Think of this as the “what” of your crowdfunding campaign, and make it all about you. As in: what your nonprofit does, what donors’ gifts are supporting, why they should fundraise on your behalf, and what crowdfunding will do to make a difference for you.
In business, this is called a USP, or “Unique Selling Proposition”—essentially, it’s what sets you apart from the rest and lets people know why they should support your cause.
In order to message this properly, every communication you send should effectively tell your story and convey to your audience the difference your organization makes. Make it appealing, exciting, and don’t be afraid to dive into specifics. You want to differentiate yourself from other campaigns or organizations with similar causes, so tell your unique story and make it count!
2. Create a Culture of Caring
If you care about your supporters, they will care about you too! One of the easiest ways you can to this is to highlight the value of volunteer fundraisers (supporters that sign up to volunteer on your behalf) and equip them with the tools they need to help you have a successful campaign. After all, they’re doing you a favor by fundraising for your organization, so make it as easy as possible for them to meet their goal.
One of the best ways you can do this is with nonprofit crowdfunding software that allows them to customize their own crowdfunding page with their photo and a personal message explaining a little bit of their backstory and/or why they care about your cause.
You’ll also want to give them a unique keyword that they can provide to their friends and family to empower them to make easy donations right on their mobile device. All they have to do is text the keyword to a shortcode, like 41444 or 91999, and they’ll be send a link to complete their donation on a secure, mobile-friendly form. These donations will go toward the individual’s crowdfunding goal and will also be attributed to your nonprofit’s overall campaign totals, and the ease and convenience of a mobile-friendly form will create a better donor experience yielding more donations for your cause.
And of course, don’t forget to say thank you! A volunteer fundraiser or donor who feels appreciated is far more likely to fundraise for or donate to your organization again in the future. A personal thank you message is best, be it in the form of a handwritten note, text message, or video.
3. Don’t Forget the Fun
One of the best things about crowdfunding is the flexibility it gives you when it comes to executing your campaign. A campaign that has an element of fun to it is more likely to get people excited, and supporters will therefore be more likely to get involved.
For this reason, runs, walks, swims, and rides, also known as active events, are a great way to execute your campaign. Many times these fundraising ideas draw involvement from people who may not have known about your cause, but are interested in attending due to the charitable nature of the event itself.
Take full advantage of this and plan your campaign and fundraising event accordingly, letting those who sign-up know how else they can support your cause, be it by becoming a volunteer fundraiser for the event, or getting involved in the future.
Bonus! If you’re looking for more unique ways to make your campaign interesting and engaging, check out these 10 crowdfunding ideas that worked for nonprofits.
4. Get Your Board on Board
Another great strategy for success in crowdfunding comes from getting your board involved. Board members are often well-connected within the community, so signing them up as your first volunteer fundraisers can yield great success for your campaign!
You can also set up teams within your crowdfunding campaign to create friendly competition among board members and see who can collect the most money for your campaign.
But don’t limit your efforts to your board alone. Staff members and volunteers are likely equally passionate about your cause, so ask these people to further their involvement by spreading the word about your campaign and collecting donations from their friends, family, and personal and social networks.
5. Keep the Momentum Going
Momentum is perhaps one of most vital components of any fundraising campaign, but especially for crowdfunding. People are more likely to contribute when they see others contributing and see you inching toward your goal.
In fact, campaigns that can reach 30% of their goal within the first week are more likely to succeed.
And if you’re thinking, “Well how is this a strategy? I can’t predict if people will or won’t contribute” the answer is actually yes it is, and yes, you can—kind of.
Let’s think back to those board members, staff members, and volunteers from strategy 4. You have all these people on your side, so take advantage of them. That is to say, start your campaign off with an initial push using donations from some of these people, then seed your campaign with more of their donations throughout the duration of your campaign to keep the thermometer climbing.
And speaking of thermometer, show a campaign thermometer on your website so supporters can see your progress as you make your way toward your goal. People love to see your progress—it’s a key factor in keeping your momentum going!
Another great tip is to communicate your progress weekly with campaign updates via email, social media posts, and text message. This keeps your campaign and cause top of mind with supporters, and gives you greater exposure by providing multiple calls-to-action and opportunities for donors to contribute and volunteer fundraisers to get involved.