6 Expert Tips on How Nonprofits Can Capitalize on Crowdfunding

For years crowdfunding has empowered individuals to fundraise for any cause including charities—and now nonprofits are joining the mix! Since creating a fundraising page is fast and shareable, nonprofits are setting up crowdfunding pages to raise money.

Don’t let crowdfunding’s simplicity fool you! While it is easy to create a page, launching a successful campaign requires time and preparation, as well as the right cause for a campaign to go viral. 

Luckily, with a few crowdfunding strategies, reaching your goals is possible!

In this article, we’ll cover 6 tips on how you can raise money with crowdfunding:

  1. Determine if crowdfunding is the right fit. 
  2. Choose the right crowdfunding platform.
  3. Tell your story on your crowdfunding page.
  4. Share your campaign online and offline. 
  5. Use giving levels and incentives. 
  6. Pair your crowdfunding campaign with an event.

Keep reading to learn how you can reach your goals with a crowdfunding campaign.

Before you start a campaign, determine if crowdfunding is the right fit.

1. Determine if crowdfunding is the right fit.

Before you launch a crowdfunding campaign, you need to evaluate your goals to determine if crowdfunding is the best option for your cause.

Just like with any fundraiser, this step will help you determine if you have the right resources in place to run a successful campaign and if your reason for fundraising fits the crowdfunding model.

Crowdfunding is best suited for campaigns that have a specific, targeted project that needs to be funded by a particular date (e.g. capital campaigns and marathons). With that said, crowdfunding isn’t ideal for broader fundraising initiatives like annual funds.

Additionally, you should look internally to see if your organization has the right resources and structure to truly benefit from a crowdfunding campaign.

When determining if crowdfunding is right for your nonprofit, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do we have a team member who can launch and run the crowdfunding campaign?
  • Does our nonprofit have an established brand and social media presence?
  • Would our donors be interested in supporting a crowdfunding campaign?
  • Do we have a compelling story that will connect donors to our cause?

If you were able to answer yes to all (or most of) the questions above, then crowdfunding might be just what your organization needs!

However, if you can’t confidently answer yes to these questions, you might want to reconsider launching a crowdfunding campaign until you have these elements in place as these are all components that make up a successful campaign.

Alternatively, if crowdfunding isn’t the right option, there is always peer-to-peer fundraising, which relies heavily on your supporters’ efforts rather than your social media presence.

In summary, it’s better to take time and evaluate your needs before launching a campaign so that you’re more likely to reach success.

Choose the right crowdfunding platform.

2. Choose the right crowdfunding platform.

If you’ve spent any time researching crowdfunding platforms, then you know that not every website offers the same features and capabilities.

That’s why it’s important to find a website that not only meets your needs but also has the features that will set your campaign up for success.

Since there are several crowdfunding websites available, you’ll need to narrow down your options by considering the platform’s:

  • Ease of use. A crowdfunding website should be user-friendly for both you and your donors. Look for a website that comes with simple tools to build your crowdfunding page and straightforward donation forms that can be completed on multiple devices.
  • Social integrations. Social media is by far the most effective way to spread awareness and promote your campaign. While most crowdfunding websites have social sharing buttons, find a platform that places these buttons in prominent locations.
  • Price. Typically, crowdfunding websites charge platform and payment processing fees, but the exact amounts will vary from one platform to the next. The trick is not to settle for the platform with the lowest fees; instead, find a website that strikes a balance between low costs and the most useful features.

These are just some of the features you should consider when looking for a crowdfunding website. Combine these factors with your own preferences and create a list of exactly what you need.

For a list of top crowdfunding websites, check out Double the Donation’s comprehensive list of the best platforms.

In summary, choosing a platform can have a huge effect on the outcome of your crowdfunding campaign. Therefore, you should take the time to research your options and pick the one that best fits your needs and budget.

Use your crowdfunding page to tell your story.

3. Tell your story on your crowdfunding page.

As we mentioned earlier in the article, an important component to crowdfunding success is a compelling story.

A story can help boost your crowdfunding campaign for multiple reasons. Here’s how:

  • Storytelling can keep donors engaged to ensure that they read your entire message.
  • Storytelling can help supporters connect to your cause and the people or communities you serve.
  • Storytelling allows donors the chance to visualize how the funds will be used.

With all these fantastic benefits, it’s no wonder storytelling plays such an important role in crowdfunding!

When you tell your story, it’s important to include why you’re fundraising and (if possible) stories from the people you serve. That way, donors can see the impact their donations will have from those directly affected.

Including a crowdfunding description isn’t just beneficial for your donors. Descriptions can help increase your visibility on search engines and make your content more shareable.

Copy isn’t the only way to enhance your story; you can also include images and videos to get your message across. These mediums can retain your donors’ attention and bring them closer to your cause.

In summary, crowdfunding is such an effective way to raise money because it empowers nonprofits to tell their stories and reach out to interested supporters. Take advantage of that opportunity by telling your story in the crowdfunding description.

Share your crowdfunding campaign online and offline.

4. Share Your Campaign Offline and Online.

The key to crowdfunding success relies on your organization sharing your page and getting the word out about your campaign.

The most popular way to spread the word is through social media—and with good reason!

Social media is a great way to reach out to your networks quickly and you can easily insert a link to your crowdfunding page to make it easy for donors to learn more information.

You can use social media to post videos and images related to your campaign to attract even more attention to your content.

Additionally, social media isn’t just a way for your nonprofit to promote the cause; supporters can easily share your page with their networks as well.

While you should always share your campaign on social media and encourage your supporters to do the same, there are several other ways you can promote your campaign to reach even more donors.

To further spread awareness about your cause, share your campaign by:

  • Sending email and direct mail.
  • Promoting your page at fundraising events.
  • Reaching out to local news outlets to cover your campaign.

The more ways you share your campaign, the more likely you are to reach—or even exceed—your fundraising goal.

In summary, as the old saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Use multiple online and offline communication methods to spread the word about your crowdfunding campaign.

Use giving levels and incentives to motivate donors to give to your crowdfunding campaign.

5. Use giving levels and incentives.

Most crowdfunding websites give you the option to add giving levels and incentives to motivate supporters to contribute.

Essentially, giving levels allow you to suggest different giving amounts (e.g. $5, $25, $50, etc.), making the donation process a little easier for your supporters. When creating giving levels, it’s important to consider your supporters and how much they’ll be comfortable donating.

Think about it this way: you don’t want to set your giving levels too high because donors won’t use them, or worse, it can discourage donors from contributing at all. 

Use giving levels as an opportunity to show donors how far their donations will go. For example, if you’re fundraising to help eliminate child hunger, you can explain that a $5 donation can provide three meals for children in need.

Structuring your giving levels in this way allows donors to see the impact their support will have rather than just the monetary amount. 

You can take your giving levels one step further by offering perks (or incentives) for different donation amounts. These incentives can be anything from t-shirts to branded water bottles to tickets for a fundraising event—the options are endless!

Just be sure that perks relate to your cause so that donors have a way to remember their support and your nonprofit.

In summary, giving levels and incentives, when used in the right context, can help motivate donors to contribute and remember your cause.

Promote your crowdfunding campaign with an event.

6. Pair your crowdfunding campaign with an event.

Nowadays, there are plenty of ways to reach out to donors, but nothing beats the power of face-to-face conversations.

With an event, you have the opportunity to interact with supporters one-on-one, answering the questions that concern them and gauging their responses to determine how you should adjust your pitch.

Ideally, fundraising events work best at the beginning of your crowdfunding campaign to excite your supporters or near the end of your campaign to push you over the finish line. 

The type of event you choose will depend on your organization, but here are a few suggestions that pair well with crowdfunding campaigns:

  • Silent Auction
  • Walkathon
  • Family Fun Day
  • Themed-Fundraising Party

Whichever event you decide to host, plan time for your organization’s leaders to speak about the cause and encourage guests to donate. 

At your event, you should also include a donation table where donors can learn more information about your cause and how to support it.

In summary, if your nonprofit has the time and resources, host an event to raise awareness for your campaign and get donors interested in your cause.

Use these 6 tips to help you launch a crowdfunding campaign and reach your goals! Whether you decide to host an event or offer incentives, take the time to prepare your campaign and decide if crowdfunding is the best solution to your fundraising needs.

Have fun fundraising!

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