Nonprofit crowdfunding is increasingly a trendy topic and Vipin Shri, one of the good people at CauseVox, had a good guest post on John Haydon’s blog on this titled 3 Tips on Planning a Nonprofit Crowdfunding Campaign. In his post, he gives 3 essential tips for nonprofit crowdfunding success:
1. Set SMART Goals and Objectives
Determine the problem and purpose of your campaign and then move on to shaping your SMART goals (Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely).
2. Craft a Story
Stories are what engages so you must be sure to craft an inspiring one that can COMPEL (Clear, One idea, Metrics, Personal, Emotive, Latch).
3. Activate Your Audience
Now you have to let everyone know about it so go social, use the press, hold the event and ask for more.
Those really are the three essential steps you need for a nonprofit crowdfunding campaign (purpose, story and distribution – and a crowdfunding site I guess) and in my experience crafting a story is more important than people think and activating your audience is typically the hardest thing to do. So to expand on Vipin’s good work, here are a few more tips in theres areas.
Craft a Story
Don’t make it about you, make it about them.
Yes, you need money for a project to carry out your work but what do THEY get out of giving to you? I don’t mean perks and rewards, although those can be very useful, but rather what is the emotional return they will get by making a donation. What is your campaign helping them achieve in their life? When there’s value for them they are not only more likely to act but more likely to share.
Focus on the future.
It’s easiest to look to the past for results, stories, etc. as they are reliable and safe. They are known. Crowdfunding should be more about the future and what’s possible. The unknown. And that should be inspiring. Talk about what this project will do in the future. Interview potential stakeholders should this funding come through. Talk about what is possible, what WILL be possible, and invite your audience in to be the heroes to make it happen. Take a risk, find a great project in the future and build towards it together with your supporters.
Activate Your Audience
Go to a core group first to get momentum.
Nobody likes to be the first one to give so make those that are most committed do the first, and hardest, giving. Make a donation yourself, get your staff to pitch in and ensure you get some board members and volunteers involved and giving. You can expand to donors you know like the project or area of focus or are regular givers. Then you can expand outwards so there is activity, donations and momentum for people to join and participate in.
Make it a focus of your communications.
Often “crowdfunding” seems easy, free, simple, etc. so organizations don’t give it the same amount of time and attention as they would other campaigns. The value of crowdfunding campaigns can often be in their ability to spread and reach new people, as opposed to more traditional campaigns that rely solely on the data you have and current people you know. That’s hugely important to growing your organization so be sure to give a crowdfunding campaign, even a “small one”, some time and attention so it can succeed. If you just want to run a quick easy campaign off the side of your desk maybe you shouldn’t be trying one in the first place.
Read Vipin’s full article with all his tips and suggestions and I hope these additional points can add to them and help you with your nonprofit crowdfunding campaign.