Organizations rely heavily on the generosity of donors. A common, but detrimental, practice of charities is to return to the same small pool of supporters over and over again to ask for funds or volunteer hours.
A major challenge charities face is how to connect with new and repeat donors in fresh and current ways. One way to do this is to capitalize on the power of the referral and the power of online giving through volunteer-run crowdfunding campaigns.
Some unwilling executives may see this as ceding control of fundraising over to volunteers, but that is shortsighted. In reality, tapping into the social networks of volunteers heightens a nonprofit’s profile exponentially.
Here is a review of how volunteers can help create successful crowdfunding campaigns for charities and nonprofits.
Pitch the Idea to Volunteers
Fundraising by volunteers can be an organized effort, like giving every volunteer the ability to ask for donations for a 5K run or bike race.
You can also encourage volunteers to create their own crowdfunding campaigns as a way to leave their mark on your charity. A volunteer who realizes you really need a new fence if you are going to be able to take on additional rescue dogs could use WonderWe to create a free fundraising campaign for that project.
Have a frank conversation with your volunteers before moving forward so expectations and effort needed are clear.
Don’t forget to get your own house in order. This campaign will bring fresh eyes to your website and social media pages, so make sure they are up-to-date with exciting visual and current information.
Help Tell Your Story
Since your organizations’s name is attached to the project, it is critical to see this independent fundraising campaign as part of your communications strategy.
Share a few message points with the volunteer, like statistics about your mission, values and percentage of funding spent on administrative costs.
Better yet, work with your volunteer on their personal story. What drew them to your organization? What improvements, changes and developments have they been a part of? Including this testimonial on the campaign’s landing page and in social media posts will help personalize the fund request.
Images are also critically important to online campaigns, so provide your volunteer with photos and graphics, or upload them to the page yourself. Make these part of social media posts to garner more interaction.
Encourage a Wide Reach
People are 20 percent more likely to believe brand recommendations that come from friends as opposed to paid advertisements. Encourage this power of the personal recommendation by asking volunteers to post their fundraiser on social media, email it to family and friends and talk about it within their sphere of influence. To capitalize on the power of social media, include a post that reads “Even if you can’t donate today, please help spread the word by sharing this link on your page.” That simple request will expose your brand to even more eyeballs.
Use WonderWe’s promoter feature to encourage volunteers to launch micro- campaigns in support of your fundraising goal. Recruiting promoters to get involved in launching micro-campaigns will help reach campaign goals quicker.
Also, since no one wants to be the first one to jump in the pool, line up a few friends behind the scenes to donate before the launch of the campaign. That way potential donors aren’t looking at a goose egg total when they visit the site.
Once the campaign is launched and donations roll in, use the data you receive to adjust the campaign as needed. Do you see an uptick when other volunteers share the post on their pages? If so, send an email to your entire network with a sample social media post, asking them to embrace the campaign as well.
Maybe you are getting more traffic to your website than to the fundraising page. Make sure cross-promotion is occurring through the length of the campaign.
You can also infuse a stagnant campaign with fresh energy by announcing a time-sensitive matching gift or other contest. People may be more likely to give if they know their $25 donation will become $50 as long as they submit by midnight.
Don’t forget to say thank you. Send immediate thank you notes to the donors and include a linkback to the campaign so that they can post it on social media as well. These first-time donors are the newest members of your community.
A nonprofit coalition in Minnesota raised more than $18 million in one day. It is hard to log on to social media without reading about a crowdfunding success story. Why shouldn’t your non-profit be one of them? Follow these tips to help your volunteers create a successful crowdfunding campaign today.
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