Six Tips for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
Last week over lunch, my good friend who’s between jobs said: “If I don’t get a job soon, I’ll have to hold a rent party.”
If you didn’t grow up in Harlem in the 20s, chances are you have no idea what my friend was referring to. Essentially, rent parties were just that—parties held to raise money for an approaching rent payment when funds were tight. In exchange for live music and good food, party guests would donate a couple bucks to help out their friend, neighbor or cousin.
Fast forward to 2018. While we no longer have rent parties, we now have access to many online platforms to raise money for not just rent but also medical expenses, emergencies and natural disasters for friends and strangers alike.
With the rise in online fundraising, the competition for resources has also grown, so it’s important to build a solid foundation to launch your campaign. This article will provide you with six steps to help you build, launch and manage a campaign that not only meets but also hopefully exceeds your initial fundraising goals.
1. Have a Compelling and Quality Photo/Video.
The image is the first and most powerful chance at capturing the attention of donors. A pixilated or poor quality image could send the wrong message to your potential donors. Why should a person invest money in your cause when you didn’t take the time to invest in the campaign? Take a couple extra minutes a get a quality photo or video that conveys a compelling narrative to viewers. Colorful, sharp images with a person or people that tell the story increase your chances of attracting donors. Campaigns that include a video
2. Mind the 3 Cs of Good Writing: Clear, Concise and Compelling
While it’s tempting to provide a lot of details and backstory to readers, they aren’t necessary to telling the campaign story. In fact, campaigns that are too long can leave readers feeling overwhelmed, especially if your writing is overly dramatic. Readers don’t need a person’s entire life history to donate $5 to help with medical expenses. Stick to providing the following basic facts, and let the story tell itself.
Answer the following questions:
- Who/What are you raising money for?
- Why is this person/organization unable to acquire the funds themselves?
- What are the circumstances that required this person/organization to need additional funds?
- What will the funds be used for?
- How much are you raising?
3. Post on Social Media
Once you’ve uploaded a powerful image and written the campaign description, the next step is sharing the campaign on Facebook, Twitter and any other social media campaigns you’re on. Not on social media? Now’s a good time to join. WonderWe research shows that crowdfunding campaigns raise up to 400% more than those who don’t. In fact, each Facebook share earns on average an additional $35 in donations for your cause. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to share your post. If they’re willing to share that cat video you posted last week, chances are they’re willing to help you raise money for a good cause.
4. Connect with your Personal and Professional Networks
While social media channels are a fast and powerful way to share your message, don’t forget about email, text, phone and in-person conversations. Go through your contacts and make a checklist of:
- People to email.
- People to text.
- People you can call on the phone.
- People you’ll likely see in person.
Once you’ve reached out to that person, check them off the list. For emails, don’t be embarrassed to encourage them to forward your email. Ask your friends and co-workers to spread the word, especially if it’s a cause that’s near and dear to their heart. You’d be surprised how willing people are to help you out. WonderWe‘s convenient social media tools as simple as a click.
5. Keep your Donors Updated on Campaign Progress.
While donors don’t expect anything in return, they do feel invested in seeing the campaign reach its goal—they wouldn’t have donated otherwise! Make sure to post regular updates on your social media channels about how well the campaign is doing as well as any updates/news with the recipient of the campaign funds. For example, if you’re raising funds for an animal’s surgery, post updates of your furry friends health.
If the campaign needs a little push, don’t be afraid to let your followers know. Everyone wants to feel like they’re making a difference in the world, even if the difference is small. Seeing progress gives donors a sense of accomplishment and being part of a community toward a common goal.
6. Show Gratitude
Thank you! are two of the most powerful words in the English language, right up there with I love you and Who wants the last donut? Make sure to express your appreciation for your donors’ kindness and generosity, either through personal acknowledgements or through frequent posts on your social media. Even if we’d like to say we’re altruistic, people want to feel that their good deed is noticed. Your donors will be 3x more likely to donate again when their donation is acknowledged.
By following these six tips, you’ll improve your chance of meeting and/or exceeding your campaign goal. Ready to start your first campaign?