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Crowdfunding is one of the biggest and most effective ways of raising money, with users turning to the platform in order to fund everything from business ventures to holidays to life-saving surgery. However, the rising popularity of crowdfunding as a method for reaching out to potential donors is a double-edged sword as it has become a hugely saturated market, meaning that success stories are rapidly becoming the case for just a minority of campaigns. For this reason, it is important that your crowdfunding campaign is well planned and carried out if it is going to reap the rewards for your organization. Here are the major steps that non-profits can take in order to make crowdfunding a viable fundraising option.
Although some campaigns offer small rewards in exchange for donations, the crowdfunding platform really relies on people supporting causes that engage them rather than because they will get something out of it. For this reason, telling a compelling story is the essential foundation for any decent crowdfunding campaign. Weave a complete narrative throughout the campaign, with regular updates to show what change is being affected by the funds and awareness, particularly after the campaign is finished. Make sure to use engaging visuals, including photos and videos, and supply regular content to keep your audience following.
To keep your followers engaged, it is essential that you maintain a consistent online presence - after all, if you are not engaged with your own campaign, you can’t expect anyone else to be. To give further visibility and leverage, your campaign could have its own accounts across social media, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and each could publish new and exciting content several times a day. You must also make effort to acknowledge and respond to any correspondence you receive throughout your campaign. Respond to messages as soon as you receive them to prevent backlog, and be gracious, friendly and professional to anyone who contacts you. Ensure that anyone with access to the accounts is appropriately trained to respond in a manner which is in keeping with the organisation’s brand values, language and existing tone of voice.
Such is the power and ubiquity of crowdfunding that there are now companies who specialize in promotion and marketing for crowdfunding campaigns. This can be an interesting route to explore if you don’t have the means of doing so effectively in-house, as such companies are experts in ensuring that every base of the campaign is covered and that it is working in the most effective and successful way possible.
Meanwhile, social media is another essential avenue for promotion, particular through likes, retweets and shares by your ‘brand champions’ to their audiences, giving you the opportunity to reach new prospective donors. Make the production of fresh, topical and engaging content a continuous priority and have the provision in place to make sure your online presence never slips, or you risk losing interest and following.
Many successful crowdfunding campaigns have been supported by an official campaign website which should be designed and implemented at the same time as the start of your crowdfunding campaign. The website can act as a centralized ‘hub’ for people interested in the campaign, drawing together all of your activities and messaging in one place. Design a website that is engaging and eye-catching without being overwhelming or crowded, and offer all the information prospective donors will need to decide whether or not to support your campaign. Make sure to include links to your various social media accounts, and to link all accounts back to the website.
Your ultimate goal from any crowdfunding campaign should not only be to generate new one-off donations, but to build new relationships and gain longer-term support and ideally, regular donations, so keep the end-goal in mind by making sure all your communications and marketing touch points are working in sync.
Visit us online to see how Nexis® for Development Professionals can help you find the right donor prospects and maximize your contributions.