3 Tips on Planning a Nonprofit Crowdfunding Campaign

Crowdfunding is a very effective form of online fundraising. It literally means taking the power and reach of a crowd and applying it to fundraising. It goes without saying, there are a ton of necessary steps that will determine if a nonprofit crowdfunding campaign will succeed. Here are three 3 essential tips to ensure your nonprofit crowdfunding campaign finds that success.

1. Set SMART Goals & Objectives

Before any crowdfunding can happen, it’s very important to set difficult but attainable goals and objectives for your campaign. To do this, you must ask yourself a couple of different questions to identify your point of view:

  • What problem am I trying to solve?
  • Who is affected by this problem?
  • What is the best way I can solve this problem?

These questions will help you figure out your unique approach to solving problems, which will then lead you to develop goals that align with your campaign. Once a point of view is discovered, you need to use the SMART method to set goals and objectives.

What is the SMART method?

  • Specific – goals should be as unambiguous as possible. Specific goals allow everyone to reach in the same direction and will place you, your team, and your donors on the same page.
  • Measurable – how do you know you’ve succeeded if you can’t measure it? Measurable goals will keep your campaign on track and give you an opportunity to see the cause and effect of different circumstances, therefore allowing you to make changes as needed.
  • Attainable – there’s nothing worse than setting up an impossible goal. A lot of work goes into nonprofit crowdfunding, so setting attainable goals with timely milestones gives the feeling of never losing steam, thus motivating people to be even more supportive.
  • Relevant – if a goal or objective doesn’t impact the cause, then it’s likely slowing the campaign down. Relevant objectives ensure that a positive end result of the campaign is what everyone is focused on.
  • Timely – goals should be created so that a campaign start and end date are timed carefully. Goals and objectives should also take holidays and events into consideration for further campaign support.

Once you’ve figured out what needs to be done and how you’re going to do it, you have to spread the word in a convincing fashion.

2. Craft a Story

What draws you into book, a movie, or a play? It’s the storyline of course! Crafting a story around your campaign will humanize it and increase interest & support. There are many storylines to choose from, but the best one is the one that’s able to align your objectives with your audience. The idea is to compel your supporters to donate and spread your message.

How do you COMPEL?

  • Clear – make sure your campaign is described clearly and there is an obvious call to action of what you want your supporters to do.
  • One idea – the story should have one main idea or theme that is easily remembered.
  • Metrics – For those that are left-brained, stats, trends, and numbers matter! Add facts and figures to your story to hammer down the impact of your campaign.
  • Personal – add real people into your story. A personal story helps bridge the gap between the cause and your supporters.
  • Emotive – display emotion throughout your story. Use words and visuals that insight curiosity, empathy, and community.
  • Latch – use different media to tell the same story. Use video, images, music, and whatever else that helps latch your audience more closely to the cause.

A story is not set in stone, so test out the waters, try different approaches, and make changes until you find something that works best for your campaign.

3. Activate Your Audience

You’ve created SMART goals and crafted the perfect story. Now the only thing left to do before launching your campaign is get everyone you know into the loop. Without the support of your network, your campaign will fall into the cracks. Getting friends, family, colleagues on your side, increases the reach of your story, and the more people that take in your story, the higher the chances of reaching your goals.

  • Go Social – technology and social media allow you to reach your network quickly and often. Use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to craft status updates that reach everyone, as well as personalized messages to people you believe can be great campaign ambassadors.
  • Use the Press – Find out who your local journalists and reporters are. Reach out to them by crafting the perfect press release. Tweet out to bloggers who align with your campaign and supply them with content they can easily redistribute.
  • Hold an Event – while holding an event can be expensive, get creative and find sponsors or partners who will help out. An event will bring supporters together under one place and will build a sense of community.
  • Ask for More – not in the literal sense, though you can. Asking for sharing of emails, blog posts, and other material you provide, can be more impactful than just a second donation. If some supporters can’t donate, they might be able to help you acquire more donors, or set up their own personal fundraising pages on your behalf.

These aren’t 3 small tips; these are essential steps to get your campaign closer to a successful launch.

If you’re looking to start crowdfunding, find out how execute the perfect campaign from start to finish in our latest ebook: How to Plan a Nonprofit Crowdfunding Campaign


Vipin Shri is the Marketing Manager for CauseVox, a nonprofit crowdfunding platform used by charities and individuals all over the world.

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John Haydon