Nonprofit Crowdfunding Campaigns: 3 Key Strategies for Success

Thousands of organizations have run successful crowdfunding campaigns that have been fully funded… but thousands of other non-profits have been left disappointed with the process.

I have discovered three key nonprofit crowdfunding strategies that separate the winners and the losers. And not all of them are intuitive for nonprofits that are used to raising funds in more traditional ways:

#1 Online Nonprofit Crowdfunding Campaigns Need an Offline Component

Many non-profits hear the phrase “crowdfunding” and assume that all of the activities for the campaign will take place online. They focus on social media and e-mail marketing, but eschew traditional tools like the phone and meetings with donors.

While the actual donations for a crowdfunding campaign many take place online, most successful crowdfunding efforts include a significant offline component. Fully funding your campaign requires calling current donors to ask them for support, holding meetings with donors to ask them to help you raise money for the campaign, and perhaps even holding small events, depending on the size of your crowdfunding goals.

#2 – Most of the Money Will Come from Your Current Donors and their Networks

The hype around crowdfunding often suggests that non-profits can simply choose a platform and post a campaign, and the new donors will come flooding in. No crowdfunding effort has ever been fully funded using this “set it and forget it” strategy.

While crowdfunding can be a good source of new donors, and some crowdfunding campaigns have gone viral, the truth is that the vast majority of the money you raise through crowd fundraising will come from your current donors, supporters and volunteers, as well we from the people they know.

For this reason, you should be prepared to ask your current donors and friends to open up their networks to your organization by e-mailing and calling their contacts to ask for support, as well as by being active on social media, talking about your campaign. Some non-profits have even created leadership committees for their crowdfunding efforts, with members promising to help spread the word and make solicitations.

#3 – Successful Nonprofit Crowdfunding Requires Constant Communication

No matter the length of your crowdfunding campaign, if you want to be successful, your organization will need to be in constant contact with your donors and supporters during the entire process.

Smart organizations use e-mail (both for newsletters as well as individual solicitations), social media, phone calls and snail mail (newsletters and appeal letters) to keep their donors updated about the campaign and to ask them to make donations to it on a regular basis.

The takeaway

Crowdfunding is a powerful and effective fundraising strategy, but it requires hard work and a smart strategy in order to succeed.

Plan your next crowdfunding effort using the three strategies listed above, and you’ll be on the right track to fully funding your crowd fundraising campaign.

Joe Garecht is the founder of The Fundraising Authority and Smart Political Fundraising. He has authored several books on fundraising, including How to Raise More Money for Any Non-Profit, and has consulted with organizations worldwide to help them supercharge their fundraising potential.
John Haydon