Crowdfunding offers charitable organizations a chance to reach out to more people than ever before. You can get your message out to potential donors all over the world and inspire interest and action in areas that never would have been reachable in earlier years. However, crowdfunding for a charitable organization isn't as easy as just setting up a collection page and letting the donations roll in. If you want to raise money successfully through a crowdfunding initiative, you need to have a plan in place to make sure that you get noticed. Take a look at some important tips that will help ensure that your next crowdfunding venture is a success.
Get the Ball Rolling
One of the most difficult parts of crowdfunding is getting those first few donations in. Remember, in most crowdfunding campaigns, potential donors can see how much has already been donated, and many people don't want to be the first. However, if they can see that others have already pledged their support, they'll be more likely to jump on the bandwagon. There's a snowball affect once the donations start coming in – the more people give, the more people you're likely to attract.
You can get the ball rolling by reaching out to your most committed supporters ahead of time. Let them know about the campaign and ask them to show their support by making a donation on the first day. Another smart strategy is to do a soft launch the night before your publicized campaign starts. This gives insiders a chance to donate first and ensures that by the time your campaign truly goes public, potential new donors will be able to see that you already have some support.
Use Social Media Wisely
It should go without saying that any crowdfunding campaign will rely heavily on social media for success. Smart use of social media can make your campaign, and careless use of social media can break it. It's important to remember that social media posts can't be your message. Instead, they should amplify your message. Keep posts short and direct, and make sure that they lead back to your donation page and your website. They should entice readers to explore further than just the social media message.
You should also use social media to encourage your supporters and engage them in conversation. A simple thank you not only lets your current supporters know you value them, it can also go a long way toward drawing in new supporters. Being responsive to feedback also lets your supporters know that they have value and encourages conversation about your charity and its goals.
Be Cautious With Gifts
Promising gifts to donors who contribute at a certain level is not an uncommon tactic, but it may not be as useful a strategy as you think. Research shows that giving thank-you gifts to reward charitable giving can actually backfire. Basically, knowing that they would receive a gift causes donors to feel selfish, and that reduces their charitable feelings and results in smaller donations overall.
This doesn't mean that you should never use gifts, but you have to be careful about how you do it. If you give gifts with your organization's logo or name on them, like mugs or tote bags, you can present them as another way for your donors to help your organization – by using these items in their daily lives, they'll be increasing your organization's name recognition and inspiring new donors. This can help cancel out those feelings of selfishness. You can also try simply surprising donors. An appropriate but unexpected gift should have no impact on the giver's feelings at the time of the donation, but it will leave them with a positive impression of your organization that may encourage future giving.
Crowdfunding is a powerful tool when you use it correctly. Take the time and effort to craft your campaign so that it has the maximum impact, and you'll see great rewards in return for your efforts. Click here for more information about using crowdfunding for your organization.