Nov 22, 2013
The practice of using third party websites to crowd source investment, or crowdfunding, is quickly becoming the preferred choice for entrepreneurs and amateur filmmakers to corral base-level funding via online donation services. Projects span a very wide and diverse spectrum, but despite promising results, this online financial pool is not often thought of as a viable charity fundraising idea. Why?
To launch a successful crowdfunded campaign, organizers must first have access to a sizable online network and boast a solid grasp on how to produce quality online content. As such, some charitable foundations will find crowdsourced fundraising a less than appealing concept. However, for those with the necessary skills, crowdfunding can be an excellent way to both raise money and awareness - assuming it's approached correctly.
After witnessing the success several relatively unknown people and organizations have had through crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter, it's easy for nonprofits to simplify and even romanticize the process. Many believe the sheer act of launching a campaign will garner untold waves of support from the rogue contributors presumably scouring the Web for new causes to support. This is not the case.
People do not actively shop in the name of philanthropy. Charities considering crowdfunding should stay grounded, and keep in mind that successfully raising money takes work. Develop goals based off a nonprofit's already existing online network, including email lists, websites and social connections. The most important first step a charity can take is reaching out to established supporters and empowering them to further champion your cause.
Once an organization has made the decision to employ crowdfunding, the next step is making your campaign enticing. A great way for nonprofits to do this is by producing a video because it is the most shared content on the Web. It allows nonprofits to establish ownership and consistency in regards to how people learn about your message. As the attention spans of people are notoriously short, keep materials succinct. Nothing longer than three minutes and 30 seconds should be published.
Long before a nonprofit goes to the masses with their campaign, they should first prepare several pre-launch updates for current and potential donors. Organizations should traverse every available communications avenue, such as email and social media, and have each message pre-written. The success of an event is determined not by the campaign, but in the months of preparation leading up to it.
Once a campaign has launched, keeping up with contributors will be paramount if organizations are going to reach their predetermined goals. Nonprofits should be careful to keep content fresh and constantly remind current and potential donors of the good their money will do.