“It was a combination of our wonderful donors sharing with their networks and us sharing online to create a lot of momentum and drive more and more people to the site,” she adds. “We had a really important need that a lot of people could relate to. The story is key. It has to be compelling enough for people to want to share it with their friends.”
Also, contrary to the beliefs of some crowdfunding detractors, the Foundling was able to capture donor data through the campaign and follow up with and properly thank donors. Many of them, Malichio says, were interested in learning more and staying engaged with the Foundling.
Ostomel attributes some of the Foundling’s success to the fact that it responded with a sense of urgency, getting the site up within 24 to 48 hours of the hurricane. Plus, the Foundling was really clear about what the need was and who had been affected.
“Those were key things. And the marketing,” she says. “They had pictures, breakdowns, various price points, the ability to give anything you wish. They really marketed the heck out of it. People during moments like that are looking to help, and the Foundling gave them that opportunity.”
While the campaign was a success, Malichio says it is not a magic bullet. Crowdfunding isn’t suitable for every campaign. But it’s another valuable tool in the fundraising toolbox when utilized correctly — like it was for the Sandy Relief Fund.
Responding to Need Through Responsive Design
Disaster-relief organizations often face the quandary of how to keep donors engaged in the wake of a disaster after the initial influx of interest and donations subsides. But what happens when a disaster-relief and health care organization finds itself taken to another level — thanks in part to proper planning?