Crowdfunding: It’s Just Fundraising, Right?
So how does this differ from fundraising we know and love?
- It's project-based. Crowdfunding is about funding projects with clear objectives, start and end dates, and clear outcomes. Short, realistic, attainable projects work best. If you're looking to raise core running costs then crowdfunding isn't for you.
- It's only on the Web. By its nature, crowdfunding is a Web-based activity. Some charities bring a crowdfunding look and feel to their own sites (see myprojects.cancerresearchuk.org), but most use existing crowdfunding sites such as buzzbnk.org and peoplefund.it.
- It has a broader reach. You can reach different people with a crowdfunding project. By placing your project on one of the crowdfunding websites, rather than your own, your message is reaching the crowd, not just your own list of contacts.
- It's social. Crowdfunding websites are naturally integrated with public social-media websites. So if a project catches your eye you can share it with your friends, and if you pledge to funding it then that can also be shared.
- It's impersonal — which is good and bad. There's no awkwardness. Potential supporters mull over various projects and may or may not choose yours. But whether they consider themselves committed donors to your cause is moot. They just funded your project; you don't own the relationship with them.
- It's competitive. You're on the same website, competing with other causes and other types of projects for funding.
The question many people should ask: Should we do this on a crowdfunding site or build it into our own websites? A few factors to consider: