Ending the Fail of Nonprofit Crowdfunding
Chances are that you’ve tried crowdfunding for your nonprofit. And unfortunately, there’s also a chance that it failed. Despite the spin from marketers that crowdfunding is so easy to do, it’s not, and that’s why many nonprofits try it and then walk away from it. However, crowdfunding is an opportunity to create another revenue stream, so let’s explore how to make it a success.
The Power of Tangible Rewards
One of the biggest things that nonprofit fundraisers should realize with nonprofit crowdfunding is the idea of reciprocity. In short, people love getting something in return and doing something — that's a win-win. So, if you go into crowdfunding with that primary idea, you've significantly increased your chances of a successful crowdfunding campaign.
So, how do you target that psychological need for donors to want to benefit from crowdfunding? One of the best things you can do to get people to donate is to reward them for participating. Sure, you don't want to spend money on merch that donors might not want. But you can provide them with cool benefits they'll love.
Crafting Irresistible Rewards
Before you come up with a great list of things you should include in your nonprofit crowdfunding campaign, you’ve got to think about what your supporters would love.
1. Know Your Audience
You hear this repeatedly, and there's a reason — it's crucial. So, for rewards, think — does your audience love things like experiences or personalized rewards? It's essential to clarify what jazzes your audience and what benefits you could provide that align with your mission.
2. Offer Exclusive Experiences
One of the best things you could do is provide your supporters with unique experiences for supporting your crowdfunding campaign. For example, offer the top 10 donors these experiences. You could do it based on dollars given or the number of new people they bring to your cause.
3. Access to Influencers and Community Leaders
Do you have an influencer in your community to recruit to your crowdfunding campaign? Think about a top business leader, local celebrity, artist or musician. The aim is to tap someone who will draw others to give to have the chance for a meet and greet.
4. Promote Limited Editions
Scarcity drives excitement and urgency. It's an idea that advertisers and promoters have known for, like, ever. So, your crowdfunding effort can create limited-edition rewards. For example, recruit an artist to create a series of limited-edition works you could provide signed by the artist. (Bonus tip: Speak to your accountant regarding tax deductibility for donors on merchandise).
5. Empower Creativity
You can also get creative for your fundraiser within your nonprofit. Why not give supporters the chance to name one of your programs? Or, how about you let your supporters take over your social media for a day? These are excellent opportunities to motivate people to give and create reciprocity.
Building the Buzz
Once you know the incentives you'll use to motivate people to support your crowdfunding effort, it’s time to create the buzz. The fact is that your fundraiser isn’t going to get the results you want unless you promote it well.
1. Storytelling that Connects
First and foremost, your crowd-fundraiser has to tell a story. Make it simple and easy and create a story about people's lives. Support that with statistics and facts. So, tap into the emotions to get people to want to make a difference.
2. User-Generated Content (UGC)
One of the key ways to get people engaged with your fundraiser is to ask them for collaborative content creation. Ask them to share their experiences regarding your cause. UCG serves as social proof that your cause is one people should support.
3. Influencer and Business Partnerships
Creating partnerships is a great way to provide your crowd-fundraising with more exposure. So, look around your town at which social influencers might help your cause. Also, look to your corporate supporters to help you amplify your fundraiser on their social platforms.
Here's the scoop: Crowdfunding does work, but it takes effort. Nothing comes without challenges, so you need to know how to get around common pitfalls with crowdfunding so you can succeed. Be aware of common pitfalls and steer clear of them.
1. Setting Realistic Goals
For starters, don't overestimate support. If this is one of your first crowdfunding campaigns, set modest goals to start.
2. Hit Up Your Database First
Crowdfunding begins with the people you know first. Work with your best supporters first and then go from there.
3. Ask Everyone to Share
You have to ask, ask and ask again that people share your crowdfunding campaign. Don’t be shy about asking for shares to amplify!
4. Keep the Timeline Tight
Crowdfunding campaigns are meant to be short and sweet. So, do a campaign for 30 to 45 days to drive urgency. Keep doing it, and you'll create a pipeline.
5. Don’t Forget Analytics
The great thing about digital marketing is everything is measurable. So, make it a point to measure each campaign you create.
When you create a winning and mutually beneficial opportunity to support a great cause and get something awesome in return, you can encourage more people to support your crowdfunding efforts. Remember, this kind of fundraiser isn't the magic pill that will bring you more than you ever received. But, if you do it consistently and with thought, it's another revenue stream and a great opportunity to get creative and have fun with donors. So, go out and try your hand at crowdfunding for the win!
The preceding blog was provided by an individual unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of NonProfit PRO.
Kristy Morris is a creative professional in corporate and nonprofit social media advertising and brand strategy. As the chief marketing officer at Funds2Orgs and Elsey Enterprises, she works with a suite of global fundraising brands and manages national campaigns for her clients. She hosts a monthly webinar with Funds2Orgs, teaching nonprofits how to make an impact with their social media strategy. Kristy is a passionate individual that loves nothing more than to help others make an impact in their market and the world.
Kristy also contributes monthly to her NonProfit PRO blog, “Marketing IRL.”